[Avionics Today 06-09-2015] At the first ever Excellence in Avionics Awards presented by Avionics Magazine
during the second annual Global Connected Aircraft Summit (GCAS), Gulfstream Aerospace took home the Technology Company of the Year award with its Symmetry Flight Deck featured on the G500 and G600 business jets. Gulfstream unveiled both aircraft during NBAA 2014, and the G500 recently completed its first flight
Gulfstream Symmetry Flight Deck. Photo: Gulfstream.
Avionics Magazine recently caught up with Gulfstream Engineering Test Pilot Scott Evans to discuss how the Symmetry Flight Deck performed during the first flight test, and the technology featured within its latest Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) setup.
"The G500 performed flawlessly during first flight. The three-member crew exercised all primary flight control systems, to include trim systems and spoilers," Evans told Avionics Magazine. "Configuration changes included flaps 20 and flaps 39. The crew completed 19 test cards, with the aircraft reaching an altitude of 15,000 feet and a speed of 194 knots. The aircraft spent 2 hours and 16 minutes in the air."
Symmetry incorporates two major industry firsts, according to Gulfstream. Firstly, the G500 and G600 are the first business jets to incorporate Active Control Sidesticks (ACS), which ensure that "any movement in the control stick by the flying pilot or autopilot can be seen and felt by the non-flying pilot through the side stick on the opposite side of the flight deck," Evans said. The ACS technology featured on Symmetry was developed by BAE Systems, and has transported what was originally a military application into the business aviation environment.
Secondly, Symmetry features 10 touch-screen control panels, which is the most extensive use of touch screens in a business aircraft to date. At any time, a pilot has the ability to switch the tablet-based interfaces on the touchscreens to present only the information that is appropriate for the phase of flight the aircraft is in at that point in the mission. Honeywell Aerospace supplied five of the touchscreen controllers, four of which provide access to flight planning and radio, audio, and display control. The fifth one is mounted near the equipment rack to serve as a maintenance console. L-3 Avionics Systems supplied two other touchscreens to serve as full-time Standby Flight Displays (SFDs) and the three remaining touchscreens were provided by Korry Electronics and are installed in the overhead panel to provide aircraft system status and control.
While the flight deck features an IMA setup supplied by various manufacturers, the Gulfstream engineering team performed the system integration as well as more than 34,000 hours of testing at its labs before performing the first flight, Evans said.
"Our labs include the Integration Test Facility (ITF), Iron Bird, Conceptual Advanced Simulation Environment (CASE), and Systems Integration Bench (SIB). They have been key to the development of the Symmetry Flight Deck and are being used to accomplish some of the certification testing for the G500 and G600," said Evans. "If refinements emerge during the flight-test program, they will be made prior to aircraft certification and entry into service."
Other winners of Avionics Magazine's Excellence in Avionics Awards were:
Safety Systems Innovation Award
Social Media Campaign of the Year
Honeywell Aerospace for 100 Years in Aviation
Youth Recruitment and Development Award
Giving Back Award
Mission Aviation Fellowship
Vertical Impact Award for General Business and Aviation
Vertical Impact Award for Military
W.L. Gore & Associates
Most Valuable Player
Tony Howerton of American Airlines.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Robert B. Wood, Rockwell Collins.
In-Flight Connectivity Award
Technology Company of the Year