Universal Avionics, the Tucson, Ariz. avionics manufacturer known best for its line of FMS equipment, anticipates gaining FAA certification early next year for civil aviation’s first commercially available synthetic-vision primary flight display system.
Makers of terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS)–mandated safety avionics that the FAA says must be installed in most turbine-powered airplanes by March 2005–have started to fight back against a Honeywell lawsuit alleging infringement of patents relating to the original TAWS: the Phoenix company’s Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS).
As the market for terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) heats up, manufacturers are adjusting prices downward to compete against one another. The latest to announce a price drop was Sandel Avionics of Vista, Calif., which is now selling its class-B ST3400 TAWS/RMI for less than $20,000. The 3-ATI unit is a self-contained TAWS with an integrated RMI.
International Communications Group (ICG) has integrated its Iridium-based satcom systems with the Universal Avionics UniLink UL-70x communications management unit. Operators can use Iridium short-burst data or the standard dial-up data service to receive text and graphical weather anywhere in the world, along with text messaging, position reporting and Acars messaging.
Universal Avionics last month touted the addition of a WAAS-capable UNS-1Fw FMS in a Falcon 20. The installation, performed by Alternative Avionics in Waterford, Mich., adds to the list of airplanes certified to carry Universal’s WAAS FMS, which includes King Airs, Astras, Challengers and the Boeing 737. Universal last month also announced the receipt of an STC covering installation of an MFD-640 multifunction display in the Falcon 50.
Tucson, Ariz.-based Universal Avionics achieved a significant milestone last month, becoming the first company to certify a synthetic-vision system (SVS) for aircraft. It is a feat that some believe heralds a new era, not only for Universal, but also for aviation itself.
Tucson, Ariz.-based Universal Avionics announced receipt of a TSO certifying the company’s Universal Cockpit Display, a handheld tablet computer with an 8.4-in. touchscreen. At a list price of $33,500, the handheld device is more expensive than other electronic flight bags (EFB) on the market, but it has the advantage of interfacing directly with the airplane’s FMS.
Universal Avionics last month said it received an STC allowing installations of the company’s line of WAAS-capable FMS units in the Bombardier Challenger 600, 601 and 601-3R. Universal’s line of WAAS-ready flight management systems includes the UNS-1Lw, UNS-1Ew, UNS-1Espw and UNS-1Fw.
Technical standard orders for terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) have been revised as TSO C151b, which includes a new class-C category intended for voluntary installations on smaller aircraft not covered by the requirements for class-A and -B TAWS. In March 2005 class-A and -B TAWS are required in turbine aircraft with six or more passenger seats, with class-A systems intended for larger Part 91 airplanes and commercial aircraft.
The legal battle over EGPWS patents between Honeywell and competing manufacturers of TAWS avionics has stretched the limits of civil debate as executives on both sides of the imbroglio now find themselves locked in a war of rhetoric aimed at telling why the other side is wrong.