Comprehensive changes for the helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) industry are contained in the U.S. Senate’s proposed FAA authorization legislation. Under the bill, HEMS operators would be required to comply with Part 135 for all flights; however, destination weather reporting would apply only after the FAA determined that reliable and portable technology was available.
Aviation International News » September 2009
Speech-recognition technology has come a long way in the last few years, especially as cellphone makers seek to add voice search capability to their latest Web-enabled smartphones. So maybe it’s not too surprising that the FAA has signed off on a pilot-speech-recognition system that can enter GPS waypoints or victor airways en route simply by hearing them.
The Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics system took to the air aboard a customer airplane for the first time last month, completing a five-hour initial test flight in a Bombardier Global Express XRS that originated at the business jet maker’s Downsview test center in Toronto on August 3.
Aspen Avionics in Albuquerque, N.M., introduced a helicopter version of its Evolution flight display system called the EFD1000H Pro Helicopter PFD. The $15,000 unit includes an LCD attitude indicator with airspeed and altitude tapes, altitude alerter and trend vector, plus a full electronic HSI with dual bearing pointers, moving map and flight plan overlays.
Using the stage at Oshkosh to make several product announcements, Avidyne introduced a lower-priced version of its next-gen flight management system called the FMS400 and rolled out three pricing levels for the Release 9 version of its Entegra integrated avionics system.
Garmin has rolled out a sub-$16,000 avionics system that’s certified for installation in nearly 600 Class I and II Part 23 airplanes (defined as singles and twins weighing less than 6,000 pounds). The Garmin G500 avionics system, introduced at last month’s EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., includes primary and multifunction displays mounted in a single bezel that can slide into the opening previously occupied by an instrument six-pack.
L-3 Avionics Systems said last month that its new Trilogy ESI-1000 electronic standby instrument has received TSO approval and an approved model list STC allowing installations of the product in most light general aviation aircraft. Designed to serve as an all-in-one backup instrument for glass cockpits, Trilogy is touted as the first solid-state electronic standby product for smaller Part 23 airplanes.
Business aircraft passengers are finally getting the chance to sample Aircell’s
in-flight high-speed Internet service as customer airplanes receive the hardware needed for access.
For the first time since AIN has been conducting its annual product support survey, a company that doesn’t start with Gar- and end in -min has claimed the top overall ranking among avionics manufacturers.
Stratos Aircraft is also targeting the four-seat VLJ market, but its entry has one engine, a 3,030-pound-thrust Williams International FJ44-3AP, and more ambitious performance goals, including a 415-knot max cruise, 41,000-foot maximum altitude and 1,500-nm NBAA IFR range (100-nm alternate). Stratos is seeking to raise $12 million to build two flying prototypes and is taking $50,000 refundable and escrowed deposits.