Century Flight Systems has ramped up autopilot certification activities and recently received STCs for Century 4000 installations in most Piper Cherokees and Saratogas. The company also received STCs for most Cessna 182s as well as the 421B and 421C twins. Prices for the C4000 start at $19,995.
Switzerland-based Solar Impulse is planning “Across America” flights this spring to showcase its sun-powered aircraft to the U.S. public and demonstrate and develop the possibilities of solar energy. Meanwhile, in Switzerland, the company is developing a second, larger aircraft that it hopes to fly around the world in 2015.
Dynon Avionics made several product announcements on the eve of Sun ’n Fun 2013, all designed to integrate, upgrade function and complete the instrument panels of users of Dynon SkyView EFIS.
Garmin’s release of a new version of its experimental G3X avionics system not only marks a major move into a big market but also the expansion of its Team X, a group of engineers and designers paving the way to new lower-cost products for experimental aircraft. The G3X system can be seen this week at Garmin’s booth (No. D-034) at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla.
An Air France A340-300 nearly crashed while on approach to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) on March 13 last year because the crew failed to understand the danger cues the aircraft’s flight systems were showing them. The aircraft was already above the recommended altitude for glideslope intercept–with speedbrakes deployed–as it was being vectored for the Runway 8R Cat III ILS at CDG. On low-visibility approaches at CDG, ATC procedures also require aircraft to be slowed to less than 180 knots within 15 miles.
Bill Antwerp of Gaffney, S.C., owns and flies a pristine Bell 407 with a newly installed Cobham HeliSAS stability and augmentation system and autopilot. With another pilot, he flew his helicopter from his home in South Carolina to Las Vegas for Heli-Expo ’13. At his first fuel stop, he texted Jamie Luster, director of sales and marketing of Cobham Avionics in Mineral Wells, Texas, saying, “I love the autopilot.”
Mineral Wells, Texas-based Cobham Commercial Systems (Booth No. C715) recently received European and Chinese STC approvals for its HeliSAS, a helicopter stability augmentation system and autopilot. HeliSAS is a two-axis, attitude-hold/attitude-command flight control system that “significantly reduces pilot workload and allows pilots to perform many cockpit functions hands free,” according to Cobham.
Wichita’s Yingling Aviation recently completed the installation of a new digital panel on a Cessna 425 Conquest I. It includes dual Garmin G600 avionics coupled with an S-Tec 2100 digital flight control system autopilot. Garmin’s GTN 650 combines in a small package GPS, com and nav functions with multifunction display capabilities such as high-resolution terrain mapping, graphical flight planning, multiple weather options and traffic display. It also includes a touchscreen interface.
The Eurocopter EC225 medium twin now has a traffic collision avoidance system (Tcas) II integrated into its autopilot, eliminating the need for pilot input in emergency avoidance maneuvers. The first such standard-equipped EC225 was delivered earlier this year. Offshore operator Bristow previously STC’d a Tcas II installation on the AS332 Super Puma; Eurocopter claims to go one step further, with more integration.
Russian Helicopters is developing a “comprehensive avionics system” for situational awareness, autopilot landing and collision avoidance. It will be installed on all new Russian-made helicopters starting in 2015. The new “intelligent” system will inform pilots about hazards in the landing area. It will even enable the aircraft to hover above a given point and land automatically.