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.
Reduced Vertical Separation Minima
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.
A second Bombardier Continental super-midsize jet joined the flight-test program on October 9 with a 2 hr 41 min initial hop from Wichita. The twinjet reached an altitude of 35,000 ft and a speed of 250 kt, during which aircraft systems were evaluated. Test pilots Doug May and Ed Grabman conducted numerous tests on the aircraft’s bleed air, hydraulics, fuel and electrical systems, according to Bombardier.
Avcon Industries recently announced it has received FAA RVSM group approval for 20-series Learjets using a modification package that the company has been developing for the last two years.
It was 4:45 p.m. on the back nine of a long day. Frankly, I was a bit concerned that I’d embarrass myself taking the King Schools online RVSM pilot’s training course. The $199 course meets FAA requirements for the crew training portion of RVSM certification. John King told me that I should be able to complete it in an hour or less,
but I was skeptical.