While the FAA’s current WAAS network offers equipped users with improved GPS performance across the continental U.S. and Alaska, it still does not provide the redundancy and reliability required from an aviation navigation service. So the FAA has now contracted to obtain additional geostationary satellites (GEOs) to rectify this shortcoming.
Avionics and ATC » Avionics
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit.
After taking a close look at all of the glass flight decks available on the market, Piper has selected Avidyne’s FlightMax Entegra integrated cockpit for its single-engine Saratoga HP and TC and the new Piper 6X and XT.
Thales Avionics is in the final development phase of a new avionics suite, dubbed Top Deck, for regional and large business jets. It uses four 13.6-in LCD screens and has an “intuitive” man-machine interface.
The FAA’s Alaska Region this year will assess the suitability of a communications satellite system with an unusual history to supplement its Capstone automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) project.
When the idea was initially being explored a number of years ago, FAA planners saw a use for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) only in Alaska, where the technology would allow aircraft operating beyond the reach of radar to develop their own position data using onboard GPS equipment, and then transmit that data to others in the region through either a microwave satellite uplink and downlink or ground-based VHF network.
No doubt many pilots have been asking themselves lately how Garmin has possibly managed to develop an integrated glass cockpit for the Cessna Citation Mustang business jet that will also fly aboard a variety of light piston singles. Can the avionics in a $2.3 million twinjet really be the cousin of an integrated avionics package that costs the same as the equipment it replaces in a Cessna Skylane?
Southern Star Avionics has completed required flight testing for Cessna Citation 560 and S550 airframes and expects to receive RVSM group certification for the types early next month. The $95,000 installation kits use IS&S digital altimeters with integrated air-data computers and analog interface units. The company said the upgrade is available for both single and dual flight director aircraft equipped with Sperry SPZ-500 autopilots.
The FAA has certified the CMS-1000 communication management system from Pentar Avionics. The panel-mount unit provides digital and analog input and output, ACARS processing, an optional internal VDL Mode 2 (VHF datalink) radio and optional GPS sensor.
Sky Way Communications has obtained special temporary authorization from the FCC to begin testing planned upgrades for services based on the AT&T/Claircom air-to-ground network, decommissioned in 2002 in a cost-cutting move by AT&T Wireless.
Midcoast Aviation in St. Louis last month was busy installing the first Teledyne Iridium Units (TIU) in Challenger 604s operated by Boeing’s executive flight department. Designed for use with MagnaStar air-to-ground telephone systems, the TIU from Teledyne Controls allows buyers to use their existing MagnaStar handsets to place voice and data calls anywhere in the world.