Stevens Aerospace Gears Up for Citation XLS G5000 Upgrades

 - January 14, 2020, 10:20 AM

In early January, Stevens Aerospace and Defense Systems completed the company’s first installation of a Garmin G5000 avionics suite in a Cessna Citation XLS. This is one of the first of 10 G5000 upgrades for the XLS to be done in North America under an STC developed by Garmin and approved in July 2019. Stevens began its second G5000 XLS upgrade later in January.

Stevens technicians did the avionics upgrade at the company’s Greenville, South Carolina facility. In addition to the G5000 flight deck, the 15-year-old XLS also received fresh paint and a full interior refurbishment with leather seats, new cabinets, a reconfigured galley, and new passenger amenities, according to Stevens.

The flight deck upgrade replaces the original Honeywell Primus 1000 avionics with three landscape-oriented split-screen displays and two console-mounted touchscreen-control pilot interfaces. The Garmin digital automatic flight control system includes emergency descent mode as a standard feature. Garmin’s underspeed protection is optional and it also enables fully coupled go-arounds. ADS-B Out is standard, as is PBN/RNP 0.3 and LPV/APV approach capability.

Another avionics option is controller-pilot datalink communication with departure clearance capability, which enables pilots to use wireless clearance delivery at more than 60 airports in the U.S., along with automatic loading of the clearance into the G5000 avionics. FAA Data Comm capabilities will allow pilots to communicate via text-like messaging with FAA air route traffic control centers, and this option also allows European operators to meet Link 2000+ requirements. 

Other optional G5000 features for the Excel/XLS include synthetic vision, Garmin SurfaceWatch runway safety services, datalink weather via Iridium satcom, Doppler weather radar, and Garmin’s Flight Stream 510, which provides Connext wireless connectivity in the flight deck. Connext enables wireless flight plan transfer and sharing of traffic, weather, GPS, and other information among multiple mobile devices, as well as Database Concierge for wireless database updates from the Garmin Pilot app.

Stevens has installed a G5000 suite in a Hawker 400XP, as well as completed dozens of G1000 upgrades in Beechcraft King Airs.

“Stevens is one of a select few MROs trusted by Garmin to install the new G5000 avionics suite for the Citation Excel and XLS,” said Stevens Southeast region sales manager Terry Hawkins. “The long-term collaboration with Garmin was excellent, the results were spectacular, and the customer couldn’t be happier.”