Nextant Aerospace has received Federal Aviation Administration approval of an upgraded software supplemental type certificate for the Challenger 604 aircraft with Pro Line Fusion avionics. The upgrade provides added avionics capabilities enhancing safety and awareness whilst also helping pilots and operators save time. Nextant is making the upgrade available at no charge for current Challenger 604 Pro Line Fusion operators.
“The FAA approval of the upgraded software STC for Challenger 604 aircraft will improve flight crew safety and awareness, and is consistent with our commitment to meeting the needs of our customers,” says Nextant Aerospace director of engineering and certification Kevin Himelright: “We look forward to partnering with our customers, Collins Aerospace and the FAA to ensure these aircraft are provided suitable paths to operate well into the future and to continue to meet the industry's growing safety and operational mandate challenges.”
The software update will address the Pro Line Fusion software as when originally certified it did not include features such as flight management system predicted performance and calculated thrust and V-speeds which existed on the Challenger 604 Pro Line IV aircraft. Users selecting the initial Pro Line Fusion installation were required to revert to manually calculating thrust, V-speeds and performance numbers.
The software upgrade provides the Challenger 604 with FMS-calculated thrust and V-speed functionality as well as FMS-predicted performance. The upgrade includes an FMS-vertical situation display for enhanced situational awareness, European Aeronautical Telecommunication Network Baseline 1 controller pilot data link communications functionality to meet European and overseas mandates and RNP AR .3 approach functionality, which improves the aircraft's safety and operational capabilities.
Validations of the STC by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, Transport Canada and other non-US agencies are in progress.
Nextant certification engineers has been working with both Collins Aerospace and the FAA to test and certify its Fusion software upgrade. It is executing an FAA Flight Standardisation Board operational evaluation for training requirements to support Part 135 operators upgrading to the Fusion Version 2 software.
The software upgrade also remains compatible with existing Fusion integrated auto-throttle systems, since Nextant has received FAA approval for a new aeroplane flight manual supplement applicable to aircraft specifically with the Fusion integrated auto-throttles with the upgraded Fusion software.
Nextant, as a Constant Aviation division, designed, engineered, certified and owns the STC for the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck overall. It specialises in Challenger 604 modernisation, having completed 80 per cent of the avionics modernisations to the aircraft industry wide.