Rockwell Collins is applying years of flight-test research to its new Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics system by combining computer-generated synthetic scenes with infrared enhanced-vision views on the primary flight displays and HUD. The goal, the company proclaims, is to give business jet crews the ability to “go anywhere, anytime.”
Although avgas is expensive, there is no shortage in the U.S., and oil companies continue to support its production and distribution. Nonetheless, Cessna Aircraft has decided to outfit its best-selling 172 Skyhawk with a diesel engine. Starting in the middle of next year, Cessna dealers will sell the Skyhawk TD powered by a 155-hp Thielert turbocharged diesel engine installed under an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC).
In separate efforts, Jet Aviation and Kollsman are the latest companies to explore possible anti-surface-to-air-missile (SAM) systems. Jet Aviation, a subsidiary of a Swiss-based company with U.S. headquarters in West Palm Beach, Fla., is reportedly in talks with possible system vendors Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.
Gulfstream has penned a letter of intent with Safe Flight Instrument for the supply of the latter company’s Enhanced AutoPower automatic throttle system as an option for new Gulfstream 200s, as well as for retrofit for G200s and Galaxies already in service. An STC for the system is expected by early next summer, upon the completion of 10 to 25 flight test hours.
Weather-data provider Meteorlogix introduced AviationWatch, a so-called “smart weather” briefing and alerting service for pilots that can be accessed on the ground and in the cockpit. Meteorlogix currently powers MxVision AviationSentry for a number of FBOs and corporate flight departments and maintains an online product that gives subscribers access to weather data over the Internet.
Operators of U.S.-registered CitationJets must disengage the pitch-trim/ autopilot circuit breakers to prevent runaway pitch trim, a condition that has led to at least one accident, according to an October 21 AD (2203-21-17). A CitationJet was ditched on July 22 in Penn Cove in Coupeville, Wash., following a loss of elevator trim control, resulting in an uncommanded nose-down pitch attitude.
Eclipse Aviation yesterday released more information about its planned flight operational quality assurance (FOQA) program, which was recently approved by the FAA though the company didn't reveal the regulatory basis of the approval. The FOQA program will gather data from Eclipse 500s for analysis by Austin Digital, a software company that works with many FOQA equipment manufacturers and airlines.
CMC Electronics unveiled the third generation of its SureSight enhanced-vision system (EVS) at the show, taking the wraps off the CMA-2700 infrared camera. Bombardier has selected the system for the Global Express XRS and 5000, which will be integrated with an LCD-based HUD from Rockwell Collins that is also coming to the models. The EVS will replace the Global’s current CMA-2600 EVS, which will continue flying aboard EVS-equipped Falcons.
Garmin named three additional OEM platforms for its G1000 avionics system, in the Cessna Caravan, Socata TBM 850 and under-development PiperJet. Cessna announced at the show that it is making the G1000 standard equipment in the Caravan starting in the first half of next year. The upgrade will be brought to all current production Caravan models.
General Electric’s research arm and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (Darpa) have joined forces to develop an entirely bio-based jet fuel to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. The main challenge is to make the conversion process efficient. The project envisions a conversion efficiency, by energy content, of crop oil to JP-8 surrogate of between 60 and 85 percent.