Mod centers introduce more RVSM kits as deadline looms

 - December 17, 2007, 11:56 AM

As the domestic RVSM implementation date of January 20 moves ever closer, hundreds of operators–particularly those flying older airplanes–still face the formidable task of obtaining the necessary FAA approvals and certifications of their crews and aircraft.

To that end, modification companies have recently introduced RVSM packages for Hawker 700s and Gulfstream IIs and IIIs.

Annapolis, Md.-based Arinc and AeroMech of Everett, Wash., have teamed to provide a comprehensive RVSM solution for the Hawker 700, of which only about 40 out of 200 aircraft in the fleet have received RVSM approval, according to Arinc.

AeroMech kits, which received Hawker 700 group approval in August, are available for both Hawker 700s equipped with Collins ADC-80 air-data computers and those with Collins 590A air-data sensors. Dual ADC-87s replace the ADC-80s. Installation, which takes a couple of days, costs about $116,000.

Hawker 700s with the 590 air-data sensors will receive a “form/fit/function” replacement and two air-data display units, all made by Innovative Solutions & Support. This modification requires about seven days’ downtime and costs approximately $125,000.

Included in these costs are the required trailing-cone qualification flights to determine avionics accuracy. The required height-monitoring flights and prepared LOA packages to submit to the FAA can be provided “for under $5,000,” an Arinc official said.

Hawker 700 kits can be installed at Arinc’s facilities in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Scottsdale, Ariz., and at any qualified repair facility of the customer’s choice, as well as at a customer’s home base. At press time, Arinc said it had 20 Hawker RVSM kits “prepared for immediate shipment to qualified repair stations around the world.”
Arinc has previously obtained RVSM STCs for the Citation 650 and King Air 200/300 series. Next month, the company expects to finish certifying RVSM kits for the Beechjet 400 and Learjet 35.

Gulfstream RVSM Also Team Effort
Meanwhile, Dallas-based Business Jet Technologies is nearing completion of a group RVSM STC for the Gulfstream II and III. The RVSM-compliant equipment in this case is a team effort by Business Jet Technologies, AeroMech and Shadin of St. Louis Park, Minn. The package includes a Shadin ADC and Arinc 429-formatted input and output ports.

The Gulfstream kit is priced at $175,000, including installation at Business Jet Technologies in Tulsa, Okla., trailing-cone flight testing and a five-year warranty. Uninstalled kits are available for $150,000. Group STC is expected next month.

According to Business Jet Technologies, the Shadin solution is a “plug-and-play” system in which a “pin-for-pin design allows for direct drop-in replacement for the existing ADC and allows the new RVSM compliance kit to use the aircraft’s existing wiring, significantly reducing modification downtime.” Officials estimate downtime for the RVSM installation alone at five to seven days.

Business Jet Technologies is affiliated with Business Jet Services, an aircraft sales, management and charter company, and Business Jet Center, which has FBOs in Dallas and Oakland, Calif.

In yet another RVSM compliance program for older jets, LJSC of Wichita is nearing FAA approval of its package for the Learjet 24 and 25. Group STC for its $115,000 package is anticipated next month. In Chesterfield, Mo., Thunder Aviation expects to receive an STC mid-month for its $175,000 RVSM mod for Falcon 10s.

On January 20, RVSM airspace between FL290 and FL410 is set to be implemented
in the U.S., Mexico, South America, the Caribbean and Southern Canada.