Touted as an industry first, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has given Honeywell the same authority to update its synthetic-vision system (SVS) database as it allows for updates of the company’s navigation database.
In the fallout from the failed merger of General Electric and Honeywell, Honeywell’s board of directors last month huddled to contemplate whether the company has a legal case against GE for failing to use “reasonable best efforts” to win approval for the proposed deal in Europe.
Seeking to establish a firmer foothold in the avionics retrofit market, Meggitt last month introduced a new digital flight control system for older turboprops. Developed as part of a broader collaborative effort with subsidiary S-TEC in Mineral Wells, Texas, the new Magic 2100 DFCS is intended for operators of Twin Commanders, King Airs and Cessna Conquests equipped with aging autopilots no longer supported by OEMs.
Manufacturers will deliver almost 13,000 new business aircraft worth $233 billion in the 2008 to 2017 period, according to pundits at Honeywell Aerospace. The U.S. group’s 16th ten-year forecast since 1987 logged 2007 as the fourth straight year of industry expansion.
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.
“There are definite signs the market is improving. We’re starting to see aircraft sales pick up at the broker level and we’re holding our own in the market, at least in the first quarter of this year, and we’re hoping it will continue in the second quarter,” James Donlan told AIN.
The first fully synchronized triplex FMS for business aviation made its maiden flight on the prototype Gulfstream V-SP late last month, said Honeywell. According to the avionics maker, the triplex FMS provides increased reliability and safety and reduces pilot workload. The system is part of the GV-SP PlaneView cockpit, featuring Honeywell’s Primus Epic integrated avionics.
Pilots can now receive free up-to-date weather information in the cockpit following FAA approval for VHF datalink Mode 2 (VDL-2) avionics and datalink flight information services (FISDL). Crews can receive text messages, including routine and special weather reports, TAFs and Pireps using VDL-2 at no cost. Graphics such as Nexrad maps will also be available through subscriptions.
Rockwell Collins received certification for a retrofit of its Pro Line 21 avionics suite in the Challenger 601. The installation features four 8- by 10-in. displays, an integrated flight control system, triple FMS, attitude heading reference system, TCAS, turbulence-detection weather radar and radio sensors. According to Collins, the retrofit reduces aircraft empty weight by 325 lb.
Honeywell will supply the integrated avionics systems for Gulfstream’s newest business jets, the G300 and G500. In the G500, essentially an improved derivative of the GV, Honeywell is designing a four-display Primus Epic PlaneView cockpit similar to the integrated system now flying in the G550 (see photo below).