IS&S brings its 10-inch displays to the PC-12

 - December 8, 2006, 5:12 AM

After receiving an STC for a cockpit retrofit incorporating 15-inch-diagonal displays in the Pilatus PC-12 in May, Innovative Solutions & Support has followed the approval with a version of the system incorporating four 10-inch displays.

The Cockpit/IP flat-panel display system from IS&S gives PC-12 owners “Part 25 performance capabilities at less than Part 23” costs, according to the Exton, Pa. company, which has not yet revealed a price. It will likely cost somewhat less than the 15-inch version, which sells for around $250,000 including installation. The 10-inch display upgrade is available through IS&S partners Western Aircraft and Epps Aviation, which specialize in Pilatus avionics modifications and are also authorized to install the larger 15-inch displays as a replacement for the airplane’s original Honeywell EFIS 40 gear.

With the Cockpit/IP system, PC-12 owners get all the instrumentation required by FAA regulations, such as TCAS (for Part 135 operations), TAWS and RVSM, as well as the digital flat-panel representations on the PFDs of attitude direction indicator, horizontal situation indicator, altimeter, airspeed, vertical speed and radio magnetic indicator. The IS&S flat-panel displays also accept and present typical navigation sources including DME, ADF, VOR, GPS and FMS.

EFB Capable
IS&S said both versions of the retrofit will offer options for integration of electronic flight bag (EFB) hardware with the Cockpit/IP multifunction displays. The full capability of Class-3 EFB data is an option for the PC-12 cockpit upgrade, including electronic charts from Jeppesen, with the standard suite of applications spanning data for takeoff, en route, approach, missed approach, go-around and landing information.

The e-charts also display a digital representation of the own-ship position on runways and taxiways or in flight. Having such information readily available and accessible on the MFD enhances pilot situational awareness, especially on the ground during taxi operations, the company noted.

The e-charts are presented on the multifunction display with zoom features that let the pilot enlarge the chart. IS&S plans to add a number of new features to the displays in the coming months, including aeronautical data and satellite weather.

Mike Cawley, director of business development for IS&S, said that in the “near future” controls for a Windows server will also become available as an optional upgrade. The Windows control feature will simplify entry of flight manuals, procedures and weight-and-balance calculation into the EFB. In addition, IS&S will add a video connector, allowing pilots to input a camera system for external or internal monitoring, or for viewing images from an enhanced-vision system.

Cockpit/IP stands for “information portal.” Cawley said that IS&S coined the term “portal for charts,” since it considers the product a gateway to any current or pending feature of an EFB, which typically is thought of as the stand-alone portable computer seen with increasing regularity in business aircraft cockpits.

Owners have been clamoring for cockpit upgrade alternatives in the PC-12 for some time. Pilatus announced the long-awaited “Next Generation” PC-12 at October’s NBAA Convention, featuring a more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada turboprop engine and a four-display Honeywell Apex integrated avionics suite. The Swiss airframer said a program is under way to certify the enhanced version of the aircraft by the end of next year, with deliveries to commence immediately afterward.

Universal Avionics and Kansas City Aviation Center teamed last spring to develop a three-screen LCD upgrade for the PC-12. The competing Universal EFI-890R avionics system includes a pair of PFDs and an MFD, each measuring 8.9 inches diagonally. Priced at about $300,000 (before installation), the package includes provisions for synthetic vision, electronic charts, datalink weather, TAWS and color video.