Honeywell readies next Primus Apex software for Pilatus PC-12NG

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Honeywell plans to release its next Primus Apex integrated flightdeck software upgrade for the Pilatus PC-12NG in January.

New features will include an option for a second flight management system, a video interface for displaying enhanced vision systems on the multifunction displays, en route vertical navigation coupling in addition to the currently enabled RNAV approach glidepath coupling, a vertical situation display and RNP 1.0 required navigation performance.

Pilatus was the launch customer for first Primus Apex application, with the first aircraft delivered in 2008 as part of the PC-12NG upgrade that included the more powerful 1,200shp (895kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67P turboshaft engine.

Pilatus will deliver its 1,000th copy of the nine-passenger business and utility aircraft in June.

Primus Apex is similar to Honeywell's Primus Epic flightdeck for business jets, but optimised for single-pilot operations for Pilatus. Other airframers selecting the package include Viking for the Twin Otter Series 400 twin.

Honeywell in 2009 delivered to Pilatus the first Primus Apex upgrade (Build 5) with new features that included Jepessen electronic charts and XM weather. Build 6, installed with deliveries that began in January, offered vertical glidepath coupling for the autopilot for operators equipped with an optional WAAS-capable CMC GPS system.

Honeywell plans to certificate its own WAAS-capable receiver in June, which will be standard equipment for Build 7, making way for seamless autopilot coupled en route and glidepath altitude control throughout a flight. Build 6 also introduced a cursor control device located on the centre console at the base of flightdeck, which features four 10in (255mm) LCD displays in T-shaped layout.

Included in a future build will be Honeywell's SmartView synthetic vision system, although Pilatus has not yet set a date for introduction. Pilatus plans to offer CMC and FLIR EVS cameras as factory installed options, complementing a third-party supplemental type certificate already available for Max-Viz cameras.