When the idea was initially being explored a number of years ago, FAA planners saw a use for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) only in Alaska, where the technology would allow aircraft operating beyond the reach of radar to develop their own position data using onboard GPS equipment, and then transmit that data to others in the region through either a microwave satellite uplink and downlink or ground-based VHF network.
No doubt many pilots have been asking themselves lately how Garmin has possibly managed to develop an integrated glass cockpit for the Cessna Citation Mustang business jet that will also fly aboard a variety of light piston singles. Can the avionics in a $2.3 million twinjet really be the cousin of an integrated avionics package that costs the same as the equipment it replaces in a Cessna Skylane?
Southern Star Avionics has completed required flight testing for Cessna Citation 560 and S550 airframes and expects to receive RVSM group certification for the types early next month. The $95,000 installation kits use IS&S digital altimeters with integrated air-data computers and analog interface units. The company said the upgrade is available for both single and dual flight director aircraft equipped with Sperry SPZ-500 autopilots.
The FAA has certified the CMS-1000 communication management system from Pentar Avionics. The panel-mount unit provides digital and analog input and output, ACARS processing, an optional internal VDL Mode 2 (VHF datalink) radio and optional GPS sensor.
Sky Way Communications has obtained special temporary authorization from the FCC to begin testing planned upgrades for services based on the AT&T/Claircom air-to-ground network, decommissioned in 2002 in a cost-cutting move by AT&T Wireless.
Midcoast Aviation in St. Louis last month was busy installing the first Teledyne Iridium Units (TIU) in Challenger 604s operated by Boeing’s executive flight department. Designed for use with MagnaStar air-to-ground telephone systems, the TIU from Teledyne Controls allows buyers to use their existing MagnaStar handsets to place voice and data calls anywhere in the world.
Jeppesen has undertaken an ambitious yearlong effort to survey taxiways and ramp areas at high-use airports throughout the world. Using GPS surveying equipment, Jeppesen engineers plan to establish precise reference points on airports and compare them with digitized satellite imagery.
Canadian authorities have approved the installation of a Max-Viz EVS-1000 enhanced vision system (EVS) aboard a Global Express. The U.S.-registered jet received the upgrade at ABC Completions in Montreal and gained Canadian approval in late December. An STC from the FAA covering the installation was expected by the end of last month.
An AD issued last month requires operators of certain Gulfstream IV-SP series to install software and hardware updates to their Honeywell Primus Epic avionics to correct an EFIS display blanking problem. The FAA said it received a report that all four EFIS screens went blank simultaneously for about 74 seconds in flight. Two similar incidents occurred on the ground, according to the agency.
Montreal-based simulator manufacturer and training organization CAE announced a restructuring plan, including several hundred layoffs, to take effect April 1. The move is aimed at restoring the company’s profitability. The company told AIN that its SimuFlite unit is “doing well” and is not affected by the reorganization.