Innovative Solutions & Support continues its aggressive certification schedule for RVSM equipment for business aircraft.
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.
Duncan Aviation, the Lincoln, Neb. company that specializes in avionics STCs and installations, has prepared a free booklet titled Straight Talk About RVSM (reduced vertical separation minimums). The booklet describes how RVSM implementation affects corporate operators and includes an explanation of regulatory requirements, a list of scheduled implementation dates and answers to a series of frequently asked questions.
The FAA later this year will begin asking avionics makers to submit bids for competitive contracts to produce prototype radio interface units (RIU) and ground network interface units (GNIU) for demonstrations of the next-generation air/ground communications (Nexcom) program.
Efforts by a Newburgh, N.Y. company to put AWOS readouts on the Internet have met with limited success, but a major AWOS manufacturer gives the idea a good review.
Many operators are installing 406-MHz emergency locator transmitters in place of the 121.5-MHz units as the January 1 deadline approaches on a new regulation (FAR 91.207) that requires all U.S.-registered jets with maximum payloads of less than 18,000 pounds–virtually all business jets except business jetliners–to be equipped with an ELT.
Weather-data provider Meteorlogix introduced AviationWatch, a so-called “smart weather” briefing and alerting service for pilots that can be accessed on the ground and in the cockpit. Meteorlogix currently powers MxVision AviationSentry for a number of FBOs and corporate flight departments and maintains an online product that gives subscribers access to weather data over the Internet.
Rockwell Collins, known primarily for its avionics products, will enter the simulator market by acquiring NLX Holding from Arlington Capital Partners, a Washington, D.C. private-equity firm. NLX, based in Sterling, Va., builds civil and military simulators and has provided business aircraft simulators to SimuFlite and Pan Am International Flight Academy.
Aviation’s first two-in-one traffic and terrain awareness and warning system gained TSO authorization early last month, clearing the way for the first installations of the device, probably in May. Approval of T2CAS, a $170,000 (list price) safety system that combines TCAS 2000 with a class-A TAWS in a single box, represents the first certification of a product from Phoenix-based ACSS, a joint company owned by L-3 Communications and Thales.
It’s the sort of problem that any avionics equipment supplier would be happy to have. With a current backlog of some 36 systems, Gulfstream has asked Kollsman of Merrimack, N.H., to increase production of the company’s infrared-sensor-based enhanced vision system (EVS), now certified in a variety of Gulfstreams.
The Hawker 700 has joined the list of business airplanes to benefit from the addition of retrofit Pro Line 21 Continuum avionics from Rockwell Collins. Elliott Aviation of Moline, Ill., performed the first installation of the Continuum cockpit in a Hawker 700, a package that included five FDS-2000 (seven-inch-diagonal) displays, TCAS 4000 and TWR-850 turbulence-detection weather radar.