Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with leaders of the Independent Pilots Association (IPA) over coffee at the Mayflower hotel in downtown Washington. Based in Louisville, Ky., site of the UPS Worldport international air hub, the IPA represents 2,650 pilots who fly freight for Big Brown.
Traffic Collision Avoidance System
Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS), a joint-venture company of L-3 Communications and Thales, is busy preparing for upcoming avionics mandates such as ADS-B as well as the expected EASA requirement for TCAS Change 7.1.
A new revitalized Eclipse VLJ is rising from the ashes of bankruptcy with a boost from Sikorsky’s substantial minority investment. Eclipse Aerospace announced today at the 64th NBAA Annual Meeting and Convention in Las Vegas that it will restart production of new Eclipse jets, dubbed the model 550.
Embraer’s Phenom 300 has received approval for the upgrade to Garmin’s synthetic vision technology (SVT). The FAA, EASA and Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil have all approved SVT for the Phenom 300’s Prodigy flight deck. SVT shows a color-coded 3-D “visual topographic landscape” derived from Garmin’s terrain-alerting database.
The expected release in December of a proposed rule governing the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in the U.S. national airspace system (NAS) will be a definitive step in the phased introduction of robotic aircraft in civilian airspace.
Offshore operator Bristow’s Sikorsky S-92s have started flying in the North Sea with a second-generation traffic alert collision avoidance system (Tcas2). The first of seven medium twins to be equipped entered service in August, following EASA approval. The company had been studying S-92 Tcas2 since 2008, when it started operating the in-house-developed system on a Eurocopter Super Puma.
The newly renamed G280 (formerly G250) is on schedule to enter service later this year, after certification by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI), then EASA and the FAA. The first production G280 was delivered to Gulfstream’s completion center in Dallas in early August for interior outfitting and paint.
A Beech 1900D with a new Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 integrated display system (IDS) made its first flight on August 12. Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support (GCS) is leading the supplemental type certification effort for the 1900D, replacing the original Rockwell Collins Pro Line II EFIS 84 system with the Pro Line 21. The EFIS 84 featured EFD-84 four-inch by four-inch cathode-ray-tube displays.
This month will mark a turning point from the “pioneer” phase to the mandate phase of Europe’s implementation of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) for aircraft tracking and separation.
Despite all the fits and starts, NextGen in the U.S. will eventually affect business aircraft operators, although perhaps not on the schedule that the FAA currently espouses. It is not too soon to start considering the impact of NextGen on business aviation and how it will drive equipment requirements.