Socata plans to equip all new TBM 700 turboprops and Trinidad piston singles with Honeywell Bendix/King flight information service (FIS) hardware, bringing real-time graphic and text weather information to the cockpits of equipped airplanes for any destination in the U.S. According to Dan Barks, director of general aviation marketing for Honeywell, FIS will be a significant factor in improving general aviation safety.
Rockwell Collins last month began operating as a stand-alone company following its successful spin-off on June 29 from former parent Rockwell International, now renamed Rockwell Automation.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.