Horizon Air has received FAA approval to fly instrument approaches to required navigation performance (RNP) 0.1 standards in its Bombardier Q400s equipped with Universal Avionics UNS-1Ew flight management systems. The UNS-1Ew Waas/SBAS FMS enables Horizon pilots to fly stable 3-D flight paths to touchdown at airports in the Northwest U.S. that have published RNP approaches, but now to lower RNP 0.1 minimums. Compared to traditional but non-RNP approaches, the RNP approaches have been shown to save time and fuel.
Wide Area Augmentation System
Technicians at Ruag Aviation’s facility in Geneva, Switzerland, have completed the company’s first EASy II avionics upgrade in a Falcon 900EX. The EASy flight deck is based on Honeywell’s Primus Epic avionics system. The EASy II upgrade was done during a scheduled A/A+ check and includes Honeywell’s SmartView synthetic vision system (SVS) with HUD symbology displayed on the PFDs.
Mercy One helicopter emergency medical services at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, one of the first HEMS operators certified to fly Waas low-level IFR routes, including approaches to local hospitals, recently added a second Waas-capable Bell 429 to its fleet. These IFR routes keep helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft from mixing in IFR airspace. Three of the hospital helipad approaches are Waas-based while another is an approach to a helipad in Stuart, Iowa, that is used as a rendezvous for helicopters and ground ambulances from surrounding counties.
Eurocopter demonstrated new automated landing procedures relying on Egnos (Europe’s Waas equivalent) satellite guidance. Part of Europe’s Clean Sky research project, the tests were performed on an EC155 medium twin. They showed significant reductions in the helicopter’s perceived sound footprint, the company said. The noise-abatement flightpaths were compatible with IFR operations and can be tailored to local requirements.
Rockwell Collins and Piaggio announced an upgrade program for the Piaggio Avanti twin turboprop. The program, available from Ruag Aviation, allows operators to upgrade their Pro Line 4 avionics to Pro Line 21. The Pro Line 21 P180 cockpit will be equipped with three or four 10-inch by 8-inch LCDs and Rockwell Collins’s Integrated Flight Information System, plus a new FMS and GPS-4000 that enables Waas LPV and space-based augmentation system with vertical guidance approaches.
If ever there was a Comeback Kid in avionics, it would have to be the FAA’s wide area augmentation system (Waas). Heralded by the agency in 1994 as the future Swiss Army knife of navigation, Waas was going to bring greater accuracy and enhanced reliability to the sometimes unpredictable GPS and, in so doing, promised a new era where satellites would replace not only the nation’s NDBs and VORs, but also the more than 600 Category 1 ILS installations in the National Airspace System at the time. Development would cost more than $300 million, and take about four years.
Lockheed Martin has chosen CMC Electronics to provide a new flight management system (FMS) and GPS landing sensor for the avionics upgrade package it is producing for the U.S. Navy’s C-130T fleet.
This year’s RAA Convention virtually coincides with the introduction of Tuscon, Arizona-based Universal Avionics’s new FlexPerf trip performance module, on display this week in the Montreal Convention Center. Designed to provide “advanced” fuel savings predictions for aircraft performance during climb, cruise and descent, the system works with Universal’s Waas/SBAS flight management system (FMS) and multi-mission management system (MMMS).
Aspen Avionics is now offering ADS-B solutions for owners of its Evolution PFD and MFD products. There are two ADS-B product lines, one for delivery of ADS-B data from portable receivers to Aspen’s Connected Panel system and another for certified ADS-B solutions that meet the Jan. 1, 2020 ADS-B out mandate.
AOPA has released an update to its FlyQ iPad electronic flight bag app that adds ADS-B connectivity and expands Duats integration. New features in version 1.1 include ADS-B in-flight weather with support for the new Dual XGPS 170 ADS-B/Waas GPS receiver. The app also offers CSC Duats support, in addition to existing DTC Duat support, for weather information and flight-plan filing. Other enhancements include “Direct To” and “Add to Plan” buttons for flight planning, as well as in-app rental car booking through Enterprise.