Wednesday, March 8, 2017

NASA orders avionics and autopilot upgrade for research aircraft

NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center operates a Beechcraft B200 aircraft, tail number N801NA, serial number BB-1164. The current avionics and autopilot suite, a critical aircraft system that projects rely on for accuracy, on the aircraft has been problematic for reliable operation and have been known to cause issues during research flight campaigns. Additionally, the aircraft needs RVSM capability, ADS-B In/Out, and TCAS/TAWS capabilities. “These are requirements for future projects, and they need to be addressed,” NASA officials said in contract documents released Wednesday.

The avionics and autopilot upgrade to N801NA will include:
  • G1000 Platinum Package with Synthetic Vision, including RVSM capabilities. Includes standby ADI, airspeed indicators and altimeter. Headset compatible, tie-in to audio panel.
  • Weather Radar upgrade (GWX-70).
  • ADS-B In/Out upgrade.
  • TCAS/TAWS upgrade, replace Skywatch 497 with Garmin GTW 825.
  • ADF compatible (currently ADF-60, upgrade to ADF-60A for compatibility with G1000).
  • Tie in the existing UHF radio to the G1000 suite.
  • Update the current DME-40s and Radio Altimeter (not compatible with G1000) to a DME-42 and Garmin Radio Altimeter and tie-in to G1000 package.
  • Retain the existing equipment that was removed to keep as spares for other B200 aircraft.
The work necessary to complete the avionics and autopilot upgrades shall be completed at a contractor’s facility.

All work should be completed within 20 business days of the arrival of N801NA to the contractor.

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