Although, sadly, the man most responsible for the accomplishment would not be around to see this day, Universal Avionics last month received FAA approval for the company’s EFI-890R retrofit cockpit in a Challenger. A week before the FAA awarded an STC for the Challenger series, on September 12, company founder Hubert Naimer died in Vienna, Austria, of natural causes at age 82.
Naimer’s son, Ted, takes over as company president and will shepherd the EFI-890R through its next major milestone, certification of the synthetic-vision system (SVS) portion of the integrated avionics package. Duncan Aviation performed certification ground and flight testing of the four-display cockpit, which features Universal’s 8.9-inch active-matrix LCDs, in a Challenger 601-3AER. The installation was done at Duncan’s Battle Creek, Mich. facility.
The company earlier gained an STC in the King Air series, but certification in the Challenger was viewed as an important achievement because it was the first approval of the system in a business jet. Certification of the SVS is expected to follow by year-end. Using the TAWS terrain database and GPS position data, SVS presents a virtual view of the outside world on the flight displays that includes hills, mountains, bodies of water and airports.