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|Articles - April 2010|
|Wednesday, March 24, 2010|
Sometimes it pays to do your homework.
Precise Flight, a Bend manufacturing company, started thinking in the late 1990s of ways to decrease the number of bird strikes to airplanes, and started looking at the problem from a bird’s perspective.
Precise Flight worked to better understand bird vision and their reaction to aircraft lighting by collaborating with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services and Esteban Fernandez-Juricic, a biological scientist at Purdue University.
The result is a headlight called the Pulselite that is specialized to bird vision. The Pulselite uses different colors, contrast, pulsing and flickering, which enables birds to see the light from further distances and move away from approaching aircraft. The Pulselite was refined in 2008 after the research was completed the prior summer.
Vice president Scott Philiben says Precise Flight is the only company manufacturing lights specifically designed to decrease bird strikes. It has sold the Pulselite to commercial airlines around the world, including Ryanair, Lufthansa and Qantas Airlines. Business aviation companies such as Gulfstream in the U.S. also use the Pulselite.
The 20-employee company recently gained a foothold with commercial airlines in the U.S. when it was awarded a $450,000 contract in January to install the Pulselite on 105 Alaskan Airlines aircraft.
Horizon Air began installing the Pulselite on a line of commercial jets in October 2008 and expects to finish by June 2010. It has since recorded a 12% reduction in bird strikes with only 25 of 40 installations completed. Horizon Air and Alaska Airlines are the first U.S. airlines to use the Pulselite.
Philiben says the landing lights cost between $4,000 and $5,000. A complete landing light set, which includes headlights, emergency lights and wing lights, costs approximately $10,000. The bulbs commercial airlines typically use are bought in bulk and individually cost $60.
The Pulselite represents a third of Precise Flight’s gross annual revenue, which is around $5 million. Philiben expects sales with commercial airlines to double once the research is widely published later this year.
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On Wednesday night, a couple days ahead of the 2015 season kickoff, Major League Soccer and the Players Union reached an agreement.
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The Port of The Dalles has run marine facilities since the 1930s, but they are part of a larger mission to strengthen the local economy. They focus on regional economic development with a strong bent toward adding good-paying jobs in high tech, manufacturing and other industries.
Thinking about an MBA? Join us for our upcoming Wine & Cheese Information Session to learn more about Concordia University's MBA program.
Providing attendees with unique taste of the Northwest Reception.
CFM Strategic Communications turns 25 this year and is celebrating with a revamped website, special events for firm alumni and clients, a special-label wine and a list of 25 stories about its client work over the past quarter century.