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).
The FAA is planning to issue an AD to address what it says are potential safety hazards with the popular Garmin GNS 430 combination GPS/navcom. The agency said external electrical noise from autopilots and other cockpit systems could cause the electronic CDI/HSI in the unit to display inaccurate course deviations.
The maiden flight of Bombardier’s super-midsize Continental on August 14 marked the debut of a reconfigured version of Rockwell Collins’ Pro Line 21 integrated avionics system with large-format active-matrix displays. The Continental’s flight-deck layout includes four 12- by 10-in. liquid crystal flight displays, consolidated control panels, TCAS II and terrain awareness warning system as standard equipment.
Honeywell Aerospace president and CEO Robert Johnson, speaking to the Society of Automotive Engineers World Aviation Congress early last month in Phoenix, said inefficiencies in the National Airspace System are costing billions of dollars annually. He cited an FAA report that puts the cost to the U.S.
It may be easier to list what is not included in this avionics package for Cessna Caravan turboprop singles from J.A. Air Center, based at DuPage Airport (DPA) in West Chicago, Ill. The stack is topped with Garmin equipment, including the GMA 340 audio panel with marker beacon receiver and intercom, a pair of GNS 530 integrated nav/com/GPS/color maps and dual GTX 327 digital transponders.
There have been a lot of winners in the historic cycle of mergers and acquisitions in the aviation industry. Unfortunately, customers haven’t always been among them.
Having secured solid footing in GA markets, Garmin announced it is introducing a new 16-watt com version of its GNC 420, GNS 430 and GNS 530 moving-map navcoms, now designated as “A” models. The new configuration will allow the units to transmit and receive at higher altitudes, a feature Garmin expects to entice more buyers from the corporate ranks.
At last month’s NBAA Convention Honeywell unveiled a new service called ePaxx, which it said has been developed to provide business jet passengers with quick access to e-mail, news, stock quotes and moving maps, even in aircraft that do not have high-speed data connections to the Internet. The new service, said the company, is available for any aircraft that has an airborne telephone and 115-volt, 60-Hz power.