[Avionics Today 10-23-2014] The new Symmetry Flight Deck system on the recently launched Gulfstream G500 and G600 long-range business jets integrates avionics content from some of the top manufacturers in the industry. While some features resemble systems on the existing G650, the new flight deck also boasts an industry first in terms of cockpit technology.
Gulfstream G500/G600 Symmetry Flight Deck. Photo: Honeywell.
Both aircraft were unveiled ahead of the industry-showcase National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) in Orlando, Fla., this week. The G600 will have a range of 6,200 nautical miles (nm) while the G500 will feature a 5,000 nm range. Launch customers for the new models are Qatar Airways and fractional provider Flexjet.
The Symmetry flight deck uses touchscreen displays based on the Honeywell Primus Epic integrated avionics, with the SmartView Synthetic Vision System (SVS), 2-D and 3-D airport moving maps, a cockpit display of traffic information and wireless data loading connectivity capability. The flight deck uses the most extensive use of touchscreens currently among business aircraft with 10 such control panels.
Gulfstream took the lead on the system integration for the new flight deck at its research and development campus in Savannah, Ga., Steve Cass, vice president of technical and marketing communications for Gulfstream Aerospace told Avionics Magazine.
"This is a full, non-moving simulator that is used to integrate all avionics and system components and has been instrumental in the development of the new flight deck," Cass said, referring to Gulfstream's integration facility.
"We also use the ITF for human factors testing, development of pilot procedures and will be used to accomplish some of the certification testing for the G500 and G600," Cass added.
New to the G500/600 cockpit and an industry first for business aviation are the Active Control Side Sticks (ACS), supplied by BAE Systems. According to Cass, any movement of the electrically back-driven ACS controls by the flying pilot or the autopilot can be seen and felt by the non-flying pilot through the side stick on the opposite side of the flight deck.
"This dramatically improves the situational awareness and coordination between the crew. This is a safety differentiator for Gulfstream and is one reason why we are using the 'Symmetry' name," said Cass.
Thales provides the dual channel flight control computers for the G500 and G600 Fly-by-Wire (FBW) systems, which interface with the ACS. The French aerospace manufacturer has also confirmed that Gulfstream has selected its wireless In-flight Entertainment (IFE) system for the G500 and G600 cabins.
Another industry-leading avionics manufacturer featured on the G500/600 is Elbit Systems, with its third generation Kollsman Enhanced Vision System - Superior Performance (EVS-SP), which uses digital high resolution infrared sensor technology that allows pilots to takeoff and land in low visibility weather conditions.
"We have extensive experience providing enhanced vision systems for the military, so we borrowed from that military environment expertise and transferred it to the civil aviation world for this system," said Dror Yahav, vice president of commercial aviation for Elbit Systems.
GE Aviation is also represented on the avionics and electrical power for the G500/600, supplying the data concentration and network, advanced power management system and the advanced health management system.
Gulfstream is targeting the first flight of the G500 in 2015, with certification and first deliveries planned for 2017 and 2018. The G600 is on a planned schedule for a first flight in 2017 with certification in 2018 followed by first deliveries in 2019.