Starting with S/N 70, Premier Is being delivered are approved for operation in RVSM airspace. An RVSM modification kit is available at no charge for retrofit to all customers of earlier Premier Is. Reduced vertical separation minimum airspace is now in effect for typical cruising, altitudes in Europe, across the North Atlantic and the North Pacific, and will take effect in the U.S. in January 2005.
Reduced Vertical Separation Minima
West Star Aviation of Grand Junction, Colo., has completed flight testing that will lead toward RVSM group approval next month for Learjet 35/36s equipped with the FC-200 autopilot and Century III Softflite wings. New equipment includes Honeywell’s AZ-252 advanced air data computer, AM-250 barometric altimeter/airdata computer, BA-250 altimeter display and AL-800 altitude alerter control and a two-inch standby altimeter.
Thunder Aviation of Chesterfield, Mo. has received a group STC for an RVSM retrofit for Falcon 20s equipped with the Collins AP-105 autopilot. Follow-on STC amendments covering similarly equipped Falcon 10s are forthcoming, as well as amendments for Falcon 10s and 20s equipped with the SPZ 500 autopilot.
Businesses continue to increase the use of their aircraft–even if they are not in great numbers adding to their fleets–despite operational challenges in the name of security and access control. Representatives from U.S. and European aviation organizations discussed these and other issues at a presentation at last month’s European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva.
Honeywell projects it will receive certification of an RVSM-compliance package for early Cessna Citation 500s by the end of October, a delay of about four months. Honeywell attributes the postponement to deciding to expand the package to include Citations with both OEM and non-OEM mods, such as the Long Wing and Eagle modified Citations.
Duncan Aviation expects by the first quarter of next year to receive group STC for RVSM in the Gulfstream II. The avionics package will consist of dual IS&S air-data computers, dual IS&S altimeters and interface units. Duncan’s goal is to keep the installed price below $200,000. Installations would be available from Duncan facilities in Battle Creek, Mich.; Lincoln, Neb.; Van Nuys, Calif.; and Teterboro, N.J.
Gulfstream has ordered $900,000 worth of avionics from Exton, Pa.-based Innovative Solutions & Support, a maker of low-cost RVSM avionics for the retrofit market. Gulfstream service centers will install the equipment in Gulfstream IIs and IIBs later this year.
Elliott Aviation has received FAA STCs for installing Universal flat-panel integrated displays (FPIDs), Universal TAWS and Collins AHRS in Citation 550/560s. The Universal FPID STC replaces the standard Citation electromechanical or EFIS ADI and HSI flight instruments with Universal EFI-550 five-inch LCD FPIDs. Two-, three- or five-tube installation options are available.
With only about 15 months left to go before the start of domestic reduced vertical separation minimums (DRVSM) in the U.S., the clock is ticking for business jet and turboprop operators that have yet to schedule an appointment with their local service center for needed upgrades.
Operators of Beechjets, MU-300s (Diamonds) and Hawker 700s will have an RVSM solution from Raytheon Aircraft in the near future. A company spokesman told AIN that the company expects to complete STC programs for these airplanes “early next year.” To that end, Innovative Solutions & Support of Exton, Pa., has received a $3 million order for RVSM-compliant avionics intended for these aircraft.