Mercy One helicopter emergency medical services at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, one of the first HEMS operators certified to fly Waas low-level IFR routes, including approaches to local hospitals, recently added a second Waas-capable Bell 429 to its fleet. These IFR routes keep helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft from mixing in IFR airspace. Three of the hospital helipad approaches are Waas-based while another is an approach to a helipad in Stuart, Iowa, that is used as a rendezvous for helicopters and ground ambulances from surrounding counties.
Garmin has added terrain and obstacle overlays to its Garmin Pilot iPad app (Version 5.1), bringing the app one step closer to matching the full capabilities of the company’s portable GPS navigation devices.
Eurocopter demonstrated new automated landing procedures relying on Egnos (Europe’s Waas equivalent) satellite guidance. Part of Europe’s Clean Sky research project, the tests were performed on an EC155 medium twin. They showed significant reductions in the helicopter’s perceived sound footprint, the company said. The noise-abatement flightpaths were compatible with IFR operations and can be tailored to local requirements.
Rockwell Collins and Piaggio announced an upgrade program for the Piaggio Avanti twin turboprop. The program, available from Ruag Aviation, allows operators to upgrade their Pro Line 4 avionics to Pro Line 21. The Pro Line 21 P180 cockpit will be equipped with three or four 10-inch by 8-inch LCDs and Rockwell Collins’s Integrated Flight Information System, plus a new FMS and GPS-4000 that enables Waas LPV and space-based augmentation system with vertical guidance approaches.
If ever there was a Comeback Kid in avionics, it would have to be the FAA’s wide area augmentation system (Waas). Heralded by the agency in 1994 as the future Swiss Army knife of navigation, Waas was going to bring greater accuracy and enhanced reliability to the sometimes unpredictable GPS and, in so doing, promised a new era where satellites would replace not only the nation’s NDBs and VORs, but also the more than 600 Category 1 ILS installations in the National Airspace System at the time. Development would cost more than $300 million, and take about four years.
Start-up aircraft manufacturer Flaris (Hall 4 F16) surprised attendees at the Paris Air Show by displaying a prototype of its heretofore unannounced five-place, single-engine very light jet–dubbed the LAR 01–at its exhibit booth. The aircraft that’s on display (registered as SP-YLE) has already completed low-speed taxi tests and, following the airshow, will soon start high-speed ground testing before making its first flight by year-end, Flaris sales manager Anthony Krol told AIN. EASA and FAA Part 23 certification is expected in late 2015, he said.
Lockheed Martin has chosen CMC Electronics to provide a new flight management system (FMS) and GPS landing sensor for the avionics upgrade package it is producing for the U.S. Navy’s C-130T fleet.
Garmin’s first international dealership and service center in China has been established by ExecuJet Haite Aviation Services at Binhai International Airport in Tianjin. While Garmin has local representatives, ExecuJet Haite is the first “that has set up a dealership and service center for Garmin in China,” according to Garmin. ExecuJet Haite has also applied for Chinese CAAC Part 145 maintenance organization approval. ExecuJet and Garmin already have existing relationships in other parts of the world, the companies noted.
This year’s RAA Convention virtually coincides with the introduction of Tuscon, Arizona-based Universal Avionics’s new FlexPerf trip performance module, on display this week in the Montreal Convention Center. Designed to provide “advanced” fuel savings predictions for aircraft performance during climb, cruise and descent, the system works with Universal’s Waas/SBAS flight management system (FMS) and multi-mission management system (MMMS).
Aspen Avionics is now offering ADS-B solutions for owners of its Evolution PFD and MFD products. There are two ADS-B product lines, one for delivery of ADS-B data from portable receivers to Aspen’s Connected Panel system and another for certified ADS-B solutions that meet the Jan. 1, 2020 ADS-B out mandate.