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Textron Launches Data Communications Program for Select Aircraft

Textron Aviation and Honeywell Aerospace are developing an exclusive program for Hawker 4000 and Cessna Citation Sovereign aircraft equipped with the Honeywell PRIMUS EPIC integrated cockpit to allow pilots to communicate more easily with air traffic controllers and utilize the most current Data Link services offered in North America and Europe. The aircraft upgrade is expected to be available in mid-2022.Future Air Navigation System (FANS) Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC) and Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) Protected Mode CPDLC (PM-CPDLC) replace the tradition voice communications used by pilots and controllers with data/text messaging for many standard operating procedures, allowing pilots to communicate with air traffic control with the touch of a button. This increases pilot heads-up time, frees up VHF voice communication bandwidth for more critical communications, and significantly reduces voice readback errors. CPDLC is similar to SMS text messaging used on your personal cell phone but uses prescribed text messages that enable pilots and air traffic controllers (ATC) to quickly and accurately request and authorize clearances and flight plan changes."Having the ability to communicate quickly and effectively with ATC is one of the highest priorities in the cockpit," said Brian Rohloff, senior vice president, Customer Support, Textron Aviation. "The FANS 1/A+ and Protected Mode CPDLC upgrade brings the latest data communications technology to our Hawker 4000 and Citation Sovereign operators, and we remain committed to continuing to expand the capabilities for all of our products."The FANS 1/A+ and Protected Mode CPDLC program features:Ease of operation by quickly and accurately loading complex instructions into the aircraft flight management system with the push of a buttonSupport for future FAA Next Gen Data Com capabilitiesTrajectory-based operationsImproved re-routing of aircraft around severe weather events and traffic congestionPrioritized departure clearances that can save several minutes of wait time before takeoffAircraft operating in Continental Europe will also be able to use PM-CPDLC to obtain equivalent benefits of ATC prioritization, delay avoidance, and optimal flight durations.Textron Aviation's collaboration with Honeywell on this project enables a cost-effective solution for customers for modernizing the Data Link capabilities of these important aircraft and reduces certification and installation time. As the original equipment manufacturer of the aircraft, Textron Aviation can offer the OEM-certified upgrade to the PRIMUS EPIC avionics suite that system integrity is originally certified.
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