Eclipse Aviation yesterday received flight into known icing (FIKI) approval for the Eclipse 500, though in-service and undelivered aircraft up to S/N 265 will require modifications to fly in such conditions.
Although WAAS LPV (lateral precision with vertical guidance) approaches have been popping up at airports around the U.S. at an impressive rate, only a handful of business jets are approved to fly the procedures. That’s because most flight management systems don’t yet support the new type of approach and some airplanes might not be approved to do so without costly upgrades.
Before GPS, approach classifications were cut and dried–they were either precision (ILS) or nonprecision approaches. But as pilots move into the future, they will need, before considering an approach into an “obstacle-rich environment,” to first navigate through an acronym-rich environment of new terminology to decide how to reach the threshold.
Honeywell’s aerospace electronic systems group is beginning the year by unveiling new technology that holds the promise of doing to conventional navcom radios what the personal computer did to electric typewriters.
Rockwell Collins announced the successful completion of microwave landing system (MLS) Category IIIb approach tests in the U.S. and Europe, with the aim of obtaining TSO approval for its multi-mode receiver (MMR) in the first quarter of this year.
To counter the possibility of jammed and “spoofed” signals, the authors of a U.S. Department of Transportation report on GPS vulnerability released on September 10 recommend that GPS not be relied upon as the sole source in critical applications, including precision approaches.
Three senators have written Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta in support of continuing the loran-C navigation system, as recently announced by the DOT, saying the move was long overdue.
Other than the occasional contradiction, the recently released federal radionavigation plan (FRP) reveals few surprises. The FRP does, however, include a revised schedule
for the gradual phaseout of certain VOR, VOR/DME and ILS installations across the continental U.S., primarily following nationwide certification of WAAS. Originally planned to commence in 2008, the phaseout has now slipped to 2011.
In light of last year’s DOT study of the vulnerability of GPS to unintentional interference and intentional jamming, Boeing and Rockwell Collins suggest that loran-C could be a viable backup for GPS. These suggestions will be presented formally at a NASA conference this month.
DOT Secretary Norman Mineta announced last month an action plan aimed at mitigating the vulnerability of GPS to inadvertent interference and deliberate jamming, both of which were disclosed in a September 10 report by the DOT’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Mass.