Thunder Aviation in Chesterfield, Mo., recently won a group RVSM STC for Falcon 10s equipped with the Collins AP-105 autopilot. Kit price, including installation, is $175,000. At press time, the company expected to receive group STCs for Falcon 10s and 20s equipped with the Honeywell SPZ500 autopilot. The company anticipates receiving a group RVSM STC for the dozen or so Falcon 20s equipped with the KFC 400 autopilot.
Reduced Vertical Separation Minima
Wichita-based LJSC has received group certification for RVSM on the Learjet 24 and 25. The $124,975 kit consists of two IS&S ADDUs, two Rosemount pitot-static probes, two pitot probe doublers, four Tactair shutoff valves, one standby altimeter, six annunciator switches, wiring harness, associated plumbing, data package and on-site support for initial installations.
Operators will see en route ATC charges for most of Europe reduced by an average of 7 percent starting this month. There will be some variance in unit charge rates for different operations–which are calculated based on distance flown and aircraft weight–but average charges are set to decrease in just about all of the 32 Eurocontrol member states.
Effective January 5, when filing an FAA flight plan (with the exception of filing through DUATS and flight service stations), RVSM-compliant operators are expected to file “/Q” (RVSM with a FMS or GPS) or “/W” (RVSM without FMS and GPS), as appropriate, for flight in RVSM airspace (between FL290 and FL410 inclusive).
The scene at a recent aviation trade show illustrates perfectly what has become an industry-wide dilemma. An avionics sales representative had just finished giving a seasoned flight department manager a nearly hour-long sneak preview of his employer’s newest retrofit cockpit system.
Latin America adopted reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) on January 20, along with the rest of the Americas, and the transition to date in Brazil has been relatively smooth, according to national officials.
“There were no major problems on January 20,” said Saulo Jose da Silva of Brazil’s Department of Air Traffic Control.
An operational alert NBAA published last month requires some clarification. The alert said, “Some operators have misinterpreted climb and descent guidance for operations in RVSM airspace and have been incorrectly restricting the aircraft climb/descent rate to 1,000 fpm at all times when in RVSM airspace.”
Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S), an Exton, Pa. company that has been active in designing and providing RVSM upgrade kits for business aircraft and, more recently, electronic flight displays for a variety of military and cargo aircraft, announced its first formal electronic flight display retrofit project for business airplanes.
A buyout earlier this year by senior company executives has triggered Swiss aircraft instrument maker Revue Thommen’s aggressive entry into the U.S. market, as the 152-year-old company seeks to lure buyers on the opposite side of the Atlantic with a mix of high-quality, low-cost avionics.
Avcon Industries’ RVSM package for Learjet 35s and 36s recently received certification and installations are under way. Meanwhile, the Olathe, Kan. company said that more than 125 installations have been completed since it received an STC early last year for its RVSM package for the Learjet 20 series.