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Saturday, December 1, 2001

What's New in Corporate Aviation

From the avionics companies that planned to attend the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) show in September, we report the news and announcements.

Charlotte Adams

Thales on Global Express

The head-up flight display system (HFDS) developed by Thales Avionics has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) on Bombardier’s Global Express business jet at the airframer’s flight test center, Wichita, Kan. Fully integrated into the airplane’s baseline avionics, the HFDS can be used in all phases of flight without operational limitations, Thales says. The HFDS has the largest field of view (40 by 26 degrees) on the market. Growth potential exists for approach capabilities and presentation of enhanced vision system (EVS) imagery.

Thales’ integrated electronic standby instrument (IESI) obtained an STC for installation on Global Express through Bombardier’s completion center. The EISI already is certified as an option on the Dash-8 Q400 series and as standard production installation on the CRJ 700. The instrument features attitude, airspeed and altitude functions plus a data interface to other avionics systems.

Bombardier’s Continental jet, which first flew in August, uses Thales’ 400A/500A brushless DC generators and generator control units. Thales’ generator starter units were scheduled for in-flight evaluation on the Cessna Sovereign. Visit http://www.thales-avionics.com.

Honeywell Gets Green Light

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Honeywell Primus Epic CDS/R integrated avionics system. Derived from the company’s Primus Epic system for new aircraft, CDS/R aims at the retrofit market, providing growth capacity for the future communication, navigation, surveillance/air traffic management (CNS/ATM) environment. The system has received Technical Standard Order (TSO) approval and a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the Cessna Citation V. (CDS/R stands for control display system/retrofit.)

With CDS/R a pilot uses a cursor control device and drop-down menus to control aircraft functions. An installation includes one or two IC-1080 integrated avionics computers with optional internal flight management system (FMS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment. CDS/R employs up to four 8-by-10-inch active matrix liquid crystal displays. One electronic display replaces up to 10 electromechanical displays, the company says. Visit http://www.honeywell.com.

Skywatch HP On Track for TSO

Goodrich Avionics Systems has submitted its Skywatch HP Traffic Collision Avoidance System for Federal Aviation Administration Technical Standard Order (TSO) approval. After the TSO the company plans to obtain a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the Skywatch HP on its King Air C90. Skywatch HP is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2001.

Priced at $25,000, Skywatch HP offers an ARINC 429 electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) interface and can track and display aircraft out to 35 nautical miles. The equipment can be installed as either a Traffic Advisory System (TAS) or a Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS I), based on the display and antenna configuration. Skywatch HP also can interface to various multifunction displays (MFDs) and overlay traffic data on weather radar indicators using Goodrich’s radar graphics computer model RGC250. Visit http://www.goodrich.com.

Challenger 604 Upgrade

Bombardier Aerospace has signed a purchase agreement with Rega, Swiss Air-Ambulance Ltd., of Zurich, for three Bombardier Challenger 604 widebody business jets. The aircraft will feature the new PrecisionPlus avionics upgrade suite.

Developed by Rockwell Collins as an enhancement to the Bombardier Challenger’s Pro Line 4 avionics suite, PrecisionPlus provides three-dimensional display of an aircraft’s flight plan and automation of both Vspeed calculation and thrust settings as primary information, Bombardier says. The system is available to Challenger 604 operators through a combination of Bombardier and Collins service bulletins.

A key element of PrecisionPlus is automatic lookup and display of takeoff, approach, landing and missed approach speeds, as well as of thrust settings for takeoff, climb, cruise and go-around. Other major features include the blending of actual observed wind and entered wind data, position reporting in non-radar environments, full-time DME reporting on the multifunction display, engine indication and crew alert system (EICAS) improvements, flight management system enhancements and full integration with the Flight Dynamics head-up display (HUD) and with Safe Flight’s Mark II auto throttle system. Visit http://www.aero.bombardier.com.

EMS Supplies Inmarsat Terminal

EMS Technologies Inc. claims to make available to the business aviation market the first terminal to support high-speed, airborne access to e-mail, Internet, and voice and fax services. The Ottawa-based company’s dual-channel Aeronautical Data Terminal (ADT-1000) can supply bidirectional, 128-kilobit/sec, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) throughput, supporting the forthcoming Swift64 Inmarsat offering. ADT-1000 is compatible with all ARINC 741 Aero-H/H+ antennas. The equipment supports standard networking protocols such as Ethernet , ISDN and serial communications.

EMS Technologies also announced the first dual installation of its AMT-50 satcom antenna on two Gulfstream GIV aircraft. The antenna installation–completed by Cahokia, Ill.-based Midcoast Aviation–is housed in an EMS Technologies tail-mounted radome. Gulfstream Aerospace has just selected this radome as standard equipment on the GIV-SP. Visit http://www.ems-t.com.

Inmarsat Touts Low-Cost E-Mail

Inmarsat plans to unveil low-cost, up to 64-kilobit/sec, in-flight data solutions offering e-mail and Internet access by year-end. The Swift64 also will include video conferencing and file transfer capability, the company claims. The platform is to maximize the use of existing antennas and satcom avionics, keeping costs down. However, Inmarsat does not quote prices. More than 1,000 corporate jets are equipped with Inmarsat satcom antennas.

Swift64 will employ mobile Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) technology and mobile packet data (TCP/IP) services. Onboard servers can link in passenger computers over an Ethernet local area network at data rates up to 100 megabits/sec. Inmarsat cites a list of "committed" manufacturers, including Ball Aerospace, EMS Technologies, Honeywell/Thales, Rockwell Collins and Thrane & Thrane. Visit http://www.inmarsat.com

Max-Viz Develops EVS

Max-Viz, a Portland, Ore., startup founded by executives from CMC Electronics and FLIR Systems, is developing two low-cost infrared enhanced vision systems (EVS) for corporate aircraft ground and air applications. The EVS systems would project images of terrain and hazards on existing cockpit multifunction displays (MFDs) and head-up displays (HUDs), respectively.

Expected to be available in early in 2002, the company’s first product, Taxi-Max, would use an infrared sensor mounted in an aircraft’s vertical fin cap, radome or belly. Max-Viz aims for a price of under $100,000, less than one-fifth the rate for current installed systems, according to the company. Taxi-Max’s planned 40-degree forward viewing angle would give pilots a view of possible incursion threats, projected onto existing MFDs or standalone liquid crystal displays (LCDs) mounted on cockpit side consoles. The company targets business and commercial jet operators, airliners and military transport aircraft organizations. It expects to obtain a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) on a Cessna 421.

A second Max-Viz product, RVR-Max, aims at air operations. It would overlay an infrared-enhanced, transparent approach view on HUD graphics. RVR-Max would use dual-mode IR sensors to capture both runway lights and terrain. The company expects to certify the system on a Boeing Business Jet or a Dassault Falcon 2000 and to make the system available by September 2002. The price is expected to come in at above $300,000. Visit http://www.max-viz.com.

Sandel Upgrades TAWS/RMI

Sandel Avionics, Vista, Calif., has introduced enhancements to its ST3400 terrain awareness warning system/radio magnetic indicator (TAWS/RMI). The unit includes an interface for the SkyWatch traffic awareness system and the Stormscope lightning protection system, both made by Goodrich.

To incorporate in the ST3400 a worldwide terrain database, Sandel signed a licensing agreement with Jeppesen Sanderson Inc. ST3400 operators have a choice of Jeppesen databases: worldwide, the Americas, Europe or Asia. The databases include both natural terrain and manmade obstacles.

Sandel also adopted software to help assure the ST3400’s reliability. Called HALT-HASS (highly accelerated life-testing and highly accelerated stress screening), the software accelerates testing for weaknesses and detection of defects and flaws. Visit http://www.sandel.com.

Managing Maintenance

Jet Aviation now offers corporate aircraft owners three levels of maintenance management service at its facilities in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Texas.

Level One: Jet Aviation informs a business jet operator of recommended and required maintenance and tracks and records maintenance events.

Level Two: Jet Aviation also takes responsibility for an aircraft’s maintenance, obtaining third-party estimates and ensuring work is properly performed.

Level Three, the company assigns a maintenance representative to an account to monitor the aircraft’s maintenance. Visit http://www.jetaviation.com.

Elliott Seeks Hawker 700A STC

Elliott Aviation is seeking Federal Aviation Administration approval to install Universal Avionics’ Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS) and Rockwell Collins’ Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) into the Raytheon Hawker 700A. The first Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) will include the Universal TAWS presented on a Universal MFD-640 flat panel display. Flight path information will include plan, profile and perspective views and comply with the upcoming FAA Class A TAWS mandate. The MFD-640 can interface with radar systems, including the Primus 400 radar.

The full-service business aviation center has designed its second STC so that the Collins TCAS-4000 will meet the Airborne Collision Avoidance System (ACAS) requirement when flying in reduced vertical separation minima (RVSM) airspace. The STC also will include a dual TDR-94D Mode-S transponder upgrade. In addition, Elliott is launching a program to use Universal’s flat panel technology on the 700A. Visit http://www.elliottaviation.com.

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