Get Your RVSM Installations Here

 - March 19, 2008, 12:04 PM

As more RVSM STCs are awarded, operators of most makes and models, even those of much older and rarer airframes, will soon have many places to get RVSM installations and other related work. Programs differ considerably in the extent of work performed, pricing and downtime. Here is a status report of just a few of the latest RVSM STC projects under way:

Avanti–Piaggio America has received FAA approval for RVSM applicable to all models of the turboprop twin coming off the production line since May. A $70,000 retrofit package–using the IS&S encoding altimeter and Collins ADC–is under development.
Beechjet/Diamond–Elliott Aviation is partnering with Honeywell to produce an RVSM mod for Beechjets and Diamonds. The mod, targeted for approval in the first quarter of next year, consists of the Honeywell AZ-252 ADC, Am-250 altimeter, BA-250 altimeter display and AL/VN-800 altitude alert controller. Separately, Raytheon Aircraft earlier announced it was also developing an RVSM package for Beechjets and Diamonds, using IS&S altimetry.

Challenger 600–Lincoln, Neb.-based Duncan Aviation received group RVSM certification for the Challenger 600-1A11. The Duncan system uses the IS&S altimetry system. Duncan also offers FAA-approved RVSM installations in other business jets.

Citation 500/550/560 series– Shadin of Minneapolis, working with Arinc and AeroMech, has developed a fully RVSM compliant “plug and fly” avionics package for Citation 500s, 501s, 550s, 551s, S550s and 560s. A key element of the package is a “drop in” dual air-data computer replacement for the AZ241 ADC. Separately, Columbia Avionics offers a group RVSM approval for the Citation 500 and 560 series. Installation facilities are in Columbia, Mo., and Uvalde, Texas. Eagle Aviation in Columbia, S.C., might have the least invasive RVSM solution: $75,000 and five days downtime (if pitot/static and skin waviness testing checks out). The company uses the existing wire harness. Cessna, too, has a more extensive (and expensive) RVSM package for this Citation series.

Falcon 10 and 20–St. Louis-based Thunder Aviation and Honeywell are teaming to obtain RVSM certification for Falcon 10s and 20s. The Falcon 20 STC is planned before year-end. Total cost of the upgrade is set at $165,000 and will require about two weeks to complete. Thunder will obtain certification for Falcon 20s with the APS 105 and SPZ 500 autopilots first. Falcon 10 RVSM certification will follow in March next year. APS 105-equipped Falcon 10s will use Honeywell AM-250 digital altimeters, and SPZ 500-equipped aircraft will also require one Honeywell AZ-252 advanced air-data computer. Separately, Jet Aviation in West Palm Beach, Fla., recently received RVSM group approval for Falcon 10s.

Learjet 20 series–Avcon Industries in Olathe, Kan., received an STC for its RVSM equipment installation on a Learjet 25D, a major step in the company’s program to obtain group RVSM approval for Learjet 23s, 24s and 25s. Avcon is currently modifying other Learjets in pursuit of the group approval, expected within 60 to 90 days. Introductory pricing is $149,500. Separately, Underwood Instrument Services and Alternative Avionics in Addison, Texas, received an STC for their RVSM solution for the Learjet 24 and 25. Their package includes dual Thommen AD-32 air-data display altimeters and an avionics interface unit. Group certification is planned before year-end. Other Learjet 20-series RVSM programs are under way by LJSC, Spirit Wing and BizJet.

Learjet 30 series–Honeywell and West Star Aviation of Grand Junction, Colo., have received an STC for an RVSM equipment package for the Learjet 35 and 36. The package consists of Honeywell’s AZ-252 advanced air-data computer, AM-250 barometric altimeter/air data, BA-250 altimeter display and AL-800 altitude alerter control. Installed price and downtime are $165,000 and three weeks, respectively. Learjets with the Century III Softflite wings and the FC-200 autopilot qualify. Aircraft modified with Avcon fins or Raisbeck lockers are also included in the STC. But so-called straight-wing aircraft and those equipped with the FC-530 autopilot are not included in the current STC.

Sabreliner 80–In collaboration with Kohlman Systems Research and Aviation Material and Technical Support, Sabreliner is developing an RVSM solution for the Sabreliner 80 in two stages. The first will be a Sabreliner STC for an RVSM-compliant altimetry system. The second STC, for RVSM group approval, will be owned by KSR. Following completion of the Model 80 program, Sabreliner will tackle RVSM approval for Sabreliner 40s and 60s. The company received a Sabreliner 65 RVSM STC late last year.    

TBM 700–EADS Socata of France said that RVSM certification for the TBM 700 turboprop single will be available for new aircraft in the first quarter of next year, and retrofit packages will be available in the second quarter.