Just as passengers were getting used to surfing the Web in flight over the Swift64 satellite datalink, Inmarsat spelled out plans for the next generation of high-speed datalink services for aircraft, to be known as SwiftBroadband. Inmarsat is now building the I4 satellites to support SwiftBroadband services in Toulouse, France, and plans to launch the first two next year.
Avionics and ATC » Avionics
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit.
Dassault’s Falcon 2000EX EASy received certification by both the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the FAA last month.
Just as very light jets are on the verge of joining the new generation of general aviation aircraft produced by Cirrus and Lancair, NASA has begun field demonstrations of its Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) in preparation for a more comprehensive proof-of-concept drill next summer at the Danville Regional Airport, Va.
The road to RVSM approval can be as smooth as a ribbon of freshly laid desert highway or as rough as a rock-strewn forest switchback.
Mid-Canada Mod Center (MC2) was recently awarded an STC for a new avionics suite on Bombardier Challengers. The company installed a suite of Universal Avionics components, including a four-tube EFI-640 flat-panel integrated display, MFD-640 multifunction display, Universal terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS), Dual UNS-1F flight management systems and Universal Cockpit Display (UCD).
Close to 100 Falcon 900s are the subject of an Airworthiness Directive requiring revisions to the “abnormal procedures” section of the airplane flight manual and an update of EFIS symbol generators.
Sometimes the simplest ideas turn out to be the best ones. After initially targeting the Bendix/King KMD 250 multifunction display to owners of piston singles, Honeywell now believes the unit will turn out to be a popular addition in the cockpits of many turboprops and business jets.
If asked today for their views about automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), many pilots might respond that it was developed to meet the unique needs of single-engine commercial operators in remote areas such as Alaska, where only minimal ATC services were available. Alternatively, it was aimed at helping freighter pilots best position themselves in inbound traffic streams during “rush hour” operations around freight hubs.
Although the FAA warned business jet operators that there was no way it could extend a January 1 deadline for installation of emergency locator transmitters (ELTs), the agency apparently did not make an effort to enforce the rule after hundreds failed to comply on time.
Just about everything written so far about domestic RVSM seems to be focused on ways operators can comply with the upcoming requirements by next year’s January 20 deadline. But what about business aircraft operators who have no intention–at least not right away–of spending the thousands of dollars for equipment upgrades, Service Bulletins, aircraft skin mapping and DRVSM flight checks?