With the triple- and sometimes quadruple-redundant electrical systems in the most modern business jets, carrying a backup battery-powered handheld radio or GPS on board might seem as unnecessary as strapping on a parachute or affecting helmet, scarf and goggles. But for turboprop crews or operators of older business jets, the idea of needing such emergency backup might not be as farfetched.
Avionics and ATC » Avionics
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit.
Securaplane, a small company nestled in the Catalina Mountain foothills north of Tucson, Ariz., is taking large steps toward the emergence of near-wireless controls for airliners and corporate jets during the coming decade. You could call it “fly-by-wireless.”
Honeywell SPZ 8000 symbol generators in more than 90 Falcon 900s would have to be replaced if the FAA enacts a proposed AD. The FAA said that during approach, the quantity of data being processed may cause the EFIS display to flash or go blank.
A jury ordered Universal Avionics to pay Honeywell $5.5 million in damages for violating a patent related to Honeywell’s original (pre-“enhanced”) GPWS. The same jury last month ruled in favor of co-defendant Sandel Avionics. All three firms build terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) and have been locked in a lawsuits over TAWS patents since 2002.
As reported last month in AIN, under FAA requirements civil jets must be equipped with ELTs starting this month. U.S. operators have been advised to consider installing 406-MHz units because satellite monitoring of 121.5-MHz units is scheduled to end in 2009.
While it’s unlikely the FAA will push back this month’s deadline for the installation of ELTs in virtually all corporate jets, the agency might allow operators to file for a temporary exemption to the requirement if they can show a good-faith effort at compliance.
Dassault reports that its engineers in France have completed bench testing and software loads of the fly-by-wire flight control system in the Falcon 7X. First flight of the airplane, the first purpose-built business jet with fly-by-wire controls, is expected by the end of March, according to Dassault, which plans to fly the real thing to the Paris Air Show in June.
Cessna last month announced the availability of special Service Bulletins for operators who want to upgrade their airplanes with Honeywell’s runway awareness and advisory system (RAAS), a roughly $17,000 optional add-on for the enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS). Cessna service centers can perform the RAAS software and hardware updates for operators of Citation Bravos, Encores, Excels and Xs equipped with EGPWS.
To meet upcoming production needs, Gulfstream has placed a $20 million order with Kollsman for an undisclosed number of enhanced vision systems (EVS).
After calling on European Union (EU) member states last year to align their operating rules more closely with those of the FAA, the U.S.-based General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has formed a joint industry committee to draft recommendations and submit them to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).