Universal Avionics has begun deliveries of its UniLink UL-800/UL-801 communications management unit, which provides airborne datalink capability that meets upcoming mandates in European and North Atlantic airspace. The UL800/801 received FAA TSO approval in April, and Universal’s Tucson, Ariz., manufacturing facility is already producing the units to meet market demand.
Controller Pilot Data Link Communications
Rockwell Collins (Stand 436) has completed flight trials and is “on course” to receive operational credit approval for synthetic vision on a head-up display (HUD) next year, according to Greg Irmen, vice president and general manager business aviation for the U.S. avionics manufacturer. “We are moving very fast in working with industry partners [aircraft manufacturers] to get operational credit,” he said.
For U.S. Part 91 business jet operators that fly to Europe, the upcoming Future Air Navigation System (Fans) mandate means not only new operational procedures but also yet another letter of authorization (LOA) requirement from the FAA. Fans and controller pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) are essentially functions that will be baked into the flight management system (FMS), yet each operator’s implementation of procedures, training and a maintenance program for Fans/CPDLC will need a formal stamp of approval from a local FAA office.
The FAA has issued technical standard order certification (TSO-C113 and –C160) to Spectralux Avionics for its Dlink+ w/CPDLC controller pilot datalink communications system. The new system combines the control display unit, communications management unit and VDL Mode A/2 radio into a cockpit-mounted line-replaceable unit, and it includes interfaces for satcom, cockpit printers and other compatible devices, according to Spectralux.
AeroMechanical Services, operating as Flyht, will provide NetJets Europe with the automated flight information reporting system (Afirs) and services for 30 Hawker Beechcraft 750/800XPs.
Thomas French, Aeromechanical Services’ CFO, told AIN, “We’ve been dealing with smaller groups, primarily regional carriers, specialty carriers and cargo operators with 30 or fewer aircraft. This places the technology we’ve developed over the years with a major player and takes us into another level.”
The competition is under way to provide air-ground data communications in U.S. domestic airspace, a key piece of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). At the same time, the FAA has asked its NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) to recommend a data communications “roadmap” through 2030, taking into account different datalink standards.
Dassault Falcon declined to release pricing information on EASy II and its optional features. However, AIN contacted a Falcon 900 operator who is planning on upgrading to EASy II, and he provided some preliminary pricing that he was given for budget-planning purposes. The approximately $1.1 million total breaks down as follows:
The recent switching on of Europe’s Egnos satellite-based augmentation system is great news for flight management system (FMS) manufacturers like Universal Avionics Systems. “With Egnos being turned on officially,” said Dan Reida, Universal vice president of marketing, “we hope to start seeing a stronger interest in space-based augmented FMS. We look forward to implementation of more approaches [in Europe].”
Nav Canada and UK NATS have implemented a new navigation standard that reduces longitudinal separations by half for properly equipped aircraft in North Atlantic airspace managed by the Canadian and UK air navigation service providers.
International Communications Group (ICG) and Rockwell Collins have demonstrated the compatibility of ICG’s NxtLink ICS-220A communication systems with Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics in the Gulfstream G250, the companies said. The tests demonstrated the use of controller pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) and automatic dependent surveillance-contract (ADS-C) functions in the G250’s Pro Line Fusion avionics.