Rockwell Collins (Booth 3594) is on a mission to remind aircraft operators of looming equipment deadlines. Operators will need to comply with those mandates—among them to equip for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) and FANS 1/A oceanic datalink communications—if they plan to fly efficiently in the future airspace system.
Craig Olson, vice president and general manager of business and regional systems for the avionics manufacturer, said much of his “focus and energy” at this year’s NBAA-BACE concerns ways to further equip the “installed base” of thousands of existing aircraft for the coming operational requirements. Most new airplanes rolling off the production line are forward-fit to comply with these mandates, he noted. It’s the installed base that could clog the pipeline when these older aircraft arrive at maintenance shops for needed retrofits.
In terms of the FAA’s January 2020 mandate to complete installation of ADS-B out systems, for example, only about 15-to-20 percent of the installed aircraft base is equipped, said Olson, citing the government’s estimate.
“Part of what we’re trying to do is help folks understand that this mandate is coming a lot sooner than you realize, and that you want to start planning now in working with your dealers to both satisfy that mandate and at the same time take advantage of other operational enhancements that are being made available to your specific aircraft type,” he said.
Rockwell Collins offers updates or step upgrades of its Pro Line series avionics suites that allow operators to incorporate some or all of the new airspace equipment requirements. These advance from Pro Line 4 to Pro Line 21 for mainly Falcon jets and the Beechjet 400, and from a Pro Line 21 baseline through supplemental type certificates to the full Pro Line Fusion system with touchscreen displays—now available, for example, on King Air C90, 250 and 350 turboprops. The advanced Pro Line Fusion suite incorporates ADS-B, performance-based navigation, required navigation performance, GPS WAAS and other capabilities.
“There are a lot of third-party ADS-B solutions that are being offered in the marketplace right now,” Olson observed. “What I would say to that is that many of those solutions may appear to be more affordable. They are often [offered] in a standalone, federated, bolt-on approach, but they limit your ability to leverage a more integrated introduction of ADS-B, to go beyond ADS-B and look at some of those other things like performance-based nav that take advantage of the GPS hardware that is already on board that airplane.”
Last November at NBAA-BACE in Las Vegas, Rockwell Collins and Duncan Aviation (Booth 3126, static S24) announced their partnership to install Pro Line Fusion as an aftermarket option for the Citation CJ3, with FAA certification expected by early 2017. The upgrade replaces factory-installed portrait displays on the jet with larger 14.1-inch landscape touchscreen primary flight displays.
Duncan Aviation will exhibit the first CJ3 equipped with Pro Line Fusion on static display at Orlando Executive Airport; it has already taken deposits from operators for 15 upgrades, Olson said.