News Update: Avionics

 - May 25, 2010, 10:02 AM

Avanti Gets Pro Line 21 Retrofit
Rockwell Collins has teamed with Ruag Business Aviation of Switzerland on a Pro Line 21 cockpit upgrade for the Piaggio Avanti turboprop twin. The retrofit
Pro Line 21 suite, announced last month at Ebace, includes adaptive flight displays, dual attitude-heading reference systems and an electronic engine-indication system, among other features. Certification of the modification is expected in this year’s fourth quarter.

The installation includes a two-year Ruag/Rockwell Collins warranty. Buyers may also select Rockwell Collins’s corporate aircraft service warranty, which provides “virtually zero avionics operating costs during the first two years after installation,” according to the equipment manufacturer. Piaggio offers the Avanti II from the factory with the Pro Line 21 suite. Honeywell has also introduced a retrofit version of its Primus Epic cockpit for the Avanti.

DAC Introduces Portable Wi-Fi System
DAC International has introduced a portable in-flight Wi-Fi system for BlackBerry connectivity in aircraft equipped with Iridium or MagnaStar telephone systems. FliteNet is a carry-on system that permits Wi-Fi capability without having to mount components in the aircraft or obtain an STC. The unit is transferable between appropriately equipped aircraft without the need for specific Wi-Fi testing.

While the system is currently limited to providing Wi-Fi connectivity to the BlackBerry, DAC International is developing an interface to add the same capability for the iPhone and other smartphones through a software update, expected to be available this month. “We are excited by the potential of this new and simple approach to cabin connectivity,” said Cisco Hernandez, vice president of sales at DAC International. The price of the system, which connects to the Iridium or MagnaStar link via serial cable, is $12,995.

Duncan Certifies Aircell Internet in Citation X
Duncan Aviation recently completed an STC for the installation of the Aircell ATG-4000/ATG 5000 Wi-Fi system in the Citation X. The system provides high-speed in-flight connectivity in the cabin over the continental U.S. Passengers can use laptops, BlackBerrys, iPhones and other Wi-Fi devices at connection speeds topping out at around 3 megabits per second, similar to that of common ground-based Wi-Fi connections. The system consists of an aircraft-certified high-speed data unit, wireless router and two belly-mounted antennas. The ATG-5000 system carries a list price of $85,000.

Collins Developing Aftermarket Version of Venue
Rockwell Collins will begin offering the Venue HD cabin management system as an aftermarket upgrade for business airplanes, the company announced last month. Venue offers wide-screen and high-definition video displays, switch and touchscreen controllers, and an onboard data network that includes wired
and Wi-Fi connections and integration with a variety of in-flight broadband services.
The Venue OEM package has been certified in the King Air 350i turboprop twin and Citation CJ4. In addition, Nextant Aerospace has selected Venue for the Beechjet 400Next as part of a retrofit system that brings high-definition video screens, Blu-ray disc players, iPod docking stations and more to the passenger compartment of modified Beech 400A/XP twinjets.