As part of the FAA’s Nexcom initiative to develop next-generation digital datalink radios for general aviation, Avidyne last month announced it has successfully demonstrated a VHF datalink (VDL) Mode 3 radio at the FAA’s technical center in Atlantic City, N.J. Touted as the first-ever test of a commercial VDL-3 device, the demonstration was an important milestone for the FAA as it strives to create a radio network for the 21st century.
Competition for panel space and pilot eyeballs continues to intensify, with avionics manufacturers announcing more new products at EAA AirVenture this week in Oshkosh, Wis. Avidyne introduced the eight-inch PFD4000, a replacement for the “six-pack” instrument cluster with a high-resolution screen and remote sensors, keeping unit thickness to 3.5 inches. Shipments of the PFD4000 are slated to begin next year.
One of the more recent entrants into the market for integrated cockpit systems has emerged as the industry’s most prolific. Garmin has delivered nearly 5,000 of its G1000 integrated avionics systems for installation in a range of general aviation piston airplanes, turboprops and jets since introducing the glass cockpit five years ago.
Cirrus Design’s partnership with Garmin on a “high-end” cockpit upgrade for the SR22-G3 called Cirrus Perspective is turning out to be a hit with buyers, nearly all of whom are jumping at the chance to bring the optional avionics to their new airplanes.
The recent FAA approval of L-3 Avionics Systems’ SmartDeck integrated avionics system clears a path for integration of the cockpit into the production line of the first of two OEM customers the Grand Rapids, Mich. company has secured.
Avidyne introduced at EBACE in Geneva last month an Iridium-based satellite data transceiver that the company said can provide to customers in Europe in-flight weather graphics and text similar to those the XM and WSI services provide to users in the U.S.
Spectrum Aeronautical last month announced the selection of Honeywell’s Primus Apex integrated avionics system for the all-composite S-40 Freedom midsize business jet it is developing. Company president Austin Blue said Apex was chosen for the S-40 because it is a reliable and mature product that offers “best in class” functionality, in addition to Honeywell’s established international support capability.
The Aircraft Electronics Association’s annual convention, held April 23 through 26 near Washington, D.C., served as a bustling venue for more than two dozen new-product introductions, many of them geared toward satisfying the entertainment and communications needs of passengers.
The idea seems simple enough: give operators of aging business jets the opportunity to remove all of their old round gauges or cockpit CRT screens and replace them with modern liquid-crystal glass displays and they would likely jump at the chance for a complete front-office makeover.
L-3 Avionics late last week received TSO and STC approvals from the FAA for its SmartDeck integrated avionics system. The STC was awarded for the Cirrus SR22 G2, and L-3 Avionics said it will offer the STC through authorized dealers for retrofit. According to L-3, SmartDeck includes a display dedicated to flight plan management and communication information, as well as multifunction and primary flight displays.