Elliott Aviation Preparing To Retrofit Beechjet with G5000 Panel
With the announcement that Garmin plans to certify a G5000 flight deck in the Beechjet 400A and Hawker 400XP, Elliott Aviation is demonstrating the system in a mockup at its NBAA booth (No. C8143). Elliott Aviation has already completed 100 King Air G1000 retrofits and sees the G5000 program as a way to allow Beechjet operators to keep flying their jets indefinitely.
Garmin expects to receive the Beechjet G5000 supplemental type certificate (STC) in 2015, and the base package (without options) should sell for about $450,000 to $500,000, according to Garmin.
The G5000 retrofit will replace the Beechjet’s original Rockwell Collins Pro Line 4 system. According to Mark Wilken, Elliott director of avionics sales, “it really does clean up the panel.” The weight savings removes 200 to 250 pounds from the nose of the Beechjet, he added. “This airplane has always been a little nose heavy. Pilots would always keep some fuel in the fuselage [tank] to offset that.” The weight savings amounts to being able to carry an extra passenger. And Elliott is looking into a modification to turn the nose area into baggage space, according to Wilken.
In the cockpit, the most dramatic change is replacing the Rockwell Collins flight management systems with two Garmin touch-screen controllers, mounted in the same spot in the pedestal. Three 12-inch Garmin displays in landscape orientation deliver a lot more information compared to the Pro Line 4 portrait displays, and pilots can set up multiple panes and select what is displayed in each pane. Engine instrumentation is incorporated into the G5000 displays, cleaning up the panel considerably. Some instruments are retained, however, including the fuel quantity, hydraulic pressure and pressurization system gauges. Under the center MFD is a Mid-Continent Instruments standby attitude module.
The base G5000 retrofit will include Garmin’s fully digital, dual-channel, fail-passive automatic flight control system, which provides coupled WAAS/SBAS approaches, vertical navigation and flight-level change capability. Taws-B, Doppler weather radar and geo-referenced Garmin FliteCharts and SafeTaxi charts are also included. Options include synthetic vision, ADS-B and Garmin traffic advisory system or Tcas I/II traffic solutions. RVSM is supported by the upgrade, too.
The G5000 for the Beechjet will be Garmin’s first retrofit package for the system, which is flying now in several jets that are due to be certified shortly, including the Learjet 70/75 and the new versions of the Cessna Sovereign and Citation X.
“As a Beechjet authorized service center, we’re thrilled to be able to offer solutions for aging Beechjets,” said Wilken. “We’ve seen the success of the G1000 program and what it can do for an airframe with older avionics.”