The expected release in December of a proposed rule governing the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in the U.S. national airspace system (NAS) will be a definitive step in the phased introduction of robotic aircraft in civilian airspace.
Traffic Collision Avoidance System
Offshore operator Bristow’s Sikorsky S-92s have started flying in the North Sea with a second-generation traffic alert collision avoidance system (Tcas2). The first of seven medium twins to be equipped entered service in August, following EASA approval. The company had been studying S-92 Tcas2 since 2008, when it started operating the in-house-developed system on a Eurocopter Super Puma.
The newly renamed G280 (formerly G250) is on schedule to enter service later this year, after certification by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI), then EASA and the FAA. The first production G280 was delivered to Gulfstream’s completion center in Dallas in early August for interior outfitting and paint.
A Beech 1900D with a new Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 integrated display system (IDS) made its first flight on August 12. Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support (GCS) is leading the supplemental type certification effort for the 1900D, replacing the original Rockwell Collins Pro Line II EFIS 84 system with the Pro Line 21. The EFIS 84 featured EFD-84 four-inch by four-inch cathode-ray-tube displays.
This month will mark a turning point from the “pioneer” phase to the mandate phase of Europe’s implementation of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) for aircraft tracking and separation.
Despite all the fits and starts, NextGen in the U.S. will eventually affect business aircraft operators, although perhaps not on the schedule that the FAA currently espouses. It is not too soon to start considering the impact of NextGen on business aviation and how it will drive equipment requirements.
L-3’s Aviation Products Group (Static F186) is to supply a wide range of avionics for the Sky Aircraft Skylander SK-105, the multi-purpose twin-turboprop transport currently taking shape for a projected first flight in the middle of next year. L-3 is supplying systems via the SK-105’s core avionics integrator, Cobham Avionics.
American pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paul Paladino, whose Legacy 600 was involved in a collision with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800 over the Amazon jungle in September 2006, were found guilty by Brazilian federal judge Murilo Mendes last month of failing to verify the functioning of the transponder for more than an hour.
Early last month, the EASA granted European Technical Standard Order (ETSO) authorization for Change 7.1 software for ACSS’s TCAS 2000 and TCAS II. FAA certification of Change 7.1 for TCAS 2000 and TCAS II took place in February last year. ACSS, an L-3 and Thales company, expects EASA to mandate installation of Change 7.1 on newly built aircraft by March 2012.
Honeywell’s latest version of its Primus Apex integrated flight deck–Build 7–offers new functions and options for operators, which the company demonstrated at EBACE in a flight on a Pilatus PC-12NG, one of the aircraft models featuring the avionics suite. The Primus Apex is a derivative of the Primus Epic fight deck that Morristown, New Jersey-based Honeywell developed for large cabin business jets, optimized for single-pilot operations.