While many in the aviation industry bemoan the fact that older aircraft values are rapidly declining, there is a bright spot, older efficient airframes with plenty of life left that can benefit from avionics upgrades. A great example is the Twin Commander twin-engine turboprop series. Twin Commander service center Eagle Creek Aviation of Indianapolis, Ind. (Booth No.
BLR Aerospace has named West Star Aviation an authorized dealer for its Super King Air winglets and associated products, including extended-length de-ice boots and LED lighting upgrades. Under the terms of the agreement West Star will provide and install BLR’s products on the King Air 90, 200 and 300 series at its Grand Junction, Colo.; Dallas; and Columbia, S.C. facilities.
In mid-July, Bombardier made a flight-test Learjet 40 available to demonstrate the capabilities of the Garmin G5000 integrated flight deck that is a key feature in the new Learjet 70 and 75. This Learjet 40 is one of two flight-test articles flying in the 70/75 program and the first jet to fly with Garmin’s first Part 25 avionics suite, which is branded as the Vision cockpit for the Learjet application and the first Part 25 avionics system with touchscreen control.
Stevens Aviation’s Dayton facility dates back to 1946 as Ohio Aviation. It was one of the original Beechcraft distributors and authorized Beech Aircraft Centers. During the 1970s Ohio Aviation expanded its operation by adding facilities in Cincinnati and Cleveland. In 1983 Beech Aircraft purchased Ohio Aviation but continued operating it under its original name. Beech later sold the Dayton and Cincinnati operations to J.P. Stevens, which merged them into its aviation subsidiary, Stevens Aviation.
Gama Engineering announced it has completed its 50th EASA STC. The work entailed design and certification of a Garmin G600 EFIS system into a BN Islander used by the Belgian Coastguard. Gama carried out the design work on behalf of ASP Avionics from Belgium, one of many mainland-Europe customers taking advantage of Gama’s proven design and certification experience.
AIN readers rate Garmin as the top provider of avionics product support in the 2012 AIN Avionics Product Support Survey cockpit avionics rankings, with an overall average rating of 8.3. Rockwell Collins climbed to second place with a rating of 7.8, followed by Universal Avionics in third, with an overall average of 7.7. Honeywell’s cockpit avionics rating climbed 1 percent this year, to fourth place and 7.5, tying for the same place with Avidyne, which also scored a 7.5 rating. Honeywell’s Bendix/King division retained the same 7.1 rating as last year, moving to fifth place.
Last year there were a handful of companies promoting devices that could capture weather and traffic signals from the growing network of ADS-B ground stations deployed around the U.S. This year, the market and the makers of ADS-B devices have exploded, and buyers now have an array of choices.
The good news is that these devices are now available for both Android and Apple devices. The even better news is that some manufacturers have added fairly significant capabilities to their ADS-B devices, although some of these have yet to begin deliveries.
Broomfield, Colo.-based JetTech announced yesterday that it received FAA STC approval to install touchscreen Garmin GTN 650/750 GPS navcoms on 500-series Cessna Citations, to include the 500, 501, 550, 551, S550 and 560. The approval covers installation of the GPS navcoms, as well as Garmin GTX 33 transponders, remote GMA35 audio panels and GA35/37 antennas. In addition, the STC includes Waas approvals.
Garmin has updated the software for GTN touchscreen avionics, and new capabilities include the ability to display weather radar, new ADS-B features, worldwide connectivity with the GRS 56 Iridium datalink system, cross fill between the GTN and GNS 430W/530W, geo-referenced FliteCharts and support for Telligence voice command and 3-D audio. The new software is available free for owners of GTN systems starting in the fourth quarter, although dealers may charge for installation.
Garmin unveiled a pair of ADS-B units and a new solid-state weather radar system yesterday, further broadening its avionics product line.
The company’s new GDL 88 is a dual-link ADS-B solution, which transmits and receives on 978 MHz and also receives on 1090 MHz. Its ability to receive on both 978 and 1090 MHz means that it can detect traffic transmitting on either ADS-B OUT frequency and receive subscription-free weather data on 978 MHz. ADS-B OUT capability for flying above 18,000 feet or outside the U.S. could be added with a GTX 330/33 ES transponder.