Collins Aerospace | August 31, 2021
Collins Aerospace, a Raytheon Technologies business, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held FlightAware, a leading digital aviation company providing global flight tracking solutions, predictive technology, analytics and decision-making tools.
Closure of the acquisition is subject to the completion of customary conditions and regulatory approvals. Following closing, FlightAware will join Collins' Information Management Services portfolio within the company's Avionics strategic business unit. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"Global connectivity now shapes and impacts every segment of aviation. FlightAware is the recognized leader in data collection, analytics and customer experience, which will help Collins unlock the full power of the connected ecosystem for our customers," said Dave Nieuwsma, Collins Aerospace's head of Avionics. "FlightAware's flight tracking and data platform, the largest in the world, has the potential to deliver new capabilities and innovations across our entire business."
"The world's aerospace companies and aircraft operators are looking to digital aviation to provide the next revolution in aviation efficiency and reliability," said Daniel Baker, CEO of FlightAware, "and we are excited to join Collins Aerospace and Raytheon Technologies at this pivotal time to continue to lead that revolution at an even broader scale."
Based in Houston, Texas, with approximately 130 employees, FlightAware was founded in 2005 and is a leading provider of real-time and historical flight information and insights to the global aviation community. FlightAware serves all segments of the aviation marketplace through best-in-class applications and data services that provide comprehensive information about the current and predicted movement of aircraft. Through the collection, interpretation, and enrichment of hundreds of sources of data, including data from FlightAware's own proprietary terrestrial ADS-B network with tens of thousands of receivers spanning seven continents in 200 countries and territories, FlightAware transforms millions of raw flight data elements and delivers them as coherent, easy-to-consume flight stories. As a single source of accurate and actionable data for aviation players large and small, FlightAware is Central to Aviation™.
About Collins Aerospace
Collins Aerospace, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp., is a leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defense industry. Collins Aerospace has the extensive capabilities, comprehensive portfolio and broad expertise to solve customers' toughest challenges and to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving global market.
About Raytheon Technologies
Raytheon Technologies Corporation is an aerospace and defense company that provides advanced systems and services for commercial, military and government customers worldwide. With four industry-leading businesses ― Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense ― the company delivers solutions that push the boundaries in avionics, cybersecurity, directed energy, electric propulsion, hypersonics, and quantum physics. The company, formed in 2020 through the combination of Raytheon Company and the United Technologies Corporation aerospace businesses, is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Boeing | June 29, 2020
The Federal Aviation Administration began recertification flights of the Boeing 737 Max on Monday, a key step toward permitting the planes to return to service after two fatal crashes more than a year ago.
The 737 Max, Boeing’s bestseller, has been grounded worldwide since March 2019 after the crashes — one in Indonesia and another in Ethiopia — within five months of one another. All 346 people on the flights were killed in the crashes. Boeing has since changed a flight-control system that was implicated in both crashes and has made other tweaks. Additional scrutiny of the aircraft contributed to repeated delays in the recertification process.
Ameriflight | December 13, 2021
Merlin Labs has reached an agreement with Ameriflight to equip the cargo airline's fleet with autonomous and semi-autonomous flight capability. By offering access to Merlin's enhanced technology, the partnership will allow Ameriflight to capitalize on long-term growth opportunities.
The nation's largest Part 135 cargo airline, Ameriflight provides regional cargo aircraft services for overnight express carriers such as UPS, FedEx, and DHL. With this partnership, Ameriflight will add more experience and capabilities to its aircraft through Merlin's technology, complementing its current pilot makeup. Ultimately, Ameriflight hopes to future-proof its aircraft with early implementation of autonomous capabilities, ensuring the company will be nearly ready when that form of flying is industry-approved and allowing for seamless customer retention.
"We believe Merlin's technology is not only the furthest along, but also the most applicable to what our customers need, It will potentially allow us to provide autonomous or semi-autonomous flight at a cost of added deployability that we think works best for our customers relative to other options. Merlin is designing a solution to allow our existing fleet to become autonomous rather than requiring us to upgrade our fleet, which would come at a very high capital cost, By using the aircraft's existing functionality and enabling us to update the cockpit and avionics equipment, Merlin is making it possible to extend fleet life at a relatively affordable cost."
- Ameriflight President and CEO Paul Chase.
Merlin is creating sophisticated software and hardware that fulfill the functions of a human pilot. The company has flown hundreds of takeoff-to-touchdown missions, performed thousands of simulated test hours, and integrated its platform into four different aircraft types (from single-engine to complex, multi-engine aircraft). In September, Merlin became the first company to reach an agreement on an approach for the certification of aircraft autonomy.
Merlin's "crawl, walk, run" approach to deploying autonomy — and commitment to safety — resonated with Chase.
Another key driver for Ameriflight is cost savings. The airline's current aircraft are a good fit for its customers when it comes to size and rate. Updating the existing fleet with next-generation technology will allow Ameriflight to pair world-class technology with best-in-class pricing.
"Having recently announced our first-in-the-world certification basis, we really have to focus on how to bring our system to the market in the short term," said "Partnering with Ameriflight supports this goal while also giving us a great deal of credibility in the commercial cargo space."
- Matthew George, Merlin Co-Founder and CEO.
About Merlin Labs
Founded in 2018, Merlin Labs is headquartered in Boston, with additional offices in Los Angeles, Denver, Mojave, and New Zealand. The Google Ventures-backed company is building the definitive autonomy system for all things that fly.
Ameriflight is the nation's largest Part 135 cargo airline. Founded in 1968, Ameriflight has grown from a small air charter and cargo service carrier to an international operator with 14 bases, 1,500 weekly departures, and 200 destinations. Ameriflight is headquartered in Dallas and has more than 500 employees, including over 150 pilots, and over 100 aircraft.