Chicago Jet Group received the first-ever Fans retrofit STC approval from the FAA on September 5, the company and partner Universal Avionics announced yesterday. The Fans 1/A+/controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) system, which was installed in a Dassault Falcon 50 that Chicago Jet group manages for a customer, uses an International Communications Group NxtLink ICS-220A Iridium satcom.
Controller Pilot Data Link Communications
For operators flying with cathode-ray tube RM-850 radio management units with screens that are getting hard to read, Honeywell is offering an upgrade to the RM-855 with a liquid-crystal display (LCD). While Honeywell bought a quantity of the RM-850 displays, “[that] stock has now become depleted,” according to the company. “Honeywell is no longer able to repair units with CRT failures.” The RM-855 is a form, fit and function replacement unit; however, it requires a new mating connector. The existing wires need to be re-pinned into the new connector.
Technicians at Ruag Aviation’s facility in Geneva, Switzerland, have completed the company’s first EASy II avionics upgrade in a Falcon 900EX. The EASy flight deck is based on Honeywell’s Primus Epic avionics system. The EASy II upgrade was done during a scheduled A/A+ check and includes Honeywell’s SmartView synthetic vision system (SVS) with HUD symbology displayed on the PFDs.
Bombardier’s new Challenger 350 will feature an upgraded flight deck, the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 Advanced system, which will also be available as a retrofit on Challenger 300s. New capabilities include synthetic vision, Fans 1/A, ADS-B out, CPDLC, RNP basic and authorization required and LPV guidance. The Rockwell Collins MultiScan threat-detection system radar will also be available for both the Challenger 300 and 350. MultiScan reduces pilot workload by automatically identifying weather and turbulence.
Rockwell Collins has signed a series of contracts to supply the Bristow Group, SunExpress Airlines and Iberia Airlines with various avionics equipment. This includes TCAS for Bristow’s 44 Sikorsky helicopters and a package to allow the airline customers to comply with Eurocontrol’s Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) requirement.
UPS MD-11 pilots and controllers at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey started communicating by text messages in May under the Federal Aviation Administration’s data communications (data comm) departure clearance (DCL) trials program. The FAA expects United Airlines, British Airways and other carriers will begin participating this summer.
Sita is supporting the launch of datalink ATC service in Indonesian airspace. The Geneva-based company has an agreement with Indonesia’s air navigation service provider to provide an air-to-ground datalink infrastructure that will enable pilots and controllers to communicate in the Jakarta flight information region.
As Europe begins the phased introduction of new datalink standards for aircraft and ATC (above FL285), Arinc Direct continues to play a leading role in future datalink standards (effectively the next-generation Acars).
So-called controller pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) requires aircraft to be able to communicate with ATC using VHF datalink (VDL) Mode 2, akin to text messaging of requests and clearances (although voice communications will still be used as a back-up).
Two preferred routes over the North Atlantic Organized Track System (NAT OTS) now require cockpit datalink capability. The ICAO requirement calls for two datalink capabilities, controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) and ADS-C (Contract). Flight departments planning to equip for datalink communications to meet this requirement will have to obtain a letter of authorization from their local FAA FSDO.
Airbus and its air traffic management subsidiaries, together with systems integration company EADS Cassidian, said they will participate as industry partners in seven European flight trials set to begin early next year through 2014 under the direction of the Single European Sky ATM Joint Undertaking (Sesar JU).