For most pilots, the attention-grabbing feature of the newest entries in the small-aircraft general aviation market, such as the Cirrus SR22, is probably their large-format cockpit displays. They’re colorful, bold and big, and they offer capabilities undreamed of in this class of aircraft even two or three years ago.
Aviation International News » October 2003
Bringing datalink weather information into the cockpit has never been easier or more affordable. A variety of newly available low-cost terrestrial and satellite uplink services are allowing buyers of relatively inexpensive cockpit multifunction displays to add special receivers and antennas and gain access to continuously updated terminal reports, forecasts, winds aloft, sigmets, airmets and Nexrad radar images.
In a September 9 report to the FAA Administrator, the DOT’s inspector general called upon the agency “to reevaluate the costs of Stars [the standard terminal automation and replacement system] and consider other alternatives.”
With only about 15 months left to go before the start of domestic reduced vertical separation minimums (DRVSM) in the U.S., the clock is ticking for business jet and turboprop operators that have yet to schedule an appointment with their local service center for needed upgrades.
At the World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) trade show in Seattle last month, EMS Technologies introduced a so-called cabin network Xcelerator, billed as a wide-area network optimization device for use with EMS’s family of high-speed satcom data products. The bandwidth expansion of the CNX, claimed EMS Technologies, can increase communication throughput by up to 400 percent.
Rockwell Collins has demonstrated its VHF-920A data transceiver and CMU-900 communication management unit, the key pieces of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa avionics manufacturer’s Nexcom VDL Mode 3 radio package. The demonstration occurred at the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, N.J., where pilots broadcast messages using simultaneous VDL Mode 3 digital voice and data, as well as enhanced voice features of Mode 3.
Rockwell Collins has upgraded the operating software for the Airshow Network news and information service. The new network protocol, Version P4, improves Airshow Network’s overall connectivity and works over the AirCell onboard telephone network.
Based on a poll of corporate pilots conducted over the last several weeks by Max-Viz of Portland, Ore., the manufacturer of enhanced-vision systems (EVS) has put together a list of the 10 most challenging approaches in America.
The addition of a signal splitter to the forward-looking infrared camera system in the nose of the Gulfstream V now allows operators to add a small video display in the cockpit showing the same enhanced vision system (EVS) image the pilot sees through the HUD. Intended for use by the copilot as an aid to situational awareness, the optional equipment includes a 5.6-inch Rosen LCD and is priced at $24,000.
On September 16 Bell Helicopter Textron officially filed its intent to appeal the dismissal of a lawsuit the OEM had filed against Able Engineering and Component Services, a Phoenix component overhaul facility. The U.S. District Court Western District of Washington at Seattle dismissed the suit August 15.