The latest addition to AgustaWestland’s family of helicopters is the AW109 Trekker, which was introduced in February and will be the first of its light twin aircraft to offer skid landing gear.
German light-sport manufacturer Flight Design (Booth #MD-027) updated Sun ’n’ Fun show attendees on the progress of its four-place C4 airframe, as well as announced expansion plans for manufacturing and assembly facilities in Asia and the U.S.
The company, which has delivered more than 2,000 aircraft around the world over the past 25 years has worked with Garmin to develop its own Flight Design Garmin Vision Touch avionics for the new C4, its first four-place aircraft, expected to cost $250,000, which is currently in testing.
If it isn’t blindingly obvious already that Cessna has made a huge shift to Garmin avionics in its lineup of business jets, then the addition of the G3000 flight deck to the Citation CJ2+ is yet another indicator of where the company is headed. The G3000 upgrade for the CJ2+ is part of a new package, called the Alpine edition, that is not an option for new jets coming off the assembly line in Wichita but is available only as a retrofit. Cessna has also switched the CJ3 to the G3000 system in the new CJ3+, but this is for new jets, not retrofits.
The Citation CJ3 is the latest member of Cessna’s CJ series to be upgraded with the Garmin G3000 avionics system, following the M2 (née CJ1) and CJ2+. The CJ3+’s new avionics include improved turbulence-detecting weather radar, Tcas II, advanced Taws, a wireless media server, Garmin integrated cockpit and cabin Iridium phone and Aircell high-speed Internet system, as well as ADS-B capabilities. Besides the new glass cockpit, the CJ3+ also has an all-new interior with a redesigned cabin and cockpit and new pressurization and diagnostics systems.
Aspen Avionics is extending its reach further into the general aviation market with a new VFR version of its primary flight display (PFD) glass panel retrofit product. Retailing for $4,995 (plus installation), the VFR 1000 PFD offers owners of older aircraft a way to add a single glass panel that replaces the traditional six-pack instruments, then later add additional capabilities, which are available as software upgrades. “This is tailored for the VFR pilot,” said John Uczekaj, Aspen president and CEO.
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier Challenger 300s. The AD was prompted by multiple reports of erratic electrical status indications on the pushbutton annunciators and the engine indication and crew alerting system (EICAS). Some of those reported incidents involved a momentary loss of electrical power and loss of flight displays.
The merging of glass cockpit technology to legacy Enstrom (Booth No. 8822) helicopters moved closer to reality this week, with Aspen STC announcing the completion of flight testing toward FAA supplemental type certificate approval to install the Aspen Avionics Evolution EFD1000H primary flight display (PFD) and EFD500H/1000H multifunction display (MFD) on current and future Enstrom models.
Rockwell Collins (Booth No. 8040) opened Heli-Expo 2014 with announcements that its new MFD-268P2B multifunction displays are now standard equipment on Sikorsky S-92 medium-lift helicopters.
Available on new S-92s delivered this year, the MFD-268P2B offers improved color stability and readability for high-angle, cross-cockpit viewing. The displays may also be upgraded, with provisions for installation of synthetic vision, H-TAWS terrain awareness and the company’s MultiScan weather radar systems.
Robinson Helicopter (Booth No. 5226) is displaying its new line of standard and optional glass-panel avionics options for all its helicopter models here at Heli-Expo.
The Garmin GTR 225B is now the standard com radio on all models. The company points out that it satisfies the new KHz channel spacing regulations. The GMA 350H audio panel is now standard for dual com installations.
Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services, North America, a subsidiary of Vector Aerospace (Booth No. 5906), has brought a custom-modified integrated cockpit for display at Heli-Expo 2014. The cockpit consists of two Sagem 10-inch multifunction displays (MFDs) and two Sagem 10-inch primary flight displays (PFDs) for right or left seat operations. It is part of Vector Aerospace’s Bell Huey UH-1H (civilian Bell 205A) upgrade program.