EBACE Convention News

King Air altimeter approval latest from Swiss firm Revue Thommen

 - May 9, 2007, 11:33 AM

Revue Thommen, the Swiss avionics manufacturer (Booth No. 712), has announced that its AD32 air data display with autopilot alerter has been integrated into an RVSM package available for European-registered Hawker Beechcraft King Air twin turboprops. The European Aviation Safety Agency issued an STC for the package to Elliott Aviation of the U.S. for installation in King Air B200s, B300s and B350s equipped with certain Rockwell Collins, Bendix/King and Honeywell autopilots. The equipment will be delivered as a complete kit for installation in European-operated aircraft.

Elliott originally received Federal Aviation Administration certification for the retrofit for installation in U.S.-registered aircraft. AeroMech of Seattle, Washington, also offers a Thommen-equipped RVSM kit for the King Air 300/350 series.

Although a limited number of King Air 300/350s are capable of reaching the RVSM base of FL 290, Rudolf Iten, Revue Thommen director of marketing and sales, pointed out that the KingAir 200, widely used in Europe, becomes a candidate for RVSM retrofit if the Blackhawk engine upgrade is installed.

Iten told EBACE Convention News that his company has supplied the AD32 air data display for a considerable number of RVSM retrofits in the U.S., including for the Cessna 441 (STC holder Corpair of Fresno, California) and the Cheyenne 400LS and III (Jettech of Littleton, Colorado).

Revue Thommen also supplies mechanical flight instruments to replace out-of-production instruments on the flight decks of older aircraft. In the past, the company has supplied traditional two- and three-inch instruments mostly for the European aircraft industry, with few sales in the U.S. This demand is changing with the need for replacement of out-of-production traditional mechanical and electronic instruments used on older U.S.-registered aircraft. Companies such as Bendix/King, Kollsman/IDC, Smiths and Sextant have no replacements available for some of their old instruments and cost of overhaul is close to that of new STC Revue Thommen replacements.

The Swiss manufacturer supports programs from old products lines of traditional avionic suppliers with fit/form/ function replacements. Revue Thommen presents itself as the last resort for quality mechanical instruments to keep legacy aircraft flying, a spokesman said.

U.S. Market Share Increases
The company opened a U.S. office in Addison, Texas, near Dallas, early last year to serve the U.S. market for new and replacement instruments. The U.S. share
of its business has since increased to 24 percent over the past year.

Perhaps surprisingly, because of the replacement and stand-by markets, Revue Thommen produced more mechanical instruments last year than in any year since 1986, the spokesman commented. The company’s product line includes mechanical and electronic flight instruments–airspeed indicators, altimeters, vertical speed indicators, air data displays and air data computers, as well as clocks and chronographs. Thommen pressure-driven mechanical instruments requiring no electrical power are widely used as stand- by instruments in civil and military aircraft.

The company is a supplier for new stand-by instruments for the Hawker line of business jets, for Bombardier Learjet and Challenger models, as well as the Gulfstream G200 and the Sino Swearingen SJ30-2. Revue Thommen instruments are also standard for Eurocopter, AgustaWestland and, recently, for Bell Textron IFR-equipped helicopters. There are service bulletins for installation of Revue Thommen instruments on the Hawker 800 and Challenger 601/604, and the company has an STC to retrofit all Learjet 31, 35, 45 and 60 models with reliable pneumatic stand-by instruments.

The spokesman also explained that there is a need for reliable mechanical stand-by instruments to complement electronic instruments subject to failure under external influences such as those encountered by aircraft on low-level missions and helicopters on surveillance, search-and-rescue or medical evacuation duty. Such aircraft, as well as new aircraft with nonmetallic composite hulls, can be exposed to strong electrical smog and induction fields of various sorts.