EBACE Convention News

Collins Aerospace Addresses Changing Technology and Regulations

 - May 23, 2023, 9:56 AM
The Collins Aerospace booth at EBACE 2023. (Photo: AIN)

Avionics needs for business aircraft operators today converge on airspace, air traffic control, and safety, according to Marc Ayala, senior director of business and regional avionics sales at Collins Aerospace (Booth V72). He points to technologies such as controller pilot datalink communication (CPDLC), required navigational performance (RNP), and automated position reporting.

“Operators need avionics that provide safety features such as collision avoidance systems, terrain awareness and warning systems, weather radar, and automated emergency descent systems. Operating in increasingly complex environments requires crews to adapt, and they are looking for more tools to automate tasks. Avionics should optimize operators’ flight paths, reduce fuel consumption, and increase their aircraft’s overall efficiency,” he said.

Operators also require avionics that comply with regulations and standards set forth by aviation authorities and that can be easily upgraded to keep up with changing technology and regulations, according to Ayala. “Increasingly, customers are looking for the ability to perform ‘on-wing configurability,’ whereby they can use functions and features from different providers in an open construct that does not require them to acquire everything from a single provider.

“A lot of new technologies are arriving on the market, most notably in the area of flight deck connectivity. Allowing the transfer of data from ground-based systems and mobile devices to the avionics system to reduce the amount of manual data entry is getting a lot of attention.”

Collins Aerospace is addressing the peculiarities of business aircraft operators from multiple perspectives. “When U.S. FCC limitations on 5G networks change on July 1, operators may expect increased levels of interference to radio altimeters, which will affect multiple systems on the aircraft,” said Ayala.

“The latest Collins Aerospace ALT 1000+ and ALT 4000+ digital radio altimeters serve as plug-and-play replacements for our legacy altimeters and are equipped with the best safety measures available,” he noted. “Our filtering technology contributes to 5G resiliency and provides pilots with accurate readings from as high as 2,500 feet above the ground to aid decision-making and guide landings in extreme weather or otherwise challenging, low-visibility conditions.”

Collins also offers a range of avionics and cabin solutions that are tailored to the needs of business aircraft operators. “These solutions are designed to improve efficiency, safety, and passenger experience," said Ayala, "and we provide comprehensive support and maintenance services to ensure that business aircraft operators can keep their aircraft in top condition. This includes a global network of service centers, as well as on-site and remote support. We are committed to innovation and are constantly developing new technologies to meet the evolving needs of business aircraft operators.”

Ayala pointed out that Collins offers forward-fit and retrofit solutions to business aircraft operators. “In terms of forward fit, MultiScan Weather Radars provide pilots with real-time weather information to help them avoid turbulence, thunderstorms, and other hazardous weather conditions. Head-up displays [HUD] provide pilots with critical flight information such as airspeed, altitude, and heading, directly in their line of sight,” he said.

“Collins’s synthetic vision system provides pilots with a 3D view of the terrain, obstacles, and runways, even in low visibility conditions. We also offer enhanced vision systems, which, when paired with our HUD offer the ability to descend to lower minimums providing access to airports where weather would otherwise force delays or diverts.”

Currently, one of the larger retrofits is the replacement of entire avionics systems, such as 1990s-era Pro Line II to current-production Pro Line Fusion, explained Ayala. “Pro Line Fusion is a fully integrated avionics system that provides advanced situational awareness, intuitive touchscreen controls, and enhanced safety features,” he said. “ADS-B Out is another retrofit option that enables aircraft to comply with the latest mandates for ADS-B.”

Meanwhile, the company's Venue cabin management system “provides passengers with a seamless entertainment experience, allowing them to control cabin lighting, temperature, and entertainment options. There are also less intensive and more affordable solutions to provide this connectivity in the form of a USB device connecting to an application on a mobile device,” said Ayala.