The Duke – Weekly Updates!

As this is an extremely involved and fairly lengthy upgrade we’ve decided to try something new and keep our readers updated on a weekly basis.

Update 3

We’re now into week three of our Beechcraft Duke project and work is in full swing! Our team has de-modified, and removed all existing systems, resulting in significant weight reductions. Removals include an unnecessary inverter system, hundreds of feet of superfluous wiring, and the instrument air vacuum distribution system, including two regulators and associated plumbing. Deletion of this air system was made possible by plans to completely replace all vacuum gyros with a new glass panel (more on that next week).

Superfluous wiring has been removed; remaining wiring has been re-tied and cleaned up.

Lastly, two 50 pound ballast weights were found in the nose baggage bay. Because of the discovery of these weights, our team is now investigating the possibility of mounting more new equipment in the nose rather than in the aft fuselage. This would hopefully improve the operational centre of gravity, negating the need for nose ballast and saving even more weight.

After removing major systems, the team proceeded with wiring clean up and repair behind the panel. This involved the removal of old wiring followed by a panel layout review. Other additional work that week included a new spoiler lighted switch, autopilot system repairs, and progress on avionic wiring and interface prefabrication.  Engine monitor probes continued to challenge us, as the probes received did not fit the threaded bosses on the intake manifold. New versions have been ordered to correct that issue. This will ultimately result in a working intercooler display.

Like many major projects, there have been some unexpected discoveries during disassembly. For example, physical inspection revealed that existing autopilot system differed significantly from the drawings we have on file. Interfacing this system our new equipment therefore necessitates that we either acquire relevant drawings, or reverse engineer the wiring installation through inspection and testing.

In addition, to avionic challenges, there were a number of structural surprises as well. A previous unapproved installation had mounted tubing through a pressure vessel without proper sealing. By repairing this defect, our technicians were able to eliminate excess cabin noise caused by whistling air – a source of complaint for our clients. Next, an outboard hinged panel in the forward baggage bay which provides access to an under floor avionics bay was discovered to be in poor condition. This structure is of composite sandwich construction with thin outer layers of aluminium and a thin honeycomb core. The panel is seriously delaminated in several sections. Neither of these complications are insurmountable or particularly rare. In fact, they are the rather typical kind of challenges that regularly crop up during the course of a major avionics project.

Delaminated Structure

Hose through Pressure Vessel

Update 2

The Duke has been in the hangar for over 2 weeks now and there is no turning back now! Our team has now removed all the old system wiring and have started to sort out the remaining wire bundles as part of the wiring cleanup.

What else is going in?

  • Auracle Engine Monitor
    • We have installed the EGT and CHT probes on both engines.
    • Removed fuel transducer in both engines, removed and installed oil temp sensor LH engine.
    • EIU modules locations have proven to be a challenge due to lack of mounting space. We plan to mount the LH EIU in the battery/electrical compartment and mount in the outboard compartment of the engine nacelle for the RH due to the air conditioning equipment.  We will then route the wire under the AC fan housing and then followed the existing bundle.

  • Magnetometer Survey
  • Before we install the Magnetometer for our heading direction of the G600 displays we have to ensure we do not get any interference from other electrical components.
  • This involved nearly a day of testing potential mounting locations and turning on all the electrical devices and observing out test software to see the results.
  • As is most typical, no location was clean. We ended up mounting it in the tail and having to re-locate the strobe light module

Noting failure of first magnetometer tests

Magnetometer wing mounting tests

  • New wiring
    • We have started the nose baggage area wiring removals and carry throughs of the pressure vessel bulkhead from the cabin instrument panel.

  • Design work
    • Our engineering group has been working hard coming up with a suitable panel design and has forwarded this to the crew chief for feedback.
    • The criteria here is multifold – we need to ensure it is safe, structurally sound, and aesthetically pleasing.
    • Next week we will have a numerous panel designs to run by our customer for their approval.
    • The preliminary wiring diagrams are done and waiting for final design approval.

All in all it’s going very well so far, no big surprises, and we are on schedule.

 

All we can say is: "There is no going back now!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update 1

We said we would keep you updated so here is our second installment. Before we even got started on this airplane we needed to understand what existing snags were on this aircraft. The autopilot is being retained and had some known problems, so a thorough test flight was performed with our techs, test pilot, and our customers. Now we have a known starting point.

Interior removed

The Duke has been in the hangar for a week now and our team have been hard at it, working to remove the interior and panels for access, all of the old existing avionics equipment has been removed, and as well as most of the old wiring.

 

Instrument panel removed with a mess of wires uncovered!

The instrumental panel has been removed, and as you can see, the wiring behind the panel is less than ideal! No worries though, some of that is coming out, and the remaining bundles will be checked out and properly secured. Our customer was experiencing electrical “gremlins” and asked us specifically to go through the remaining wiring, test and clean up.

Cowls being removed

Bench testing of the autopilot servos and servo mount clutches are underway at our repair shop upstairs. Our Design group has most of the CADD drawings (the avionics wiring interconnects) complete. As well we will remove and old wiring unused wiring left behind saving some precious weight.

We are now planning and prepping for the installation of the Auracle engine monitor boxes and associated wiring.

Preparation for Auracle engine monitor installation

 

 

 

On a job of this magnitude, scheduling the order of the tasks is very important to minimize the downtime of the aircraft. Some components need to be repaired, others (like the backlit panels) need to go outside vendors so those need to be prioritized first. Over the next few weeks the airplane is going to look a lot worse before it starts coming together! Stay tuned for more info next week!

The Beginning

This week we’ve welcomed “The Duke” Beechcraft into our home-base hangar. Beech Duke aircraft are often referred to as the classic sports cars of aviation. Owners of this particular beautifully maintained aircraft wished for an avionics suit modernization to match it’s extremely capable airframe performance. Following a careful deliberation process the aircraft owners have selected one of the most impressive avionic modernization packages available to turn this aircraft into the most technologically advanced Duke on the planet.

To follow the upgrade process and see what we are up to, stay tuned for our weekly updates to witness history in the making – one week at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So it begins!

 

Maxcraft Avionics is a leader in airplane and helicopter avionic system upgrades, including installation of everything from basic VHF Radios and flight instruments, all the way to sophisticated GPS, TCAS, EFIS, and glass cockpit systems. We have the largest avionics facility in Canada and over 20,000 unique part numbers in our inventory to repair your aircraft or upgrade your cockpit.

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Life Simplified – Garmin Connext

Garmin introduces the Wireless Cockpit Connectivity

Maxcraft is excited and we hope you are too. We have been anxiously waiting years for this technology to reach the cockpit and Garmin has responded!

This product includes connectivity between select Garmin avionics and Garmin Pilot for iPad/iPhone and certain Android devices. These Bluetooth wireless gateways are easily installed and connected to your Garmin Avionics.

Join thousands of customers to take advantage of this exciting new technology, as it is compatible to the GTN series, GNS series, G3X Touch, GDL 88 and GDL 69/69A.  This will be released in August along with our Canadian version of Garmin Pilot.

Come on over to Maxcraft and see a demo of the benefits of a connected cockpit!

 

Read more information about the Connext below, and/or watch Life Simplified

 

 

 

Introducing the Flight Stream 110/210 Bluetooth Wireless Gateway

Garmin is excited to announce the availability of an expanded Connext portfolio of products and features that provide wireless connectivity between select Garmin avionics and Garmin Pilot for iPad/iPhone and certain Android mobile devices.  Flight Stream 110 can share weather, traffic, GPS information, SiriusXM Aviation weather and SiriusXM satellite radio on mobile devices operating Garmin Pilot.  The Flight Stream 210 adds two way flight plan transfer and provides attitude information for display within Garmin Pilot.

Flight Stream Connectivity – is a small, Bluetooth wireless gateway, easily installed with Garmin avionics with enables communication between exciting avionics and up to four compatible mobile devices running Garmin Pilot.

Two-Way Flight Plan Transfer – flight planning is transformed with the Flight Stream 210 by enabling wireless flight plan transfer capabilities between Garmin Pilot and corresponding GTN 750/650 and GNS 430W/530W navigators.  With Connext, pilots have the added convenience of completing flight plans prior to arriving at the airport, allowing more time to focus on pre-flight activities.

Last minute flight plan amendments prior to departure are simple.  Pilots can take advantage of ATC Proposed Routes within Garmin Pilot. Proposed routes are enabled by aircraft tail number, modifications made by air traffic control to a filed flight plan are received by Garmin Pilot.  Once they are received, Garmin Pilot gives the pilots the option to easily transfer the modified flight plan to a GTN or GNS WAAS navigator.  Conversely, active flight plans that are manually amended while in flight may automatically be sent form the avionics to Garmin Pilot so flight plans are identical and amendment only need to made on one device.  To help prevent unintended flight plan transfers from becoming active by others in the aircraft, pilots are required to acknowledge and accept all incoming requests before they become active in the navigator.

Stream Weather, Traffic and More – with the GDL 88 ADS-B transceiver and Flight Stream, ADS-B traffic and weather is wirelessly transferred and displayed with Garmin Pilot.

Portable Connectivity – Connext encompasses a suite of capabilities, which have been built into our portable product line and provide customers with more flexibility and information in the cockpit.  Garmin Pilot supports connectivity with VIRB, Garmin’s HD action camera, so pilots can view video, control recording options and take photos while simultaneously viewing flight plan information.  Also, remote control capability of VIRB is available from the touchscreen of G3X touch.  When integrating VIRB with G3X touch, pilots can start and stop video and take photos form the display so capturing the perfect moment in-flight is simple. Pilots can use the D2 Pilot Watch as a secondary navigation aid, which can also receive flight plan information from Garmin Pilot.  Further integration of the GDL 39 3D with both Garmin Pilot and the aera 796/795, offers pilots additional connectivity including the display of ADS-B traffic and weather and back-up aircraft attitude information.

Global Datalink Capability – Customers can take advantage of existing Connext services with Garmin’s Iridium-based datalink the GSR 56.  Featuring worldwide weather capability, pilots have access to METARs, TAFs, and winds aloft around the globe. Additional y radar and satellite imagery for Western Europe, Canada, Australia and the US provide pilots with even more weather products so they can determine if precipitation or cloud cover will impact a particular flight. The GST 56 also provides voice, text messaging and position reporting services (subscription required ) , giving pilots the voice and data connectivity they want in the cockpit.

Pricing and Availability – Flight Stream 210 and Flight Stream 110 are expected to be available in August.  Call us for more details or visit www.garmin.com/connext

Maxcraft Avionics is a leader in airplane and helicopter avionic system upgrades, including installation of everything from basic VHF Radios and flight instruments, all the way to sophisticated GPS, TCAS, EFIS, and glass cockpit systems. We have the largest avionics facility in Canada and over 20,000 unique part numbers in our inventory to repair your aircraft or upgrade your cockpit.

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Maxcraft is now a Bose dealer, and we are starting with a great promotion!

 It’s the Bose Summer 2014 Promotion!

Bose-A20-Headset

 

Bose is offering a promotion taking place from Sunday, July 27, 2014 through Saturday August 16, 2014.  Purchase an A20 Bose Aviation headset and receive four separate gifts with purchase, depending on the number of headsets purchased. In addition, receive 10% off the second headset and off subsequent headsets.

Bose will provide a gift with purchase directly to you. (Must have a valid shipping address in the US or Canada)

 

 

 

 

Companion 2 Series III

Purchase one Bose A20 Aviation headset and receive a free Bose Companion 2 Series III multimedia speaker system

 

 

 

 

SoundDock Series III

Purchase two Bose A20 Aviation headsets and receive a free SoundDock Series III digital music system

 

 

 

 

Companion 5 Multimedia

Purchase three Bose A20 Aviation headsets and receive a free Companion 5 multimedia speaker system

 

 

 

 

Wave Music System III

 

Purchase four Bose A20 Aviation headsets and receive a free Wave music system

 

 

Click here for your redemption card: 2014 Redemption Form

Call us or come see us and order your new Bose headset today!

Maxcraft Avionics is a leader in airplane and helicopter avionic system upgrades, including installation of everything from basic VHF Radios and flight instruments, all the way to sophisticated GPS, TCAS, EFIS, and glass cockpit systems. We have the largest avionics facility in Canada and over 20,000 unique part numbers in our inventory to repair your aircraft or upgrade your cockpit.

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Garmin Pilot Goes Global

Introducing Premium Worldwide Navigation Data, Plus European and Canadian Charts!

Garmin Pilot has expanded to provide worldwide coverage for iPad and iPhone. These features include flight planning capabilities, comprehensive weather coverage and feature-rich navigation for pilots around the globe.

Flight Planning Capabilities

With Garmin Pilot, pilots may review weather, plan their flight, download and review charts all before going to the airport. A combination of both Jeppesen and Garmin’s navigation data is incorporated so planning a flight is simple for pilots around the globe. Highly configurable maps allow pilots to choose between track-up and north-up orientation while in-flight.

 

Comprehensive Weather 

METARs, TAFs, AIRMETs, SIGMETs, NOTAMs and winds aloft are displayed graphically around the world as on overlay on the moving map page, within the airport information page and as a widget in split-screen mode. Text-based weather products are also available and can be seen in split-screen mode and using the NavTrack feature, allowing pilots to intuitively understand weather trends along their route. Radar and satellite imagery for Western Europe, Canada, Australia and the U.S. provide pilots with even more weather products so it’s easy to determine if precipitation or cloud cover will impact a flight.

Less Paper – More Electronic Charts 

Reduce the amount of paper charts needed for a flight with Garmin Pilot. Customers have access to optional geo-referenced European FliteCharts for select countries and also supports European VFR data sourced directly from Flugsicherung (DFS) and IFR Charts from Eurocontrol. SafeTaxi geo-referenced airport diagrams are available in portions of Europe and are overlaid directly on the moving map. FliteCharts and SafeTaxi coverage is further extended into Canada and includes approaches, departures and arrival procedures.

Smart Airspace

New to Garmin Pilot, Smart Airspace makes it easier to identify what airspace lies ahead. Smart Airspace conveniently highlights the airspace nearest the aircraft’s current altitude and de-emphasizes non-pertinent airspace. Flying into and around special use airspace (SUA) and controlled airspace is much easier with Garmin Pilot.

FastFind

Entering a flight plan is even faster with Garmin Pilot, which features FastFind. As a flight plan is entered, FastFind incorporates predictive logic to suggest airports and waypoints using current GPS location. This feature is automatically incorporated to the latest version of Garmin Pilot for new and existing customers!

Download version 6.2 in the iTunes store today to get the latest version of Garmin Pilot. There are a lot of features, new capabilities, and of course, worldwide coverage packed into this single update. Garmin Pilot Canada Premium includes Garmin FliteCharts and SafeTaxi diagrams for Canada, as well as worldwide text-based weather products, radar, and satellite imagery for the U.S. and Canada available in August. 

Visit the Apple App store to download Garmin Pilot and visit fly.garmin.com for complete coverage and pricing information.

Maxcraft Avionics is a leader in airplane and helicopter avionic system upgrades, including installation of everything from basic VHF Radios and flight instruments, all the way to sophisticated GPS, TCAS, EFIS, and glass cockpit systems. We have the largest avionics facility in Canada and over 20,000 unique part numbers in our inventory to repair your aircraft or upgrade your cockpit.

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Silver Award

For Excellent Sales Performance!

This week Garmin recognized us for excellent distributor performance in the year of 2013. We’ve been given an Award of Exemplary Performance, which recognizes our dedication as a top performer, providing first-class levels of sales performance, technical expertise and customer service. This puts Maxcraft Avionics in the top 15% of Garmin distributors worldwide.

 Maxcraft Avionics is a leader in airplane and helicopter avionic system upgrades, including installation of everything from basic VHF Radios and flight instruments, all the way to sophisticated GPS, TCAS, EFIS, and glass cockpit systems. We have the largest avionics facility in Canada and over 20,000 unique part numbers in our inventory to repair your aircraft or upgrade your cockpit.

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Why are you Waiting Rebate

for your Garmin avionic upgrade?

Garmin is offering customers the best solutions today with this comprehensive rebate.  No better time to upgrade to the latest technology and save money.

Customers upgrading with a single GTN 650 now quality for a $500 rebate. Purchase a GTN 750 and save 750.   Save even when buying dual systems!

See a full list of Garmin rebate products below from $500 – $2,500.

This rebate begins on July 1, 2014 and run through August 29, 2014.  Any questions, call our team at Maxcraft!

 

Maxcraft Avionics is a leader in airplane and helicopter avionic system upgrades, including installation of everything from basic VHF Radios and flight instruments, all the way to sophisticated GPS, TCAS, EFIS, and glass cockpit systems. We have the largest avionics facility in Canada and over 20,000 unique part numbers in our in inventory to repair your aircraft or upgrade your cockpit.

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CBAA tradeshow in Edmonton – Day 3

CBAA update from Edmonton

Tradeshow was up and running yesterday and a very busy day for Steve and Daryl.   The show went well with lots of exhibits and met lots of great people.   They finished the day at a nice Portuguese tapas and wine bar.

 

 

 

At this time, they are actually trying to depart to Springbank, Calgary but they had to turn back due to low cloud.  Hoping it will burn off in the next hour or so.

 

As Steve would say “time to spare, go by air!”.

After being stuck in Calgary due to convective activity east of Kelowna, they stayed the night.

Saturday morning they made their way back to Pitt Meadows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maxcraft Avionics is a leader in airplane and helicopter avionic system upgrades like the Garmin GTN series, including installation of everything from a basic VHF Radio and simple Garmin portable GPS all the way to TCAS, EFIS, and autopilot systems. We have the largest avionics facility in Canada and we have over 20,000 unique part numbers in our inventory to repair your aircraft or upgrade your cockpit.

 

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Taking the long way to CBAA in Edmonton – Day 2

Fort McMurray and Oil Sands

After arriving in the late afternoon to Fort McMurray, Steve and Daryl spent the night to have an adventure the next day.

The next day, Steve and Daryl were very fortunate to have a generous helicopter tour of the oil sands in Fort McMurray by the owner of Phoenix Helicopters, Paul Spring.

Very fascinating to see the whole process according to Steve and Daryl.

 

Later in the evening, they flew to Villeneuve Airport, just 3km away from St. Alberts which is located 20 minutes from downtown Edmonton.

From there, they stayed in Edmonton for a goods nights rest to attend the CBAA the next day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maxcraft Avionics is a leader in airplane and helicopter avionic system upgrades like the Garmin GTN series, including installation of everything from a basic VHF Radio and simple Garmin portable GPS all the way to TCAS, EFIS, and autopilot systems. We have the largest avionics facility in Canada and we have over 20,000 unique part numbers in our inventory to repair your aircraft or upgrade your cockpit.

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Taking the long way to CBAA in Edmonton

First stop – Fort McMurray

Steve and Daryl left this morning on an adventure. Flying in Daryl’s Cessna 182 and  after watching the change in the weather, they were wheels up mid morning.  Their destination…Fort McMurray.  Just one of their stops to the CBAA (Canadian Business Aviation Association) in Edmonton.

Packed and ready, with some demo gear, Daryl’s new panel, and new interior in the 182P, they were gone.

A couple of hours ago they were cruising along at 11,500 feet above Kamloops siping oxygen.

 

Fraser Canyon north of Hope was low but got on top around Lytton.

Staff at Maxcraft are following them anxiously on line with Steve and Daryl’s Spot Gen 3. (which I must say, is very neat to watch).

After landing at Whitecourt, Alberta for fuel, they visited a customer and then continued on. They had a great flight to Fort Mac and under a cloud deck arrived to a very busy airport! Steve and Daryl had a customer pick them up and then lend them their vehicle for the day!

More on their adventure tomorrow!

Maxcraft Avionics is a leader in airplane and helicopter avionic system upgrades like the Garmin GTN series, including installation of everything from a basic VHF Radio and simple Garmin portable GPS all the way to TCAS, EFIS, and autopilot systems. We have the largest avionics facility in Canada and we have over 20,000 unique part numbers in our inventory to repair your aircraft or upgrade your cockpit.

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Technicians out on training

Maxcraft Avionics send technicians out for specialized training

This year, two of Maxcraft’s major clients purchased Airbus EC135 helicopters.  Due to the  close working relationship between Maxcraft and these companies, as well as the increasing proliferation of these aircraft in general, two of our technicians were sent to an intense 10-day EC135 Avionics Systems Course offered by Airbus Helicopters in Grand Prairie, Texas. Overall the course addressed Avionics, Electrical Systems, Flight Control Display Systems, and Auto Flight Control Systems. The entire course was followed up by an exam and critique to make sure our technicians had full retention of the material covered.

This training anticipates the  maintenance and support needs of EC135 operators everywhere, and underpinnes our proactive commitment to staying abreast of emerging technologies, standards, and practices in commercial aviation. As Eurocopter sells more EC135’s, Maxcraft technicians are sure to be armed with the knowledge, training, and skills necessary to maintain and support them.

Here ‘s some feedback from one of our technicians:

“ I found the course very worthwhile and there certainly was allot of information to digest. The hands on experience and simulator time was very useful,  and the instructor was super knowledgeable. They even gave us  homework at night! It taught me how the system works and with my troubleshooting skills I’m ready for anything the EC135 throws at me!”.

 

 

 

Maxcraft Avionics is a leader in airplane and helicopter avionic system upgrades like the Garmin GTN series, including installation of everything from a basic VHF Radio and simple Garmin portable GPS all the way to TCAS, EFIS, and autopilot systems. We have the largest avionics facility in Canada and we have over 20,000 unique part numbers in our inventory to repair your aircraft or upgrade your cockpit.

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