The WAAS revolution appears set to begin. A new IFR WAAS-capable GPS/navcom, the Apollo CNX80 all-in-one navigator from UPS Aviation Technologies–introduced last month at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla.–could give Garmin’s popular GNS 430 and 530 navigation units some serious competition. Similar in size and function to the Garmin GNS 430, the CNX80 is claimed to be the first such box to include an IFR WAAS GPS receiver.
Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance
The Garmin GNS 480 all-in-one GPS/navcom is now approved for primary-means WAAS navigation and localizer precision with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches. According to Garmin, pilots flying with the $11,995 unit will be able to make “ILS-like” approaches into thousands of U.S. airports not served by ILS once the FAA implements LPV procedures.
The FAA last month said it is expanding GPS WAAS coverage into Canada and Mexico by adding nine new wide-area augmentation system ground stations in places such as Goose Bay and San Jose del Cabo. The FAA has published about 900 LPV (localizer performance with vertical guidance) approaches in the U.S.
Universal Avionics plans to announce FAA certification of the first TSO’d WAAS-qualified FMS for installation on Part 23 and 25 aircraft at a press conference today at
2 p.m. The new Universal W series FMS allows operators to use GPS as a primary means of navigation and to fly WAAS/LPV IFR approaches. The W series FMS is certified to TSO C146b, Class Gamma-3, according to Universal Avionics.
In an effort to build on the promise of the GPS wide-area augmentation system (WAAS), the FAA has amended a $200 million contract with Raytheon to deploy next-generation technology for satellite precision approach guidance.
While ILS Cat I equivalency has been on FAA’s wide-area augmentation system agenda for many years, the agency’s recent announcement that it is lowering WAAS minimums was actually the starting gun for several activities required before private aircraft can execute 200-foot approaches beginning in mid-2007.
Garmin’s GNS-series navigators have been approved for WAAS en route navigation and LPV (lateral precision with vertical guidance) approach capability, the company announced last month at AOPA Expo in Palm Springs, Calif. The FAA has also issued a blanket STC covering installations of GNS 400/500-series avionics in 980 makes and models of aircraft, allowing current owners of the 75,000 GNS units in the field to upgrade to WAAS functionality.
Looking ahead to technologies that likely will be commonplace in tomorrow’s business jet cockpits, Rockwell Collins has introduced a GPS receiver with WAAS (wide-area augmentation system) capability and a new traffic surveillance system that can host ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) applications.
Lingering technical issues are forcing Garmin to delay plans for upgraded WAAS capability in its GNS 430/530 and GPS 400/500 panel-mount avionics, according to a spokesman. Explaining that the upgrades will require “a major software rewrite” in addition to minor hardware changes, the spokesman indicated that the capability is now not expected to be available before next year’s third quarter.
The FAA’s announcement last month that its GPS wide area augmentation system (WAAS) will support ILS-like 200-foot Category I approaches marks the agency’s third swing at this, the system’s Holy Grail. When WAAS was launched in 1995, Category I was promised by 1997, but the system’s rocky progress over the following years consigned Category I to the benches.
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