With all the recent talk about glass cockpits migrating to light airplanes, it has been an exciting 12 months not only for GA pilots and aviation enthusiasts, but also for avionics installers. The Aircraft Electronics Association’s annual convention was awash in news and unconfirmed talk of new products from the major avionics manufacturers, with much of the attention focused on Garmin and Avidyne, makers of low-end glass cockpits.
Honeywell and Meggitt Avionics are partnering to certify an avionics upgrade package for the King Air C90. The standard retrofit package will comprise a Bendix/King three-axis KFC 250 flight control system and Meggitt’s Magic EFIS, which includes an air data/attitude and heading reference system and primary flight and navigational displays. The price is expected to be $125,000 plus installation.
Acrohelipro and Carson helicopters are outfitting the first two of Carson’s Sikorsky S-61 fleet with Sagem Avionics’ integrated cockpit display system retrofit. Carson will retrofit 10 S-61s over the next two-and-a-half years. The refit includes five 10-inch cockpit displays, comprising two primary flight displays, two multifunction displays and one caution advisory panel for CAS messages.
Garmin International (Booth No. 7619) scored a trifecta at NBAA’07, with three aircraft manufacturers– Cessna, Piper and Socata–announcing selection of G1000 avionics suites. Cessna Aircraft announced on Monday that it is adopting the G1000 as standard equipment in the Caravan single-engine turboprop, available in the first half of next year for all Caravan models.
After years of quiet development, L-3 Avionics Systems formally dropped the veil on its SmartDeck integrated avionics system at the NBAA Convention last month. The launch customer for the cockpit is Cirrus, which has selected SmartDeck for its single-engine personal jet.
Amid much fanfare, L-3 Communications this morning introduced its SmartDeck Integrated Flight Controls and Display System at the NBAA Convention in Atlanta. “SmartDeck avionics elevate aircraft and pilot performance,” L-3 Avionics Systems president Adrienne Stevens said.
For an avionics maker striving to create a truly intuitive integrated flight deck, there are worse places to look for inspiration than Apple.
In the three years since Garmin introduced the G1000 integrated avionics suite, the Olathe, Kan. avionics maker’s system has largely dominated the glass-cockpit market for general aviation pistons, turboprops and very light jets. Adding to this success, the company yesterday announced more applications for its popular G1000 suite–as standard equipment on production Cessna Caravans and as a retrofit for King Air 200s and B200s.
Each year, NBAA recognizes the top aviation maintenance and avionics technicians with good safety records who work for member companies. Maintaining corporate aircraft or avionics for three accident-free years is the minimum requirement for an NBAA Safety Award but the actual number of years for many of the technicians adds up to four decades or more.
Instrument manufacturer Aerosonic of Clearwater, Fla., announced yesterday that it bought Op Technologies, a Beaverton, Ore. manufacturer of glass cockpit avionics suites primarily for the light sport and experimental aircraft market. “It fits perfectly,” said Aerosonic executive vice president Mark Perkins, “because we were headed down the path of developing our own glass display products.