With the award last summer of a $160 million contract to provide avionics for the U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender aerial refueling tanker, Rockwell Collins (Booth Q79) became the primary avionics supplier for all USAF tankers. The U.S. manufacturer recently completed a fleetwide update of systems on the KC-135 Stratotanker, and will provide flight deck displays and other systems on its replacement, the KC-46A.
Flight management system
With demonstrated benefits of reducing track miles, mitigating noise and lowering fuel burn and emissions, performance-based navigation (PBN) procedures are being adopted on a worldwide basis. But 15 years after Alaska Airlines flew the first procedures, widespread implementation of PBN is uneven and its benefits largely unrealized.
Rockwell Collins provided AIN with more details of the avionics for the Brazilian KC-390 military transport. The avionics company believes that Embraer’s recent choice represents a strategic win, since it is the first military application of the Pro Line Fusion suite.
Despite all the fits and starts, NextGen in the U.S. will eventually affect business aircraft operators, although perhaps not on the schedule that the FAA currently espouses. It is not too soon to start considering the impact of NextGen on business aviation and how it will drive equipment requirements.
At this year’s Paris Air Show, Esterline CMC Electronics (Hall 5 Stand 242) is showing, for the first time, the Cockpit 9000 avionics suite selected as an upgrade for Lockheed Martin C-130 cockpits.
Flight testing of the A400M airlifter is on track, and Airbus Military expects civil type certification (TC) by the end of the year, according to the new head of the program, Cedric Gautier. The four development aircraft have now logged more than 1,600 flight hours and will be joined by a fifth next October, which will be in production configuration.
Honeywell’s latest version of its Primus Apex integrated flight deck–Build 7–offers new functions and options for operators, which the company demonstrated at EBACE in a flight on a Pilatus PC-12NG, one of the aircraft models featuring the avionics suite. The Primus Apex is a derivative of the Primus Epic fight deck that Morristown, New Jersey-based Honeywell developed for large cabin business jets, optimized for single-pilot operations.
GE Aviation published its second “public-use” required navigation performance (RNP) approach procedure in the U.S., now available for operations into Deadhorse Airport, Alaska. The company is developing a third public-use RNP procedure at Dallas Love Field as part of an air traffic management trial there.
The recent switching on of Europe’s Egnos satellite-based augmentation system is great news for flight management system (FMS) manufacturers like Universal Avionics Systems. “With Egnos being turned on officially,” said Dan Reida, Universal vice president of marketing, “we hope to start seeing a stronger interest in space-based augmented FMS. We look forward to implementation of more approaches [in Europe].”
Jet Aviation St. Louis (formerly Midcoast Aviation) has completed the first wide-area augmentation system (Waas) FMS installation in a Dassault Falcon 2000, and it did it under a basic FAA field approval rather than obtaining a full supplemental type certificate (STC).