Gulfstream (Chalet K19-20) has taken the principle of the Palm Pilot and given it a shot of steroids. The result is a chunky cockpit approach and navigation computer that is banishing hard-to-fold maps to the rubbish bin.

The Northstar Technologies CT-1000 Flight Deck Organiser System, which has been optimised for the Gulfstream cockpit, features a 6.4in diagonal LCD screen. It fits onto the control yoke and can also be taken away for pre-flight planning and programming.


The CT-1000 combines a complete approach plate database with a moving map display and effectively replaces bulky traditional printed binders with two CD-ROMs, says Tom Horne, senior test pilot and lead developmental test pilot for the Gulfstream programme.

"Gulfstream will be the first business aircraft manufacturer to integrate and certify the Northstar system into the flight deck," he says. "Our customers will appreciate the advances in pre-flight planning and in-flight organisation that this system provides."

The CT-1000, like a PDA's big brother, can also access the internet for e-mail and aviation weather reports and use aircraft specific weight and balance information. In flight, the unit displays approach plates and will soon incorporate a moving map display. You can even use an on-board laser printer to produce hard copy as a back-up.

The system uses the Jeppesen JeppView, CD-ROM-based electronic chart service. Once linked to the Global Positioning System (GPS) the software will also display the aircraft's location on approach plates, airport diagrams and a moving map.

"In our flight evaluations, we found the system to be a great aid to pilots," says Ron Newton, a Gulfstream test pilot. "The colour screen is bright and easy to read and images can be enlarged quickly to highlight a specific point on the chart."

Gulfstream completed a thorough flight evaluation of the CT-1000 in June on a Gulfstream IV-SP. The first customer delivery is planned for the fourth quarter of 2000. The complete package, including the two CT-1000s, installation and all associated hardware, is expected to cost less than $50,000."Unlike other electronic flight bags', only the Northstar unit is fully cockpit compliant and will be certified for use in flight," says Horne. "It is an excellent, well-developed system. Pilots will love it!"

Source: Flight Daily News