Last week, Universal Avionics announced that Southeast Aerospace received Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval from the FAA for cockpit upgrades on the Hawker 800 using InSight, Universal’s integrated flight deck. This milestone means that Universal’s new technology can help modernize the flight deck of the aging business jet and offer a variety of advantages to operators who utilize the system.
As an integrated flight deck solution, InSight’s new features will make flying safer and easier for pilots. These features include things like a 3D synthetic vision system with advanced mapping capability, touchscreen displays, and embedded electronic charts that display an aircraft’s present position, all of which modernize navigation and flight operations. Additionally, InSight is equipped with dual UNS-1Fw flight management systems, which boast extensive navigation databases and can add up to 2,000 routes and 100 company airports to the system. It is also equipped with LPV (Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance).
Universal Avionics finished engineering its InSight display system in 2017. The following year, the company received an FAA technical standard order (TSO) for its electronic flight instrument control display unit (ECDU) for the InSight system. And in 2019, a new “Fly By Sight” navigation system for business aircraft made its debut, merging the company’s ClearVision SkyLens Head Wearable Display (HWD) and the Interactive Flight Management System (i-FMS).
The benefits operators will receive from InSight are extensive. InSight is lighter and has significantly less wiring when compared to existing technologies, which translates to lower maintenance and operating costs. Furthermore, the additional situational awareness provided by synthetic vision and other technological upgrades improves safety for pilots and passengers. Features like interactive digital maps and full engine integration improve the system’s functionality compared to existing flight decks.
Though the Hawker 800 is aging and has been in use since the 1980s, over 1,000 of the type still remain in service today. With the aircraft still heavily utilized for business aviation and charters, Universal’s InSight will help bring improved technology to the decades-old design.
Luke Gomoll from Southeast Aerospace demonstrated enthusiasm for this new technology, explaining, “Hawker 800(A)(B)(XP) owners and operators have a reason to be excited! It has been a long time since this airframe has received this level of attention. The SEA Hawker InSight upgrade is quite comprehensive in addressing multiple obsolete components and brings tremendous value as an upgrade. Better yet, this upgrade is available now using equipment that is available now. So, stop swapping those CRTs and step into a new EFIS with numerous other technology enhancements. Put the fun back into flying!”
Dror Yahav, CEO of Universal Avionics since 2019, also commented on the achievement, saying, “The InSight Display System upgrade is a sustainable glass cockpit solution elevating operations for business operators today with enhanced situational awareness, improved reliability, and long-term savings.”
For years Universal Avionics, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems Ltd., has provided the aviation industry with retrofit solutions, which are now installed on over 35,000 aircraft across the world. The FAA’s approval of the STC for the Hawker 800’s flight deck upgrades marks yet another successful attempt by Universal to bring modernized and improved technology to existing aircraft in service.
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