Honeywell’s avionics gurus in Redmond, Washington, are developing what the company touts as being the world’s first integrated surveillance system (ISS) for a military transport, the Airbus A400M.
Described by some Honeywell engineers as the “son of Primus Epic,” the Phoenix company’s Apex integrated avionics system is undergoing a makeover that aims to make that moniker more appropriate than ever. The enhanced version of Apex now under development for the Grob SPn Utility Jet will feature better integration of TCAS II, weather radar and other functions thanks to greater software processing power.
Honeywell is close to releasing a synthetic vision system (SVS) upgrade for its Primus Epic business jet cockpit. Having addressed the three most common causes of accidents through its enhanced ground proximity warning (EGPWS), traffic alert and collision avoidance (TCAS) and runway awareness and advisory (RAAS) systems, the company believes SVS will be the next major safety advance.
In the last 10 years, business aviation safety has improved dramatically. During this period, the entire industry has been the subject of numerous equipment and procedural requirements intended to reduce accidents. But have these requirements indeed improved safety or were they just financial, maintenance and procedural headaches for the thousands of operators who were forced to comply?
Transport Canada has proposed a regulatory amendment requiring installation of TCAS-I and TCAS-II, in line with current FAA rules. “Immediate” installation would be mandated on turbine aircraft built after the rule goes into effect, while operators of affected turbine aircraft built on or before the effective date of the rule would have two years to install systems.
Charles Lindbergh knew it, and every pilot who has come after him has known it, too: if only there were some way of seeing through the clouds, of turning a black night into a sunshiny day, flying would be a far simpler, and by extension safer, endeavor.
Elliott Aviation has applied for an STC for installation of a flat-panel cockpit upgrade for the Cessna Citation 650, the Moline, Ill. installer announced last month. The upgrade replaces electromechanical and CRT-based EFIS flight instruments with a Universal 890R instrument suite featuring eight- by nine-inch displays.
It was a night tailor-made for flying– smooth air, barely a cloud in the sky and miles of visibility. The center controller had handed the crew off to approach control with a friendly, “G’night,” and within a few minutes the pilots were cleared for a visual approach to the active runway about 15 miles straight ahead. From their position, the crew could easily see the airport, enveloped by the sodium-vapor shimmer of the city’s vast downtown.
The FAA has withdrawn a decade-old proposal to rescind its requirement for mode-S transponders and, consequently, plans to end the hundreds of mode-S installation exemptions currently in effect for Part 121 and 135 operators.
Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS), a joint L-3 Communications and Thales company, used last month’s Paris Air Show to introduce technology intended to warn pilots of runway and taxiway incursions.