Grob’s SPn, a carbon-fiber light business twinjet introduced at last month’s Paris Air Show, will enter production with the Honeywell Apex avionics system, according to officials from the German company.
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.
They say that politics makes for strange bedfellows. So, it seems, does loran, which has recently been recognized by four quite disparate groups: the U.S. Congress, the government of France, the telecommunications industry and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). But in Washington, inter-agency budget struggles cloud further progress with the system.
Are portable electronic flight bag (EFB) computing devices merely a stepping stone until business aircraft operators get around to installing cockpit equipment that integrates electronic charts with glass displays? Avionics manufacturers hope so, but business aircraft operators appear to have different ideas.
The six-ton I-4 communications satellite Inmarsat launched in late March has taken over satcom transmission routing responsibility from the previous I-3 satellite covering the Indian Ocean Region, according to Inmarsat officials. While this news might not have much immediate impact on the average satcom user, there will be a notable change once Inmarsat switches on the I-4 satellite’s SwiftBroadband high-speed-data services late next year.
Kitchener Aero has delivered its first Eurocopter EC 120 with upgraded avionics and special-mission modifications. The factory-new helicopter was flown directly to Kitchener, Ontario. Most visible now are the two Sagem ICDS-8 EFIS flight displays. Another feature is a downward-facing camera, images from which can be shown on the multifunction display. The modification project began in June and concluded in August.
The FAA last month granted Innovative Solutions & Support an STC for installation of the company’s 10-inch displays in the Pilatus PC-12. Like its previous PC-12 approval for installation of two 15-inch display units, IS&S’s latest STC includes TCAS, TAWS and RVSM compatibility.
Responding to customer input, Verizon Airfone said it will continue providing MagnaStar phone users with air-to-ground communications “through at least December 31, 2007.” This action reverses a Verizon decision this summer to exit the air-to-ground phone business on December 4, an action that would have left some 4,100 Teledyne Control MagnaStar users without service.
Honeywell last month gave journalists their first look at the company’s developmental integrated primary flight display (IPFD), including the synthetic-vision portion of the system now in initial design testing with Gulfstream.
A fix has been ordered to resolve the five-second trap of certain Honeywell mode-S transponders. The affected units erroneously go into standby mode if the crew takes longer than five seconds to change codes when using the rotary knob of the radio management unit. Effective October 17, an AD requires insertion of a warning into the AFM and modifications to the transponder. In some cases, replacement of the transponders is mandated.
SATS, the small aircraft transportation system research program funded jointly by industry and government, concludes later this year, five years after it superseded the Agate (advanced general aviation transportation experiment) program, which set this ball rolling in the mid-1990s.