About 30 TAG Aviation pilots have made the switch from paper to electrons, replacing the Jeppesen approach chart binders in their business jet cockpits with small, lightweight Fujitsu touch-screen computers.
As business on a global scale reaches unprecedented levels, more business aircraft customers are demanding that their office in the sky offer the same capability as their office on the ground.
What began as a clever idea by two former Eclipse Aviation engineers culminated last month with TSO approval for Aspen Avionics’ Evolution Pilot and Pro primary flight displays. Shipments of the EFD1000 Pilot product started on March 31, and will be followed this month by the market introduction of the Pro version.
Nearly two out of three pilots do not believe guns should be carried in the cockpit, according to an informal survey done recently by NBAA. At last count, nearly 55 respondents shot down the idea for various reasons–ranging from the risk of critically damaging the aircraft to accidentally shooting an innocent person. About 20 respondents thought it was a good idea (although just one admitted to currently carrying guns in the cockpit).
Whenever a manufacturer develops a new airplane, engineers have the opportunity to incorporate new technology into the design. With the large-cabin Columbus, Cessna engineers didn’t opt for a composite airframe or an all-electric systems architecture, but they have chosen an innovative approach to fly-by-wire flight controls.
On a cold and blustery Sunday night last month the high-pitched whine of a Gulfstream G450 cut the air above Vermont’s Mount Snow ski resort. The sound must have surprised anyone who heard it. After all, this wasn’t Aspen or Jackson Hole.
The single-engine turboprop TBM 850 is now available with an upgraded cockpit, based on the Garmin G1000 avionics suite, the French manufacturer announced in January. The rationalized information display stands to improve pilots’ situational awareness. Now the panel of the TBM 850 looks like that of the Cessna Citation Mustang very light jet, which is also based on the G1000, but Socata has customized the system to its six-seater.
Howell Instruments (Booth No. 214) is showing a working mockup of an instrument panel upgrade it is preparing to bring to older U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawks. The Fort Worth, Texas company plans to offer a kit priced at $300,000 that will provide a form-and-fit replacement of existing electromechanical instrumentation with flat-panel multifunction display (MFD) and digital databus capabilities.
CMC Electronics is displaying its TacView portable mission display for the first time, here at the Singapore Airshow. In October 2007 the U.S. Air Force chose TacView was chosen for its AC-130 gunships. Measuring five by seven inches, the touch-sensitive display can serve many functions, including targeting imagery, moving maps, checklists and approach charts. It is small enough to mount in virtually any cockpit, and it has a knee-pad option.
A twin turboprop trainer can’t hope to fully replicate an F-16 fighter, but rookie pilots with the Republic of Singapore Air Force will quickly get a feel for the complex systems and information management tasks they will ultimately face through the advanced visual systems of the Pilatus PC-21s they will soon be using.