Enhanced security and improved data acquisition are prime concerns of today’s business aviation community, subjects Universal Weather and Aviation of Houston seeks to address with two new programs.
A business is an institution when one of a city’s major thoroughfares and one of its fine hotels bears its name. That’s the way it is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Collins Road runs near the Collins Plaza Hotel. There, in 1933, hometown boy Arthur Collins began the Collins Radio Co.
The Aircraft Electronics Association’s annual convention, held April 23 through 26 near Washington, D.C., served as a bustling venue for more than two dozen new-product introductions, many of them geared toward satisfying the entertainment and communications needs of passengers.
A Challenger 601 equipped with the Pro Line 21 Continuum avionics system from Rockwell Collins has completed initial flight tests, said the company. Certification of the package is expected in the next few months and will bring to eight the total number of Continuum development programs for business jets. The Challenger 601 installation features four 8- by 10-in.
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.