Flight management systems have never been considered simple pieces of equipment, but the technology is quickly evolving beyond basic navigation and performance functionality to include a host of new capabilities that hold the promise of changing the way pilots fly for the better.
Flight management system
Avidyne is close to certifying its latest avionics system, known as Entegra Release 9 and featuring high-resolution displays and the company’s next- generation FMS900w flight management system. The new cockpit will be available initially as an upgrade for Cirrus owners, with retrofit and OEM programs for other airplanes to follow.
Eurocontrol might ask the European Commission to use some of the money expected to be saved by the planned decommissioning of VOR and NDB beacons to sponsor the development of avionics that would enable general aviation aircraft to operate in the sort of controlled airspace envisioned by the single European sky air traffic management (ATM) research (Sesar) program.
In the next few years, CMC Electronics, Canada’s largest avionics maker and an important player in a number of niche markets, plans to develop an integrated avionics system for business jets that will pit the company directly against industry heavyweights Honeywell and Rockwell Collins.
For most flight department managers, the thought of navigating the maze of FAA rules to fly required navigation performance (RNP) approach procedures is enough to stop them dead in their tracks.
French-based Thales today announced the success of the first power-on ground test of its new avionics suite for the ATR -600 series, after 14 months of collaboration with the regional turboprop manufacturer. Under an integrated modular avionics architecture, the new flight deck uses AFDX (avionics full duplex switched ethernet) communication networks.
Gulfstream said it has completed a full future air navigation system (Fans) flight across the Atlantic Ocean using controller-pilot datalink communication with automatic dependent surveillance (CPDLC/ADS).
The flight was the first of its kind for a purpose-built business jet. The CPDLC/ADS datalink provides flight crews with direct communication to oceanic and remote-area air traffic controllers.
What’s up with WAAS? That’s the question countless business jet pilots have been asking since the FAA announced plans to publish thousands of WAAS LPV (lateral precision with vertical guidance) approaches at U.S. airports while simultaneously making it difficult–or in some cases impossible–for operators to gain approval to fly the procedures.
The launch of the super-midsize Gulfstream G250 in October added yet another program to the growing list of contract wins for the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics system, an advanced cockpit now under development by the U.S. firm that is due to start appearing on the flight decks of new airplanes in 2011.
Honeywell announced flight management system software upgrades for its FMZ-2000 and Primus Epic systems that will provide advanced GPS-enabled route and approach capabilities, including access to congested airspace and oceanic airways. The Version 6.1 FMS software upgrade will apply to aircraft with the FMZ-2000, while Version 7.1 enhances the Primus Epic suite.