Universal Avionics of Tucson, Ariz., has been quietly strengthening its foothold in the cockpit retrofit market, branching out with a variety of available upgrades based on the company’s flat-panel display technology.
Electronic Flight Instrument System
Recent improvements and upgrades to the software that drives Chelton’s FlightLogic synthetic-vision EFIS have been keeping the company’s R&D engineering staff almost as busy as it was in the months leading to certification of the avionics system.
With all the recent talk about glass cockpits migrating to light airplanes, it has been an exciting 12 months not only for GA pilots and aviation enthusiasts, but also for avionics installers. The Aircraft Electronics Association’s annual convention was awash in news and unconfirmed talk of new products from the major avionics manufacturers, with much of the attention focused on Garmin and Avidyne, makers of low-end glass cockpits.
Honeywell and Meggitt Avionics are partnering to certify an avionics upgrade package for the King Air C90. The standard retrofit package will comprise a Bendix/King three-axis KFC 250 flight control system and Meggitt’s Magic EFIS, which includes an air data/attitude and heading reference system and primary flight and navigational displays. The price is expected to be $125,000 plus installation.
Garmin International (Booth No. 7619) scored a trifecta at NBAA’07, with three aircraft manufacturers– Cessna, Piper and Socata–announcing selection of G1000 avionics suites. Cessna Aircraft announced on Monday that it is adopting the G1000 as standard equipment in the Caravan single-engine turboprop, available in the first half of next year for all Caravan models.
In a first for an avionics installer, Duncan Aviation has certified and installed the Universal Avionics EFI-890R retrofit cockpit system in a customer Challenger 600. Part of Duncan’s so-called Glass Box Project–which seeks to pair appropriate avionics upgrade hardware with various business airplanes–the Challenger cockpit features four 8- by 9-inch LCD flight displays and a 4- by 6-inch MFD-640 multifunction display.
Bell Helicopter selected Chelton Flight Systems to provide a glass cockpit for the company’s light single-engine helicopters. The Chelton cockpit will be available from Bell for the Model 407 beginning in the first quarter of 2007. Until then, Bell 407, 206 and 210 owners can upgrade their existing aircraft to synthetic vision through Bell installation facilities or Chelton’s dealer network.
Sikorsky plans to make Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning Systems (EGPWS) standard equipment on all future production S-76s and S-92s. A Sikor-sky and Honeywell team originally developed EGPWS for helicopter applications using the S-76, and after FAA approval in 2001 it was listed as an option for the model.
The Cessna Citation 501 has served nobly in a variety of roles over the course of the last three decades. A smooth-flying machine with decent range and single-pilot simplicity, the 501 (also known as the Citation I/SP) already holds a hallowed place in business aviation history as one of the original entry-level jets.
Close to 100 Falcon 900s are the subject of an Airworthiness Directive requiring revisions to the “abnormal procedures” section of the airplane flight manual and an update of EFIS symbol generators.