The surprisingly high number of business aircraft that now comply with reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM)–and the number of service centers that are offering RVSM avionics installations–could mean that most operators will be ready for the new airspace standards by the domestic RVSM (DRVSM) compliance deadline of Jan.
Reduced Vertical Separation Minima
CitationShares, the fractional aircraft ownership venture between Cessna and TAG Aviation USA, claims to be the first fractional operator whose aircraft are all RVSM-compliant. CitationShares currently operates 34 CJ1s, Bravos and Excels for some 300 owners. The Greenwich, Conn.-based company also said all 140 of its pilots are RVSM-qualified. A company spokesman said that all its aircraft are delivered from Cessna with RVSM certification.
UK-based Avionics Mobile expects to complete by the end of the month an RVSM equipment and operational package for the BAC 1-11. In addition to verifying the RVSM capability of the aircraft’s original Elliott autopilot, the package includes air-data displays from IS&S and flight-test evaluations from Aeromech. Meanwhile, Thunder Avionics, a division of the Thunder Aviation FBO at Spirit of St.
Duncan Aviation of Lincoln, Neb., has received RVSM group certification for the Westwind 1124 and RVSM equipment certification for the Astra series. Basic equipment installation for the Westwind (including air-data computers and IS&S altimeters) costs $160,400, depending on aircraft configuration. A pneumatic standby altimeter is an additional $12,000 (installed).
Garrett Aviation Services approved Northeast Air, a Portland, Ore. service center, to install Garrett’s RVSM avionics packages for the Citation 500 series. The installations include two IS&S air data display units, two modules, two analog/digital interface units and several new wire harnesses. Starting prices are $105,000 for a single flight director and $128,000 for a dual FD installation.
Arinc, best known for its broad-based aviation services in the field of transportation communications and systems engineering, has launched a new effort aimed at specifically providing the same services and more to the business aviation industry.
Raytheon Aircraft Services in Atlanta received an STC to upgrade existing Hawker 700A and 700B height-keeping equipment to digital altimeters with data-acquisition units to meet RVSM requirements. The installed cost averages $112,000. Downtime is about three weeks (less if the aircraft already has an air-data computer). Another RVSM option for Hawker 700As and 700Bs is Midcoast Aviation.
Thunder Avionics in St. Louis has teamed with Flight Test Associates to develop an RVSM package for Falcon 10s and 20s. For the Falcon 10, the original autopilot will be used in addition to IS&S replacement air-data controllers and altimeters. Estimated downtime for equipment installation and skin testing is eight to 10 weeks. Price will vary from $115,000 to $200,000.
Duncan Aviation was recently awarded an STC for the Innovative Solutions & Systems air-data computer in the Gulfstream II. The ADC is RVSM compliant and is a key component of the full RVSM certification package the Battle Creek, Mich. company is developing for the GII. No further details were available at press time.
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.