By Rob Finfrock
Later this month, representatives with the CJP Executive Committee will meet with staffers at Cedar Rapids, IA-based Rockwell Collins for what CJP President David Miller described as a “strategy session” about how both organizations may work together in supporting upgrade paths for Members operating Citations equipped with Rockwell Collins avionics, transponders and other equipment.
In particular, the discussion will focus on affordable solutions to equip Citations with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), in line with the FAA’s 2020 mandate for aircraft operating in airspace that now requires a Mode C transponder be equipped with ADS-B Out capabilities supporting the agency’s move to the NextGen, GPS-based air traffic control network. “The majority of our focus is planned around providing owners of Pro Line 21-equipped CJs with a roadmap for airspace compliance and other capabilities,” explained Adam Evanschwartz, marketing director at Rockwell Collins. “That may range from, ‘just make me ADS-B compliant,’ to more holistic upgrades and complete systems overhauls.”
Over the past 10-15 years, approximately 1,000 Pro Line 21 avionics systems have been installed in a range of Citation Jet aircraft, including the CJ1 and CJ2 (and the “+” variants of those lines) as well as CJ3s and CJ4s. “We are highly motivated to support that customer base, as well as other customers flying Citation models equipped with other Rockwell Collins equipment, so they may have unencumbered access to the airspace they want to fly in,” Evanschwartz added.
Increasingly, that also includes finding ADS-B solutions for older model aircraft. In April, ahead of the Aircraft Electronics Association’s annual conference, Rockwell Collins joined with Universal Avionics in announcing a partnership that holds promise for older Citations, pairing the Rockwell Collins TDR-94(D) Mode S Transponder with Universal Avionics’ SBAS-Flight Management System (FMS).
“This solution offers an upgrade path for older airframes flying without Rockwell Collins’ integrated avionics, such as the Pro Line 21 or Fusion,” Evanschwartz explained. “This offers a technically-feasible solution that, generally, may be integrated into any airframe in which you may find a Universal Avionics FMS.” Certification efforts are underway now, through Textron Aviation’s Citation Service Center network.
In addition to cost-effective ADS-B solutions, Evanschwartz added other features commonly requested by Citation owners include Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) and localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) functionality, and synthetic vision technology.
“We’ve heard unambiguous demand from the owner community for value-added solutions for their airplanes,” Evanschwartz concluded. “There will be a lot of exciting things to talk about with the CJP membership in the near future.”