The FAA’s recent rule prohibiting the personal use of electronic devices in the cockpit applies only to Part 121 carriers, although the NTSB would like to see the rule extended to cover Part 135 and Part 91K operators. AIN recently surveyed readers for their insights about the distractions that challenge them–and the answers were surprising. We received 112 responses to our four questions. While the informal survey yielded a relatively small number of responses, the answers pilots gave about their experiences with distractions are illuminating.
In January, Honeywell opened the doors of its advanced-technology facility in Deer Valley, Ariz., and shared details of what its engineers and scientists are exploring for possible use in future aircraft programs. These included tests on touchscreen controls, gesture-based avionics manipulation, haptic feedback devices, voice controls and even transcranial neural sensing.
Few of these human-machine interfaces will appear in any cockpits soon, but Honeywell’s experts are exploring new avenues toward making aircraft safer and more efficient.
If it isn’t blindingly obvious already that Cessna has made a huge shift to Garmin avionics in its lineup of business jets, then the addition of the G3000 flight deck to the Citation CJ2+ is yet another indicator of where the company is headed. The G3000 upgrade for the CJ2+ is part of a new package, called the Alpine edition, that is not an option for new jets coming off the assembly line in Wichita but is available only as a retrofit. Cessna has also switched the CJ3 to the G3000 system in the new CJ3+, but this is for new jets, not retrofits.
Avionics manufacturer Dynon has developed “The New SkyView,” a touchscreen-controlled integrated avionics system with touch-control primary and multifunction displays. “We’ve been keeping it a secret for quite a while,” said Dynon marketing manager Michael Schofield. The new SkyView Touch displays begin delivering in April, he said, and by the end of July when EAA AirVenture Oshkosh opens, he expects a number of experimental aircraft to be equipped with New SkyView systems, which also includes two new knob control panels and a major software upgrade for all SkyView systems.
DAC International has received FAA parts manufacturer approval (PMA) for its electronic flight bag system, comprising the receiver processor unit, display and tray assemblies.
The Citation CJ3 is the latest member of Cessna’s CJ series to be upgraded with the Garmin G3000 avionics system, following the M2 (née CJ1) and CJ2+. The CJ3+’s new avionics include improved turbulence-detecting weather radar, Tcas II, advanced Taws, a wireless media server, Garmin integrated cockpit and cabin Iridium phone and Aircell high-speed Internet system, as well as ADS-B capabilities. Besides the new glass cockpit, the CJ3+ also has an all-new interior with a redesigned cabin and cockpit and new pressurization and diagnostics systems.
Aspen Avionics is extending its reach further into the general aviation market with a new VFR version of its primary flight display (PFD) glass panel retrofit product. Retailing for $4,995 (plus installation), the VFR 1000 PFD offers owners of older aircraft a way to add a single glass panel that replaces the traditional six-pack instruments, then later add additional capabilities, which are available as software upgrades. “This is tailored for the VFR pilot,” said John Uczekaj, Aspen president and CEO.
Flight Display Systems (Booth 700), based in Alpharetta, Ga., is showcasing six new products at the AEA gathering this year. Smart Cabin CMS combines control of cabin management, in-flight entertainment and wireless connectivity, allowing passengers to use their own personal electronic device to control HD video equipment, cabin lighting, audio and more.
The merging of glass cockpit technology to legacy Enstrom (Booth No. 8822) helicopters moved closer to reality this week, with Aspen STC announcing the completion of flight testing toward FAA supplemental type certificate approval to install the Aspen Avionics Evolution EFD1000H primary flight display (PFD) and EFD500H/1000H multifunction display (MFD) on current and future Enstrom models.
Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services, North America, a subsidiary of Vector Aerospace (Booth No. 5906), has brought a custom-modified integrated cockpit for display at Heli-Expo 2014. The cockpit consists of two Sagem 10-inch multifunction displays (MFDs) and two Sagem 10-inch primary flight displays (PFDs) for right or left seat operations. It is part of Vector Aerospace’s Bell Huey UH-1H (civilian Bell 205A) upgrade program.
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