At press time, the FAA’s GPS local-area augmentation system (LAAS) appeared to be hanging in the balance while agency officials were attempting to determine whether there really was a firm industry need for the system.
Avionics and ATC
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit; and news, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
After extensive industry consultation, the FAA has recently completed a document outlining its proposed strategy for transition from today’s terrestrial navaids to GPS, including proposed procedures to minimize the effect of GPS jamming.
Navstar, the official U.S. Air Force program moniker for the constellation of satellites most of us refer to simply as GPS, has undergone a multitude of technical changes and upgrades in the nearly 30 years since a group of military and civil engineers first sat down in the Pentagon to talk about the far-reaching precision navigation concept.
Kollsman, the Merrimack, N.H. company that developed civil aviation’s first certified enhanced vision system (EVS), last month unveiled its latest IR-based EVS product, called Night Window. Targeted at operators seeking a lower-cost way to improve situational awareness, Night Window uses an uncooled IR camera to provide images on a raster HUD or MFD in VFR night or day operations.
Jeppesen and Honeywell have announced an alliance whereby Jeppesen’s integrated navigation data service will be offered to buyers of Honeywell INAV (interactive navigation) avionics, under development for Gulfstream’s PlaneView and Dassault’s EASy cockpits.
Just one year ago there were none. Now, four companies have suddenly announced their intention to develop an RVSM STC package for the Learjet 20 series to be available next year. All four companies propose to achieve the approval using the airplane’s original JET autopilot and estimate the price to be around $150,000.
Not long ago, Raytheon Co. had to defend its standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars) against criticism by the DOT inspector general and the union that represents FAA employees who maintain ATC equipment (AIN, July, page 103).
Group RVSM approval for Falcon 10/100s equipped with the original Collins autopilot is expected to be completed early next year. Duncan Aviation of Lincoln, Neb., recently received certification for the installation of RVSM altimetry equipment, IS&S air data display units and a Rockwell Collins ADC-87 air data computer. The RVSM package, not including height-monitoring flights, is expected to cost about $125,000.
Technical and operational requirements for simulators and flight-training devices (FTDs) will be updated and consolidated into one new rule–FAR Part 60–if an FAA proposal is adopted. Part 60 would also require simulator and FTD providers to have an FAA-approved quality-assurance program, currently a voluntary item. Comments are due December 24.
Duncan Aviation’s Lincoln, Neb. facility has entered into an agreement with Raytheon Aircraft to be the exclusive agent for Raytheon Aircraft parts, inventory and distribution (Rapid) to repair, overhaul, test and provide inventory logistics in support of the Rapid rotables program for Hawker landing gear. The agreement covers the Hawker 1A through 700, 800, 800XP and 1000.