Makers of terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS)–mandated safety avionics that the FAA says must be installed in most turbine-powered airplanes by March 2005–have started to fight back against a Honeywell lawsuit alleging infringement of patents relating to the original TAWS: the Phoenix company’s Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS).
Ground proximity warning system
As the market for terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) heats up, manufacturers are adjusting prices downward to compete against one another. The latest to announce a price drop was Sandel Avionics of Vista, Calif., which is now selling its class-B ST3400 TAWS/RMI for less than $20,000. The 3-ATI unit is a self-contained TAWS with an integrated RMI.
Garmin has tossed its hat into the terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) ring, announcing at EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., last month that a class-B product is in the works and will be offered to buyers of Garmin 500-series avionics “within a year.”
From now until March 29, 2005, business aircraft operators, including those that fly overseas–even if only occasionally–will be required to have a number of additional, and possibly expensive, avionics and other communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) equipment. This equipment is intended to provide enhanced CNS capabilities for both operators and ATC.
Honeywell last month filed a second patent infringement law-
suit, this time against Phoenix-based Aviation Communications & Surveillance Systems (ACSS), alleging that the company’s forthcoming terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) uses technology protected under patents filed by Honeywell in 1996 with the introduction of the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS).
Honeywell’s patent infringement lawsuit against the makers of terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS), filed on May 10 in U.S. District Court in Delaware, has stirred a hornet’s nest of criticism by top executives from companies named in the suit.
Honeywell introduced two new collision avoidance and ground proximity warning systems intended for light to medium turbines airplanes. Both the KTA 970 TCAS I and KMH 980 TCAS I/Class B TAWS are TSO’d and capable of tracking up to 60 aircraft and displaying as many as 30 aircraft at ranges up to 40 nm. The KTA 970 lists for $25,752 and the KMH 980 lists for $32,992. The new units are designed to interface with standard EFIS and TCAS displays.
An enhancement to Honeywell’s Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) that aids pilots at unfamiliar airports in reduced visibility will be a factory option on most EGPWS-equipped Cessna Citations.
Rival avionics manufacturers are about to get their day in court. Jury selection in the patent trial involving Honeywell and competing makers of terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) began October 31 in Wilmington, Del., and will be followed by opening arguments in the case starting on November 3.
On a cold and blustery Sunday night last month the high-pitched whine of a Gulfstream G450 cut the air above Vermont’s Mount Snow ski resort. The sound must have surprised anyone who heard it. After all, this wasn’t Aspen or Jackson Hole.