Rockwell Collins has sent its workhorse Sabreliner 50 business jet to what might be the world’s best retirement home, the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Ore. The Sabreliner, a 1964 model, was the flying testbed for many key Rockwell Collins avionics products and logged about 8,000 hours and more than 5,000 landings since the Collins division of Rockwell International bought the jet in 1976. The job of flight-testing new Rockwell Collins systems falls on the shoulders of the company’s Challenger 601.
Avionics and ATC » Avionics
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit.
Satellite communications service provider Satcom Direct has unveiled the company’s first certified aviation hardware product, a router that integrates with any satcom and manages cabin communications, runs software apps and connects to 3G/4G cellular networks. The new Satcom Direct Router (SDR) weighs less than 10 pounds, meets DO-160G and DO-178B Level E (soon D) standards and will be available in May. “We wanted to make this [router] as robust and flexible as possible,” said Jim Jensen, Satcom Direct founder and owner.
AirSatOne released a new version of the Flightstream AOC AvSat router with a wireless interface to already installed and certified airborne Wi-Fi systems. The Flightstream router is classified as a portable electronic device and thus “operational approval is covered under the original Wi-Fi STC,” according to AirSatOne. Available now at a retail price of $7,330, the Flightstream router helps make communications between mobile devices and airborne telecom systems more efficient by optimizing, accelerating and compressing satcom messages.
Garmin unveiled its first radar altimeter–the GRA 5500–yesterday. An all-digital design that employs digital signal processing technology, the GRA 5500 already holds FAA TSO authorization and is available immediately, at a retail price of $13,995 (without antenna).
Several OEMs have already selected the GRA 5500 for upcoming aircraft, including new versions of the Cessna Citation X, Sovereign, Latitude and Longitude and Bell Helicopter’s 525 Relentless.
Airbus ProSky and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) signed a research and collaboration agreement to jointly develop a concept of operations for air traffic flow management (ATFM) in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region based on “collaborative decision making” among airspace users.
Aspen Avionics co-founder Peter Lyons has moved to a new job as president of Avionyx, an engineering services provider headquartered in Costa Rica. Avionyx specializes in helping aerospace manufacturers with development of DO178- and DO254-compliant software and electronic hardware. Work that Avionyx engineers accomplish includes safety-critical software development, verification services and turnkey design. Lyons is responsible for company operations and will focus on new business development from his office in Albuquerque, N.M.
Embraer has opted to retain Honeywell as the avionics supplier for its second-generation E-Jets, the Brazilian airframe maker announced today, ending speculation that it might switch to another supplier as a result of “teething” troubles it experienced following entry-into-service of the current E-Jet line.
The FAA granted TSO authorization to Garmin’s GDL 88 ADS-B solution, designed to bring ADS-B out and in capability to Part 23 aircraft flying below 18,000 feet to meet the Jan. 1, 2020 ADS-B out mandate. The GDL 88 receives on both ADS-B frequencies, 978 and 1090 mHz, allowing display of most traffic types as well as FAA-generated traffic feeds. The GDL 88 also includes Garmin’s TargetTrend relative motion technology to help pilots “visualize the trend of traffic threats as it relates to their aircraft,” according to Garmin.
Hilton Software has released Version 6.9 of the WingX Pro 7 iPad app. New features in the update include SmartTaxi, which highlights in red on the airport diagram the runway that a WingX user is on and nearby runways in yellow. SmartTaxi also displays runway identifiers and runway remaining in real time. The new search-and-rescue grids feature allows pilots to enter parameters for a search, and the app will generate and display a search pattern, or WingX can do this automatically for an optimal search pattern for a grid cell, according to Hilton Software.
The Astronics Max-Viz 600 infrared enhanced vision system is now covered under a Cessna service bulletin for retrofit installation in late-model Cessna single-engine airplanes. The bulletin includes Skyhawks, Skylanes and Stationairs that have already been factory-provisioned for the FAA- and EASA-approved upgrade. Cessna authorized service centers can install the Max-Viz 600 EVS in about eight hours.