When Gulfstream’s G650 enters service later this year, pilots will find a pleasant surprise, a Honeywell RDR 4000 3-D weather radar that is far easier to operate than earlier systems. The radar has been flying for a few years on airliners, and the G650 is the first business jet application. New features just implemented on the RDR 4000 include turbulence detection, hail and lightning display and a new attenuation display.
Because of the popularity of tablet computers like the Apple iPad, as well as a variety of glass-cockpit displays capable of showing Next Generation Radar (Nexrad), the NTSB has issued a Safety Alert cautioning pilots about the limitations of the mosaic weather radar data displayed in these new delivery devices.
Jeppesen introduced an en route application that features worldwide, real-time weather service as a new component of its FliteDeck Pro electronic flight bag solution. Targeted at Part 121 and 135 operators, the new Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro en route service overlays graphical and textual weather display on the route of flight.
While it might be a name unfamiliar to many pilots, Baron Services is well known in meteorology circles. The company was originally formed out of a research project with NASA in the late 1980s that dealt with reporting of highly localized lightning data. Baron later expanded the display technology, incorporating radar data to create its first storm-tracking system.
Bendix/King’s new AV8OR handheld GPS receiver can display XM Weather’s Aviator LT and Aviator products, making it a handy cockpit tool. During a recent trip, I used the Aviator product provided by WxWorx of Huntsville, Ala. Although WxWorx also offers XM Weather’s Aviator Pro, the AV8OR can’t display the additional features available in Pro.
Jeppesen announced it has been selected to provide worldwide weather information and forecasts for use by subscribers of the Merlin airborne weather system in development by Dulles, Va.-based Satellink Technologies. Scheduled for availability this spring, Merlin will provide real-time weather to aircraft in flight, including high-resolution color weather charts and Notams supplied by Jeppesen.
The National Weather Service has awarded a team led by L-3 Enterprise IT Solutions a $43 million contract to upgrade Nexrad radar sites. Consisting of 171 weather radars positioned across the U.S. and a handful overseas, the sites collect data on local weather phenomena, which are then used to predict convective activity.