Honeywell earned FAA approval for its Bendix/King Flight Information Systems (FIS), a VHF datalink system that sends weather information to aircraft flying above. The system, which is a joint industry/FAA project, is designed to make weather information more readily available to pilots flying general aviation and business aviation aircraft. Pilots in properly equipped aircraft can get textual weather information at no charge. Graphical weather information is available from Honeywell by subscription, and additional, premium services, including icing forecasts, are in the works.
As part of the process, Honeywell earned FAA approval for its Bendix/King KDR 510 VHF data radio, the piece of hardware that actually uplinks the weather data. The cost of the 510 data radio, including the required upgrade computer card for the multifunction display, is $5,495. Subscriptions to enhanced FIS service can be purchased for $49.95 per month with a one-year contract.
Though slowed by flight restrictions last fall, Honeywell has completed more than 20 of the planned 220 ground radio stations that make up its FIS network. It expects to have nearly complete coverage east of the Rockies for airplanes flying at 5,000 feet and higher soon. For more information, visit www.bendixking.com.