Chicago Jet Group received the first-ever Fans retrofit STC approval from the FAA on September 5, the company and partner Universal Avionics announced yesterday. The Fans 1/A+/controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) system, which was installed in a Dassault Falcon 50 that Chicago Jet group manages for a customer, uses an International Communications Group NxtLink ICS-220A Iridium satcom.
Besides this satcom, the installation included a Universal Avionics UniLink UL-801 communications management unit (CMU) with internal VHF VDL Mode 2 receiver that was interfaced with dual UNS-1Lw FMSs, as well as a Universal CVR-120A cockpit voice recorder for required Fans datalink message recording. According to Chicago Jet Group, the installation provides the flight crew with a global voice channel and a dedicated datalink channel to support Acars, Fans 1/A+ messaging and CPDLC.
The Fans retrofit, which cost $325,000 and required three weeks of downtime, allows the aircraft to gain access to the most desirable tracks when traveling across the North Atlantic Track System (NATS), saving time and money. It is also provisioned for the upcoming Eurocontrol Link 2000+ mandate, which goes into effect on Feb. 5, 2015.
Chicago Jet Group, which is working on similar STCs for other business jets, also offers Fans/CPDLC training through its Kobev International affiliate.