MODERN AVIONICS WEIGH LESS, USE SPACE BETTER AND ARE ENERGY EFFICIENT

Posted Friday, August 08 2014 as Industry News

Cockpit Considerations--Making the Case for Avionics Upgrades

“Because they are smaller, less space is consumed on the instrument panel. In the past, for instance, a CRT-based EFIS would require a separate display image generator along with the display unit. Now, both can be incorporated within a single unit.” - Blake Hogge, senior manager of avionics sales at Jet Aviation

Along with greater reliability and product availability, modern avionics also offer a weight savings dividend, which could be as much as 250 pounds, according to Blake Hogge, senior manager of avionics sales at Jet Aviation’s maintenance facility in Cahokia, IL.

“Today’s LCD-based EFIS systems also generate less heat than their predecessors, because they do not require external fans and cooling ducts, and they are smaller, which is the natural progression of technology,” he notes.

“Because they are smaller, less space is consumed on the instrument panel. In the past, for instance, a CRT-based EFIS would require a separate display image generator along with the display unit. Now both can be incorporated within a single unit.”

“An analog cockpit might have some 40 instruments on the instrument panel, but today’s digital systems can reduce that to as little as three flat panel displays, which are larger format, increasingly multi-functional, and take up less space on the instrument panel,” says Tim Shaw, avionics manager at Calgary, Alberta-based Rocky Mountain Aircraft, a specialist in turboprop aircraft maintenance. “That provides operators with a more streamlined spares management opportunity.”

The new LCD and LED displays are far more robust, he adds, with greater resistance to vibration and electrical power variations than older models. “Once installed, the new-generation avionics units have no scheduled maintenance removal intervals, while the older, electro-mechanical systems did. I would estimate that this could equal approximately a 70% reduction in avionics maintenance costs,” Shaw states.

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