Avionics Update: Apex glass cockpit tests proceeding on pace

 - May 19, 2008, 6:01 AM

Honeywell said it has removed the Apex 1000 glass displays from its Cessna 206 flying testbed in Olathe, Kan., to make way for evaluations of the Apex 2000 system, flight trials of which have just begun. Tests of the Apex cockpit line, said a spokeswoman, are moving ahead on schedule. The “smart” micro sensors, low-cost attitude heading reference systems (AHRS) and advanced databuses developed for Apex are all performing as anticipated, she said. Designed for light jets, turboprops, helicopters and high-performance piston aircraft, Apex uses Honeywell’s Visual Cueing and Control (VC2) technology to present a picture of the sky and ground on an instrument-panel-mounted flight display. The synthetic-vision horizon appears in the distance and the ground appears to be passing under the airplane. Significant features, such as runways and radio navigation aids, appear in the picture in the same relative locations as if the pilot were looking at them through the windshield. Apex will use a high-bandwidth databus produced by Germany’s TTTech, the same components that Audi has selected for drive-by-wire systems in its luxury car line starting in 2004. Apex will be offered in three versions: Apex 1000 for piston singles; Apex 2000 for multi-engine piston and light turboprop airplanes and helicopters; and Apex 9000 for larger turboprops and light business jets.