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.
Makers of terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS)–mandated safety avionics that the FAA says must be installed in most turbine-powered airplanes by March 2005–have started to fight back against a Honeywell lawsuit alleging infringement of patents relating to the original TAWS: the Phoenix company’s Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS).
As the market for terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) heats up, manufacturers are adjusting prices downward to compete against one another. The latest to announce a price drop was Sandel Avionics of Vista, Calif., which is now selling its class-B ST3400 TAWS/RMI for less than $20,000. The 3-ATI unit is a self-contained TAWS with an integrated RMI.
Garmin has tossed its hat into the terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) ring, announcing at EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., last month that a class-B product is in the works and will be offered to buyers of Garmin 500-series avionics “within a year.”
Honeywell last month filed a second patent infringement law-
suit, this time against Phoenix-based Aviation Communications & Surveillance Systems (ACSS), alleging that the company’s forthcoming terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) uses technology protected under patents filed by Honeywell in 1996 with the introduction of the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS).
Tucson, Ariz.-based Universal Avionics announced receipt of a TSO certifying the company’s Universal Cockpit Display, a handheld tablet computer with an 8.4-in. touchscreen. At a list price of $33,500, the handheld device is more expensive than other electronic flight bags (EFB) on the market, but it has the advantage of interfacing directly with the airplane’s FMS.
Mobile Connect is the name of a new direct-dialing service for business aircraft passengers from Stratos Aeronautical Services of the UK and Honeywell. The service provides each customer with a personal telephone and fax number that never changes regardless of which corporate aircraft they are in at the time.
Eclipse Aviation this afternoon revealed another major change to the Avio NG avionics suite for the Eclipse 500, announcing the addition of two panel-mount, WAAS-capable Garmin GPS 400W receivers to bring GPS navigation capability to the very light jet. Certification of the upgrade for Avio NG system, itself an upgrade from the original Avio avionics, is expected by June, with production cut-in planned for the third quarter.
Rival avionics manufacturers are about to get their day in court. Jury selection in the patent trial involving Honeywell and competing makers of terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) began October 31 in Wilmington, Del., and will be followed by opening arguments in the case starting on November 3.