The benefits of synthetic vision are available for operators of the Pilatus PC-12 NG. The Honeywell Primus Apex flight deck in the PC-12 NG is designed for single-engine turboprops through light jets, and now with SmartView synthetic vision added, Apex offers the sophistication and utility of Honeywell’s Primus Epic avionics found in much larger aircraft such as the Gulfstream G650 and Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy II.
Now that the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics system is certified and in service, pilots who enjoy the benefits of flying with a head-up display (HUD) gain a new feature on the HUD, synthetic vision. The first business jets with HUD synthetic-vision systems (SVS) are Bombardier’s Global 5000/6000.
As Boeing 787 deliveries ramp up, Asian airlines that are to receive a total of more than 240 Dreamliners will be able to take advantage of a unique capability afforded by the Rockwell Collins HGS-6000 head-up guidance system. All of these 787s will be equipped with dual HGS as standard configuration, with a full system available in front of each pilot to use for enhanced situational awareness and safety.
The FAA has issued a proposed plan to transition the national airspace system (NAS) to a performance-based navigation system that relies on GPS and “area navigation everywhere and required navigation performance where beneficial,” instead of defining airways, routes and procedures using VORs and other legacy navaids. A minimum operational network of VORs and an “optimized network” of DMEs would be retained, and this drawdown would be complete by Jan. 1, 2020.
The FAA does not want pilots to use Apple’s iPad tablet computer for navigation. Yet pilots are using the iPad and the many moving-map applications available for the device to navigate and view approach plates, Sids and Stars, en route and sectional charts, aircraft documents and a lot more.
Despite all the fits and starts, NextGen in the U.S. will eventually affect business aircraft operators, although perhaps not on the schedule that the FAA currently espouses. It is not too soon to start considering the impact of NextGen on business aviation and how it will drive equipment requirements.
It is only in the past few of years that GPS approaches, pioneered in Alaska in the 1990s, have started to become available. These form another element of a future, efficient system where aircraft are managed in time as well as space, take efficient paths and don’t waste burning fuel in unnecessary holds.
As Honeywell’s Falcon 900 equipped with the new EASy II avionics upgrade flew solidly down the glideslope to Runway 23 at Morristown Airport in New Jersey, the two pilots and I (sitting in the jump seat) could see a clear view of the outside world on the PFD’s SmartView synthetic-vision system (SVS) display. Outside the world was murky white and it stayed that way down to minimums.
If there was any doubt that hundreds of safety-minded aviation professionals were in attendance during the second day of the 56th Annual Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar (Cass) on April 21, that doubt was dispelled when the fire alarm sounded. Quick-thinking flight attendant Amy Nelson, at the podium delivering a presentation on cabin safety, reacted with professional flair. “This is not a drill,” she announced.