American Capital today sold its entire stake in Vero Beach, Fla.-based Piper Aircraft to Imprimis, a corporate finance and investment management firm that operates from offices in Bangkok, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam. The new owners have pledged to keep Piper’s headquarters, production and product development facilities in Vero Beach.
Despite some stiff economic headwinds, avionics manufacturers attending last month’s Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) Convention in Grapevine, Texas, showed their resilience by introducing more than 30 new products for the cockpit
Piper Aircraft has achieved FAA certification for the Garmin G1000 avionics system aboard the Meridian six-place single-engine turboprop, an airplane originally certified with the Meggitt Magic EFIS and later upgraded to the Avidyne Entegra cockpit. The list price for a new Meridian with the Garmin cockpit is $2.071 million versus $2.021 million for the airplane with the Entegra suite.
Cessna Aircraft on April 21 received FAA certification for Garmin’s Synthetic Vision Technology for the Citation Mustang. The Garmin G1000 SVT gives pilots a simulated 3-D graphical representation of the surrounding terrain and displays the aircraft’s position in an enhanced topographical database.
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.
Garmin last month received the FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) to allow installations of the G1000 avionics system in the King Air 200 and B200.
“We’ve gone to great lengths to make sure customers who upgrade to this panel have the same leading-edge technologies they would find in a jet, while also enjoying the utility and affordability of their King Air,” said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s vice president of marketing.
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.
It didn’t take long for competitors to introduce synthetic-vision system (SVS) avionics enhancements after Garmin last spring removed the cloak of secrecy from its long-anticipated synthetic-vision technology (SVT) upgrade for the G1000 avionics system.
Christmas came early for Embraer. The Brazilian manufacturer’s first clean-sheet business aircraft, the Phenom 100 light jet, was certified on December 9 by the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil of Brazil and three days later by the FAA, bringing Embraer a step closer to its goal of becoming “a major player” in the business aviation market.