AVIONICS DEVELOPMENTS

Honeywell offers Bendix/King avionics for TPs, light and medium jets with RNP futures

Availability of RNP terminal ops to all GA pilots means better access and safer, easier-to-fly approaches.


RNP Rwy 31R approach to PSP displayed on Primus Apex INAV MFD. While this is an SAAAR procedure, a similar one with fewer restrictions could soon be approved for RNP 0.3 aircraft.

The KFD840 offers a large integrated attitude display with an easy-to-read picture of essential flight data superimposed on the display. A horizontal situation indicator (HSI) is at the bottom of the screen.

An integral air data attitude heading reference system (ADAHRS) provides a complete spectrum of all data so that no external reference system is required. The KFD840 will interface with most autopilots in use in turboprops and light and midsize jets.

Companion navigation tool to the KFD840 is the KSN770 MFD. It features an integral nav/com VHF radio and an FMS, both of which use a cursor control device (CCD) to point and click for data and frequency entry and modification through a host of graphical windows.

Also included within the unit is a WAAS-capable GPS receiver, which could be capable of flying RNP approaches under AC90-105. Total retail cost for these 2 units is about $31,000. With installation and certification, flyaway cost is estimated at $50,000, but this will vary with individual aircraft configuration.

According to Cundiff, "Honeywell is planning on taking the Apex Edge to the current fleet of light piston aircraft." To that end, he notes, "We are working on the 'NextGen' version, both as an avionics suite and as individual components.

A customer will have the option to retrofit with the entire Apex Edge suite or replace older components with the latest Apex Edge PFDs and MFDs." Follow-on versions of the KFD840 will include additional capabilities to improve engine monitoring and increase situation awareness with synthetic vision (SV) capability.

The KSN770 will continue to incorporate a wider set of options for map and situational displays, giving the pilot the ability to focus on complex approach and departure procedures and highlight the critical elements.

Like its high-end sister product, Primus Epic, the new Primus Apex suite can completely replace all the instruments and displays in the cockpit with 4 large, colorful flat panels. Honeywell notes that the turboprop/small/medium jet operator will enjoy the same safety and situational awareness as that available in larger aircraft.

Cundiff explains that the new Primus Apex updates will likely not provide its customers with access to the full range of RNP procedures, because the high-end RNP SAAAR procedures require IRS as a backup to GPS. IRSs are not generally found in the airplanes that would be Primus Apex equipped.

When? And how much?

"The updates to Primus Apex are in development," says Cundiff. "We're working with several OEMs to incorporate them in new aircraft coming down the line." He qualifies this, though, adding, "Given the slowdown in the development cycle with the economy, its introduction may not be as timely as we had hoped.

We're pressing ahead with its development, although it's too early for us to commit to a specific completion date or system cost." Honeywell's Primus Apex system will offer operators of turboprop and small and medium jets off-the-shelf products to support RNP operations.

By the time a customer could take delivery of his aircraft, new RNP procedures should be in place, and owners will be able to enjoy the first fruits of the new generation of safer, more efficient arrivals and departures.

Woody McClendon flies jets and helicopters and has contributed to Professional Pilot for many years.

 

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