Bell Helicopter selected Chelton Flight Systems to provide a glass cockpit for the company’s light single-engine helicopters. The Chelton cockpit will be available from Bell for the Model 407 beginning in the first quarter of 2007. Until then, Bell 407, 206 and 210 owners can upgrade their existing aircraft to synthetic vision through Bell installation facilities or Chelton’s dealer network.
Close to 100 Falcon 900s are the subject of an Airworthiness Directive requiring revisions to the “abnormal procedures” section of the airplane flight manual and an update of EFIS symbol generators.
The Magic 2100 digital flight-control system from Meggitt Avionics has gained STC approvals in the Twin Commander 690C/D and 695A/B (Models 840, 900, 980 and 1000) and the King Air 90, the company announced last month.
The advent of very light jets has prompted an FAA proposal to require that all new certification projects for turbofan-powered airplanes of 6,000 pounds or less mtow undergo function and reliability testing similar to that which has been required for larger fanjet-powered airplanes. F&R testing would add complexity, time and cost to new-design projects. The new requirement would not apply to developmental projects already under way.
Avionics manufacturer and integrator Thales and helicopter OEM Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. are discussing plans to incorporate a synthetic-vision system (SVS) into the Thales TopDeck avionics suite in Sikorsky’s new S-76D, but whether it will be available by the aircraft’s expected FAA certification date in 2008 is still up in the air.
In the past several years, avionics manufacturers have introduced a wide range of multifunction displays (MFDs) capable of integrating moving-map information, terrain warnings, traffic, weather and other sensor inputs. The trouble was, nearly all of these units required a relatively large opening for them to fit in the panel.
Chelton Flight Systems has gained certification for the AIU-1 analog interface unit, an important milestone that adds seven more TSOs to the company’s FlightLogic EFIS. By adding the AIU-1, the EFIS is now certified to display dual RMI/VOR, localizer and glideslope, as well as marker beacon, ADF, radar altimeter and conventional flight director.
Gulf Coast Avionics last month became an authorized sales and installation center for the Alliant King Air flight deck offered jointly by Avidyne and S-Tec. Designed for the King Air 200, the cockpit features dual Avidyne EX5000 primary flight displays, EX500 multifunction display with XM WX datalink and electronic approach chart capabilities and the S-Tec Intelliflight digital autopilot.
An airworthiness directive published last month requiring replacement of Shadin ADC-2000 computers only affects aircraft owners with “Quick Start” models or those who participated in Alaska’s Capstone project. The AD, not effective until January 23, was prompted by the discovery of potential errors in some units that could cause them to display incorrect altitude information on their Chelton FlightLogic EFIS displays.
Sagem Avionics and General Dynamics Aviation Services are partnering on a glass-panel cockpit upgrade for Part 25 jets including the Challenger 600 and 601, Falcon 20 and 50, Gulfstream II and III, and Hawker 700 and 800. The upgrade comprises five 10.4-inch-diagonal displays, which include a PFD and MFD in front of each pilot with an EICAS display in the center.