Flight Director/Manager

Late one night I thought I read an announcement from Cirrus that they would have a Flight Director or Management System as an option before the end of the year. I don’t see this mentioned anymore (perhaps I was seeing things).

Has anyone heard about this option? What does a Flight Director/Mgmt system do (airlines use them)?

Thanks.

Could they have meant that the Avidyne PFD will have a Flight Director, as part of the display? I believe it is posted elsewhere that this will soon be available.

What does a Flight Director/Mgmt system do (airlines use them)?<<

I second the question…what exactly do they do? What are the basic advantages over simply programming a flight plan into GPS?

In reply to:


I believe it is posted elsewhere that this will soon be available.


If all goes well, I believe we should see a flight-director in a matter of months.

It’s posted on the faq at Cirrusdesign.com

Q: When will Cirrus offer a flight director?
A: We anticipate a flight director option by the end of 2004.

In reply to:


I second the question…what exactly do they do? What are the basic advantages over simply programming a flight plan into GPS?


Sorry. I was going to answer the second part of your question but got distracted and forgot. The only thing a flight-director has to do with GPS is that it “follows” whatever navigational signal you are tracking (satellite based or not). It also gives attitude cues. Basically, the flight-director is a visual cue of where the autopilot would be placing the aircraft to perform a given manuver. During a required change in course, for example, the flight-director bar on the attitude indicator will turn. If the autopilot is on, it will follow the bar. If the autopilot is off, than you need to follow the bar in order to stay on course.

An FMS or Flight Management System is a completely different thing and usually has GPS built in and an output to “drive” the autopilot through complex maneuvers (along with other features like NAV/COMM tuners and performance databases).

Here’s a link to answer your question about flight-directors.

Here’s a link to an example of an FMS.

[:)]

Thanks. Any idea on how much this might add to the cost?

Is Cirrus planning to offer an option for the new WAAS Garmin (480?)? Supposedly this will allow precision approaches to almost any airport.

In reply to:


Thanks. Any idea on how much this might add to the cost?


No word as far as I know at this point, but I’m sure this information will be available relatively soon.

In reply to:


Is Cirrus planning to offer an option for the new WAAS Garmin (480?)? Supposedly this will allow precision approaches to almost any airport.


Garmin’s 430 and 530 will be WAAS upgradeable in the near future (possibly in the next few months).

The reason I am being vague on availability is that options like these tend to blow through expected release dates on a regular basis because of numerous complicating development factors. As an example, at AirVenture 2003, Garmin was set to release WAAS for the 430/530 in January of this year. Well, 8 months past the expected release date, the only thing I could get out of a Garmin rep at AirVenture 2004 was that they “hope” to have it available in the next few months. It will be very exciting when WAAS approaches become widespread.

In reply to:


Supposedly this will allow precision approaches to almost any airport.


Just a quick comment on the notion of “will allow” – should really be “will eventually allow”, or “has the potential to allow…”

Reason: Yes, GPS with WAAS will offer the lateral and vertical needed to provide such approaches, but the approaches themselves will still have to be developed by the TERPsters, as I understand it. That will take time - we won’t have thousands of new approaches available on day one.

  • Mike.