Fly-by-wire (FBW) flight controls have been commonplace in fighters and Airbus airliners for years, but the technology has remained out of reach for all but a handful of business jet pilots. The notable exception in business aviation is the Airbus Corporate Jetliner, a descendent of the A320, which in 1988 became the first airliner with fly-by-wire controls and sidesticks to enter production.
Eclipse Aviation has submitted a final report to the FAA detailing tests of a pitot/angle-of-attack probe fix for the Eclipse 500 VLJ and expects FAA approval shortly. An Airworthiness Directive (2007-13-11) effective June 27 limits operations to day VFR with two pilots due to a moisture freezing problem that occurred during three test flights.
Avionics manufacturer OP Technologies is about to enter the market for TSO’d avionics in FAA-certified airplanes. After launching its integrated cockpit avionics suite in the experimental aircraft market, OP Technologies is preparing to receive FAA Technical Standard Order (TSO) authorization for its avionics and an FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for installation of the new avionics in the Cirrus SR22.
Aspen Avionics, the small Albuquerque, N.M. start-up firm that made headlines earlier this year after staving off a patent lawsuit filed by Eclipse Aviation, is preparing to break into the big time with a new line of cockpit products scheduled to make their debut later this month at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.
Future versions of Honeywell’s integrated primary flight display (IPFD) might include 3-D airport maps that would give pilots a clear view of the entire airport surface whatever the weather or time of day, the company said. “We are exploring a future functionality expansion for IPFD, and when those features are fully defined we believe it will further increase pilot situational awareness during airport operations,”
Eclipse Aviation president and CEO Vern Raburn acknowledged in a customer/investor update dated June 10 that there is a lengthy wait between delivery of new Eclipse 500 VLJs and pilot training. “Unfortunately,” he wrote, “we did not adequately plan our staffing levels and have thus fallen behind schedule.”
The FAA has issued guidance on altitude and speed constraints in Rnav procedures. In the document, InFO 07011, the agency said that adherence to speed and altitude is especially important when flying Rnav procedures. The agency emphasizes that the phrases “resume normal speed,” “maintain” and “speed your discretion” do not cancel published speed restrictions, but rather those most recently issued by ATC.
Universal Avionics has received an STC for its EFI-890R display retrofit for the Learjet 25. The primary focus of the system is Universal’s synthetic vision, which gives the
pilot a full picture of the terrain ahead with traditional flight director cues. In addition, the system includes electronic weather, Jeppesen charts and terrain awareness and warning. The installation was completed by Stevens Aviation of Nashville, Tenn.
The FAA published a broad final rule last month that incorporates Rnav definitions, clarifies the intent of obstacle departure procedures and modifies definitions to seek consistency with ICAO wording. With this rule, the FAA is amending FAR Part 1.1 to include or amend definitions for decision height, decision altitude and final approach fix.
Northrop Grumman delivered the first production LN-120G GPS-aided stellar-inertial navigation system to the U.S. Air Force last month, to begin the update of the service’s 31 RC-135 Rivet Joint signals intelligence aircraft.