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Sun, Apr 11, 2004

Chelton Flight Systems Upgrades EFIS

Introduces Version 5.0a Software

Developing improvements and upgrades to their existing product line is keeping the R&D people at Chelton Flight Systems almost as busy as they were prior to certification. Hence, the new software for their EFIS units, Version 5.0A, includes a list of over 130 changes. Of those, 35 will be conspicuous to pilots familiar with existing systems.

Some of the features added to the new version include enhanced VNAV functions, flight planning using Victor airways and Jet routes, colorized airspace on the moving map display which shows Restricted or Prohibited airspace as red, MOA’s and Warning areas as yellow, Class B as blue, and Class C and D as green.

For pilots using King KX-155A, KX-165A, or the Garmin/UPSAT SL-30, the EFIS can now be used to auto tune all Com, ILS, and VOR frequencies. The number of user waypoints has been increased to 500, allowing for the development of grids for search and rescue or special-mission operations. Range for the moving map has been doubled to 400 nautical miles, a Mach meter has been added, and there is now a Fast/Slow indicator when connected to a compatible angle-of-attack computer. Chelton has also added an altitude capture predictor to indicate where the target altitude will be reached.

Also included are an enhanced display of obstructions and an expanded fuel flow display options. Transparency has been added to TAWS cautions and warning colors on the moving map make terrain contours visible to aid an evasive avoidance maneuver.

Says Chelton President Gordon Pratt (pictured below, receiving ANN's 'ANNIE' Award in 2002): “This is a reflection of our commitment to expand on the technology of Highway-in-the-Sky (HITS) and synthetic vision, making the EFIS even more useful and user friendly. Total fleet time now exceeds 10,000 hours and we are responding to our consumers requests and challenging ourselves with ways to improve a product that is already revolutionary.”

Chelton’s Electronic Flight Information System, or EFIS, includes one to four display units. The Primary Flight Display features 3-D perspective terrain modeling anywhere in the world, with real time GPS/WAAS positioning, and HITS predictive flight director guidance from takeoff to touchdown. Chelton’s auto pilot interface can guide the aircraft from through DP’s and STAR’s, arc approaches, procedure turns, and even complex holding pattern entries with no pilot interaction. Complete approaches can be flown without ever touching the controls. The integral master caution voice warning system provides a wide range of alarm and alert information that appears on the screen if any undesirable conditions arise along the flight path.

A moving map display on the secondary display screen provides situational awareness with integration of terrain, weather, and traffic all on a single screen. The system provides Class A, B, and C TAWS to meet the FAA mandate and is also RVSM-capable.

Chelton’s EFIS was the first functioning example of HITS technology to receive FAA approval. Refinements to the system have kept them at the point position in technological advancements.

FMI: www.cheltonflightsystems.com

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