In less than two months from now, the Aircraft Tracking Task Force (AATF), set up in May under the auspices of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is due present an interim report widely regarded by the industry as a key first step to avoid a repeat of a situation that continues to baffle and gravely concern the industry, namely: how on earth could a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 completely vanish on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Avionics and ATC
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit; and news, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
Ukrainian defense electronics group Aerotechnica (Hall 2 Stand C28b) has been at the forefront of the urgent effort to modernize the country’s air defenses in response to the military standoff with Russian-backed separatists. It specializes in replacing dated radar hardware, such as vacuum-tube modules and traveling wave-guide tubes with solid-state components. The company has successfully performed this upgrade with numerous radar sets, most notably the P-18.
The push is on for meeting airborne equipment mandates and requirements for new air traffic control environments, and Esterline CMC Electronics is here displaying avionics that do just that.
“It comes down to the whole CNS/ATM and NextGen upgrading,” said Greg Yeldon, president of Canada-based Esterline CMC. “As all that infrastructure and requirements and mandates continue to approach, there is more momentum in terms of upgrading aircraft and providing the avionics to meet those mandates.”
This summer will see significant progress in the world’s first civilian-owned and -operated satellite navigation system as Europe prepares to dispatch the first two full-capability Galileo satellites for lift-off.
Payload preparation for Arianespace’s Soyuz Flight VS09 started in earnest in early May with the arrival in French Guiana of the first two Galileo full operational capability (FOC) satellites.
Rockwell Collins’s flight management system (FMS) and global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver successfully enabled the first demonstrations of advanced arrival and departure flight operations for the European Union’s airspace-enhancing project called FilGapp (“filling the gap” in GNSS advanced procedures and operations), the company announced today. FilGapp is intended to create new, more efficient methods of navigating airspace using satellite-based navigation and advanced FMS functions.
Jettech gained FAA STC approval to install the touchscreen Garmin GTN 650/750 GPS/navcom (single or dual) in Cessna 525 CitationJets manufactured from 1993 to 1999 (S/Ns 0001-0359). The STC includes Waas approvals and certifies the aircraft for fully autopilot-coupled GPS-LPV approaches. Jettech is offering the STC’d data package through authorized Garmin dealers and will provide full support through the installation process.
The FAA recently issued an STC for the Astronics Max-Viz 1500 enhanced vision system (EVS) on Pilatus PC-12s equipped with video-capable multifunction displays. The STC kit includes the Max-Viz 1500 sensor, power supply and unpainted fairing; the STC data package costs $80,000 plus labor. Installation is said to take between 16 and 30 hours, depending on the airplane. According to the company, operators of legacy PC-12s also get a monitor as part of the STC kit at no additional cost. The price does not include any hardware or software upgrades needed to display video on existing avionics.
The FAA has issued technical standard order (TSO) approval to ACSS for its NXT-600 mode-S transponder, which is designed to meet ADS-B out mandates that are already in effect and planned for implementation. The NXT-600 is “ideal for regional and business aircraft, including helicopters,” according to ACSS, and complies with DO-260B and DO-181E standards required by Australia’s CASA, Eurocontrol and the FAA for ADS-B out. The NXT-600 has already been selected for and installed in Bombardier Q400s and it also works with the ACSS Tcas 3000SP surveillance processor.
Brunswick, Maine-based Tempus Jets is offering a Fans 1/A and ADS-B out solution for the Bombardier Global Express. The package is priced at $455,000, depending on the existing configuration of the jet, and includes engineering, installation, certification, equipment and return to service. The upgrade uses ICG’s ICS-220A Iridium satcom if the existing satcom doesn’t meet interface and Fans and ADS-B requirements.
The FAA approved an STC developed by AeroMech for a Garmin G950 upgrade to the Beechcraft 1900D. AeroMech subsidiary AMI Aviation Services will install the upgraded avionics, or it can be accomplished by qualified Garmin dealers. The G950 system replaces the 1900D’s original Rockwell Collins EFIS 84 avionics and other instruments with the three-display G950 (one 15-inch MFD and two 10.4-inch PFDs), removing about 270 pounds from the airplane’s empty weight.