L-3 Avionics Revolutionizes Cockpit System, Makes Flying Personal Aircraft Easier, Safer
By Deborah Johnson Wood
Michigan-based L-3 Avionics Systems created a completely integrated cockpit system for personal airplanes, one that it ensures will make flying easier and more enjoyable. The SmartDeck Integrated Flight Controls and Display System, also known as a glass cockpit, resembles a computer screen with bright colors and flight data in a convenient spot. No other system like it has been designed for personal aircraft. "The easier it is, the safer it is," said Michelle Stevenson, an L-3 spokesperson. "The optional synthetic vision uses a database to pull up obstacles and terrain and mountains on the screen so pilots can see them, even if they're flying in bad weather. And it shows runway markers, which is a great safety factor." The system obtained Federal Aviation Administration certification in the Cirrus SR22 (a four-seat piston airplane) in May and is operating in a model of the Cirrus SJ50 (a one-engine personal jet) while L-3 officials seek personal jet certification.
October 17, 2008