Balancing available technology with the inevitable shifts in what governments will spend to achieve incremental gains, it’s tough to say what the air traffic management (ATM) environment of tomorrow will look like. Weren’t we all supposed to be living in a Free Flight utopia by now?
Traffic Collision Avoidance System
AIN has learned that FAA officials are considering the introduction of TCAS-III to meet collision-avoidance needs when large unmanned aircraft start to operate in civil airspace.
Although very light jets (VLJ) will be operating at the same altitudes (including RVSM airspace) as and mingling with airliners and larger business jets, there is no requirement that the small jets be equipped with TCAS or TAWS because they do not meet the minimum seat configuration as spelled out in Parts 91 and 135.
Nearly two months after the worst aviation accident in Brazil’s history, the midair between a Boeing 737-800 operated by Brazilian airline Gol and a Legacy operated by Long Island, N.Y.-based ExcelAire, a series of questions still remains about the cause of the accident. Furthermore, as we go to press, the two U.S. pilots of the Legacy are still being detained in Brazil.
In the ARJ21 Rockwell Collins has found the first regional jet application for its ProLine 21 avionics suite. Chinese airframer ACAC specifically selected the package because it wants the new model to boast flight deck commonality with larger airliners. The U.S. avionics house is now testing the kit in its ARJ21 configurations and expects to complete integration of the first version of this by year end.
Aviation Communications & Surveillance Systems (ACSS), a joint L-3 Communications and Thales company, has announced that Cessna has selected the TCAS 2000 traffic alert and collision avoidance system as standard for the Citation X, XLS and Sovereign. Launched in 1997 by Honeywell, TCAS 2000 was the industry’s first TCAS II system. In 1999 when AlliedSignal and Honeywell merged, ACSS was formed to buy the product.
Honeywell’s avionics gurus in Redmond, Washington, are developing what the company touts as being the world’s first integrated surveillance system (ISS) for a military transport, the Airbus A400M.
Described by some Honeywell engineers as the “son of Primus Epic,” the Phoenix company’s Apex integrated avionics system is undergoing a makeover that aims to make that moniker more appropriate than ever. The enhanced version of Apex now under development for the Grob SPn Utility Jet will feature better integration of TCAS II, weather radar and other functions thanks to greater software processing power.
Honeywell is close to releasing a synthetic vision system (SVS) upgrade for its Primus Epic business jet cockpit. Having addressed the three most common causes of accidents through its enhanced ground proximity warning (EGPWS), traffic alert and collision avoidance (TCAS) and runway awareness and advisory (RAAS) systems, the company believes SVS will be the next major safety advance.
On Saturday, Eclipse Aviation received FAA type certification for the Eclipse 500, nine months later than originally planned when the company announced in early 2003 that it would have to modify the design due to switching from the Williams EJ22 turbofan to the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F.