Garmin has updated the software for GTN touchscreen avionics, and new capabilities include the ability to display weather radar, new ADS-B features, worldwide connectivity with the GRS 56 Iridium datalink system, cross fill between the GTN and GNS 430W/530W, geo-referenced FliteCharts and support for Telligence voice command and 3-D audio. The new software is available free for owners of GTN systems starting in the fourth quarter, although dealers may charge for installation.
Personal digital assistant
The FAA’s $550 million system-wide information management (Swim) program to fashion a unified information management system from the various flight data, weather and advisory systems used in the National Airspace System calls to mind a hub-and-spoke computer network exchanging digital signals with the big iron in the sky.
Rockwell Collins announced Sunday at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh that its engineers have developed a touchscreen interface for the Pro Line Fusion avionics suite.
Satcom solutions provider SkyTrac Systems (Booth No. 4106) is launching SkyWeb Mobile for iPhone, Blackberry and Android smartphones at Heli-Expo 2011.
The $12,500 price tag on ASiQ’s mobile phone app might seem pricey, but by comparison with the $500,000 private jet mobile phone systems currently in service, it seems reasonable.
Pilots now have many choices for viewing approach plates, arrival and departure charts and airport diagrams in the cockpit, from traditional paper to electronic flight bags (EFBs), built-in avionics and a plethora of devices from Apple’s new iPad to handheld computers, Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader and other devices adapted to the task.
Honeywell’s Bendix/King division released its newest AV8OR Ace portable GPS at EAA AirVenture in late July, exactly a year after unveiling the first in the AV8OR Handheld series. The Ace features a much larger screen and geo-referenced IFR approach charts, as well as a full-featured automotive navigator, all for the relatively low price of $1,999 (street prices are less than $1,800).
Innotech Aviation of Quebec has received a supplemental type certificate for its new Sky Berry, a system that offers business aircraft operators a “low-cost way to wirelessly receive and transmit data on their PDAs.”
Sky Berry uses a router provided by International Communications Group (ICG) of Newport News, Va. The first system was installed in a Hawker 800.
EMS Sky Connect introduced the Forté AirMail service last month, pitching it as giving passengers “pole-to-pole, anywhere-on-the-globe, unfettered in-flight e-mail access.” The system uses the Iridium network to provide e-mail access to any Wi-Fi-enabled smartphone or PDA. “We tested every device we could find and everything we tested worked,” said EMS Sky Connect general manager Steve Silverman.
Southern California charter operator Clay Lacy Aviation said it will equip its fleet of more than 60 owned and managed business jets with Aircell’s high-speed Internet service. System installations, which began last month and will continue through next year, represent the first fleet-wide selection of the Aircell service by a business aircraft operator.