The Aircraft Electronics Association’s annual convention, held April 23 through 26 near Washington, D.C., served as a bustling venue for more than two dozen new-product introductions, many of them geared toward satisfying the entertainment and communications needs of passengers.
The idea seems simple enough: give operators of aging business jets the opportunity to remove all of their old round gauges or cockpit CRT screens and replace them with modern liquid-crystal glass displays and they would likely jump at the chance for a complete front-office makeover.
L-3 Avionics late last week received TSO and STC approvals from the FAA for its SmartDeck integrated avionics system. The STC was awarded for the Cirrus SR22 G2, and L-3 Avionics said it will offer the STC through authorized dealers for retrofit. According to L-3, SmartDeck includes a display dedicated to flight plan management and communication information, as well as multifunction and primary flight displays.
Avidyne’s FlightMax multifunction displays will soon be able to receive text and graphic weather information, transmitted to the airplane through the Orbcomm low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. Using the Flightmax DX50 datalink receiver, the service will deliver weather information to the cockpit using a bidirectional request/reply system that interfaces with any FlightMax display.
Cirrus Design yesterday announced it has partnered with Garmin on a “high-end” cockpit upgrade for the SR22-G3 called Cirrus Perspective. Featuring Garmin’s G1000 synthetic-vision technology, GFC700 autopilot and a control panel designed specially for the Cirrus piston-single, the Perspective cockpit will be available to buyers starting on June 3 at a price of $48,000.
An ad that carmaker Audi began running on radio stations in select cities last month proclaims that the German company’s automobiles “now feature the same technology as jet aircraft.” While that claim may straddle the border between fact and embellishment, later this decade Audi cars and jets may indeed share the same electronics.
Hoping to duplicate the success of in-flight datalink weather services that have exploded in the U.S., Avidyne (Booth No. 563) is introducing an Iridium-based satellite data transceiver that will deliver weather graphics and text to pilots flying in Europe.
Would-be business jet OEM Spectrum Aeronautical (Booth No. 1947) of Carlsbad, California, announced the selection of Honeywell’s Primus Apex integrated avionics system for its all-composite S-40 Freedom midsize jet. Company president Austin Blue said Apex was chosen for the S-40 because it is a reliable and mature product that offers “best in class” functionality, in addition to Honeywell’s established international support capability.
Advancements in the consumer electronics industry are making their way into cockpits of business aircraft. High resolution flat-panel displays, synthetic-vision systems, flight-management systems with integrated situation awareness capabilities, GPS receivers, high-speed computing and mass data storage are all becoming common upgrades in many corporate and general aviation aircraft.
Carlsbad, Calif.-based Spectrum Aeronautical yesterday announced that it selected the Honeywell Primus Apex integrated avionics suite for the all-composite S-40 Freedom midsize business jet it is developing.