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Grob SPn flies with first Primus Apex

Avionics suite expected to reduce certification delays

Grob Aerospace’s second SPn light jet prototype (P2) became the first aircraft to fly with Honeywell Primus Apex integrated avionics when it made its maiden flight on 29 September from the company’s Tussenhausen-Mattsies airport in southern Germany.

The production-standard flightdeck will feature two 15in (38cm) primary flight displays (PFD) and two 10in multifunction displays, dual flight management and global positioning systems, and enhanced ground proximity warning and traffic alert/collision avoidance systems.

© Honeywell 
 The Apex - a development of the Epic - made its debut on the second SPn

Grob Aerospace chief executive Niall Olver says adoption of the Apex – derived from the service-proven Primus Epic system – “dramatically” reduces the risk of avionics certification delays such as those which have hit other business (and regional) jet programmes. Olver adds that the PFDs could in future be used to display synthetic vision imagery. “We will have a synthetic capability on the Honeywell Apex suite,” he says.

The all-composite SPn’s flight envelope has meanwhile been fully opened by prototype P1, and production of P3 is due to begin this month. P1, which first flew in July 2005, has been operated to 41,000ft (12,500m) and its maximum speed of M0.7 and stall speed of 77kt (140km/h).

The test programme has so far accumulated just under 300h and a similar number of flights. The €5.8 million ($7.36 million), six- to eight-passenger SPn is expected to gain European certification in the third quarter of 2007.

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