EBACE Convention News

King Air B200 receives first G1000 cockpit suite

 - May 7, 2009, 11:03 AM

Elliott Aviation has installed the first Garmin G1000 integrated avionics glass cockpit suite in a Beechcraft King Air B200. After a successful test flight on April 6, the aircraft entered Elliott’s completion center at Quad Cities International Airport for installation of a new interior and a fresh paint job.

The Moline, Illinois-based company is currently installing the system in a second B200, and a third aircraft is expected to arrive shortly for another installation. Here at EBACE (Booth No. 1098), Elliott is featuring a G1000 demonstrator panel for the twin turboprop.

In March, Garmin earned supplemental type certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for the G1000 in the King Air B200/200. It is currently pursuing certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for the upgrade, which also includes the manufacturer’s synthetic-vision technology (SVT) option.

The SVT offers a three-dimensional depiction of terrain, obstacles and traffic on the aircraft’s primary flight display enhancing situational awareness for the pilot, especially during periods of reduced visibility or at night. The G1000 features dual 10-inch, high-definition LCD primary flight displays; a 15-inch multifunction display; an integrated flight guidance system; as well as IFR-approved WAAS GPS, weather radar and VHF navcom receivers. Electronic charts, XM weather and an EICAS (engine instruments and crew alerting system) are all integrated into the G1000’s displays.

“We chose Elliott Aviation for this installation based on their experience installing the G1000 in King Airs and their reputation for avionics expertise,” said Gordon Markle, chief pilot for Louisiana-based Grand Air, which owns the newly retrofitted B200. “Installing the G1000 cockpit will not only make flying safer but also will extend the life of this airframe and help us get the most out of our investment,” he said.

Last year, Elliott became one of the first authorized dealers to install the G1000 in a King Air C90B. According to Justin McDermott, the company’s director of marketing, it has installed more of theall-glass cockpits in King Airs than any other dealer. It carries approvals from both European and U.S. authorities.

Elliott has recently prepared three aircraft to European standards for export, and views this as an area in which it would like to increase its exposure. Through its aircraft sales and acquisitions department, the company can help overseas customers locate and purchase U.S. aircraft at a fair market price and then customize them for European operation, the company said.

“Typically, when somebody buys an airplane, they’ll do modifications to the airplane at that time in terms of upgrading the avionics, doing the paint or the interior, or adding optional equipment,” Dennis Murphy, Elliott’s director of international aircraft sales and acquisitions told EBACE Convention News. “We can do the whole thing from start to finish.”

One aircraft that has seen difficulties with European export is the Beechjet 400A, most of which were originally sold for domestic operations, creating a situation Elliott hopes to remedy. “For the Beechjet, currently there is nobody who has an STC to install a digital flight data recorder for export,” said Murphy.

“There are a bunch of [pre-owned] Beechjets for sale in the U.S. that can’t be exported [to Europe] because that [flight data recorder] is required and nobody has the EASA approval to put it in, so we are in the process of developing that STC right now,” he said. The company expects to have its STC completed by early summer.

“In products like the G1000 for the King Airs and the digital flight data recorder for the Beechjets, we use our technical expertise and our engineering expertise to offer solutions for these customers, so they can buy these U.S.-registered aircraft and get them into the EASA countries,” said McDermott.