We often think of the FAA as a cumbersome organization that usually–but not always–gets the job done, often in its own sweet time. But with its Waas space-based augmentation system (Sbas) program, the agency has shown it can also move quickly.
Updating older aircraft to “better than new” has become big business, and Butler National Corporation’s (Booth No. 3196) just announced STC for the installation of the Garmin GTN 750 nav/comm into Learjet 35 and 36 series aircraft should make a few NBAA’12 Convention attendees sit up and listen.
Operators flying aircraft equipped with Universal Avionics flight management systems will soon be able to enjoy improved flight efficiency thanks to Universal’s new FlexPerf Trip Performance module. The module will be available for Universal Waas/Sbas FMSs (and also Waas/Sbas-capable military Multi-Mission Management Systems). FlexPerf will be available with the next major software release in the first quarter of 2013.
Garmin (Booth No. 2758) has added new features and equipment for its G600 and G500 flight display systems. New software and a new GAD 43e adaptor enable both systems to display and control altitude preselect and vertical speed as well as display DME distance, analog radar altitude and analog navigation data.
“By integrating this data into the G600 and G500 digital displays, aircraft owners have an opportunity to clean up their panels and enhance the reliability of their instruments by removing older equipment,” said Garmin vice president Carl Wolf.
In less than eight months, Garmin has established its Garmin Pilot app as a worthwhile competitor to other moving-map and electronic flight bag (EFB) applications. An improved version of the Pilot My-Cast app for Apple’s popular iPad and iPhone, Garmin Pilot was also launched for use on a wide range of Android smartphones and tablets. Both versions offer similar features and usability, though there also are some distinct differences.
The UK’s Gama Engineering, a Gama Group company formed a year ago with the amalgamation of Lees Avionics and Mann Aviation Group Engineering, recently completed its 50th EASA STC. The project was the design and certification of a Garmin G600 installation in a BN Islander used by the Belgian Coast Guard. Gama Engineering is based at Fairoaks Airport.
Last year there were a handful of companies promoting devices that could capture weather and traffic signals from the growing network of ADS-B ground stations deployed around the U.S. This year, the market and the makers of ADS-B devices have exploded, and buyers now have an array of choices.
The good news is that these devices are now available for both Android and Apple devices. The even better news is that some manufacturers have added fairly significant capabilities to their ADS-B devices, although some of these have yet to begin deliveries.
The ADS-B system that is the cornerstone of the FAA’s NextGen ATC modernization plan is at risk of serious security breaches, according to Brad Haines (aka RenderMan), a hacker and network security consultant who is worried about ADS-B vulnerabilities.
Broomfield, Colo.-based JetTech announced yesterday that it received FAA STC approval to install touchscreen Garmin GTN 650/750 GPS navcoms on 500-series Cessna Citations, to include the 500, 501, 550, 551, S550 and 560. The approval covers installation of the GPS navcoms, as well as Garmin GTX 33 transponders, remote GMA35 audio panels and GA35/37 antennas. In addition, the STC includes Waas approvals.
Garmin unveiled a pair of ADS-B units and a new solid-state weather radar system yesterday, further broadening its avionics product line.
The company’s new GDL 88 is a dual-link ADS-B solution, which transmits and receives on 978 MHz and also receives on 1090 MHz. Its ability to receive on both 978 and 1090 MHz means that it can detect traffic transmitting on either ADS-B OUT frequency and receive subscription-free weather data on 978 MHz. ADS-B OUT capability for flying above 18,000 feet or outside the U.S. could be added with a GTX 330/33 ES transponder.