The Requirement

Citation VII Modernized Flight Deck

Citation VII flight deck before and after extensive modernization

This YOO-based corporate jet operator flies their Citation VII aircraft primarily in North America. Extending the useful life of the aircraft through flight deck and cabin upgrades was foremost when they met with the Mid-Canada Mod Center team. Requirements included improved situational awareness for flight crew and in-flight broadband connectivity for passengers.

Why the Operator Selected MC2

The operator wanted to take advantage of down time afforded by the recent pandemic shutdown to have the modifications done on a tight timeline. Key factors include:

  • MC2’s extensive experience with both older airframes and legacy avionics, OEM repair facility and central location were all key advantages for the client.
  • MC2’s 24/7 AOG service, local to YYZ and nearby YOO were also important considerations.
  • Goals Achieved: Citation VII aircraft-life markedly extended, future-proofed with enhanced safety, and reliable in-flight broadband connectivity for passengers onboard.

Main Benefits

While once modern, the legacy Honeywell avionics instrumentation suite lacks the functionality and simplicity today’s flight deck avionics offer. The Universal Avionics (UA) InSight system installed offers augmented situational awareness, easy user input and control, and increased reliability. In addition, it enhances landing confidence at unfamiliar airports. Modernizing the Citation VII’s flight deck avionics gives the operator key new features:

  • Cutting-edge synthetic vision with runway depiction, terrain, advanced airport maps, ramp areas, terminal buildings, taxiways hold lines and more
  • Advanced radio control with frequency suggestions for the route being flown
  • Embedded electronic charts (Jeppesen Data Base Subscription required)
  • Engine display on the LCDs
  • Advanced navigation displays, and performance-based navigation
  • Coupled LP and LPV approach capability
  • Air data displayed on each pilot’s primary flight display with low speed awareness
  • Flight management system with FlexPerf, featuring airframe specific general data plus climb, cruise and descent performance data. FlexPerf also offers accurate fuel burn prediction before take-off.

An additional advantage: the aircraft is future-ready for next generation capabilities such as FANS/CPDLC and data communications. Plus, replacing the electro-mechanical engine and standby instruments with electronic display instruments reduces LRU number and weight, while also reducing maintenance costs.

Aging Aircraft Are Challenging

As with many aging aircraft, maintenance was becoming expensive and some of the components were no longer supported. Since few upgrade paths are available to this aging aircraft, it presented the MC2 Team with a unique challenge—especially the fight deck mods.

Fortunately, Universal Avionics had already made significant investments to upgrade their own Citation VII with a new system they were developing. The result is the Universal InSight Display System, offering legacy aircraft like this, a more integrated cockpit that interfaces with the Automatic Flight Control System—ordinarily cost-prohibitive to replace. In addition, while Universal Avionics had developed an FAA STC for the installation, it had not been accepted by Transport Canada and the interface with the existing Collins Aerospace communications and navigation equipment had yet to be completed.

More Detail About the Mods

Modifications included extensive flight instrument replacements plus broadband connectivity – demonstrating MC2’s agility and broad expertise. The inflight connectivity solution, while not without its own challenges, was an easy decision. With the operator’s mission profile limited primarily to North American travel, the Gogo L3 connectivity solution was the best fit for this Citation VII.

Flight Deck Modernization

Universal Avionics Components

  • UA 10.4″ EFI-1040 Flat Panel LCD Smart Display:  A 10.4” diagonal high-resolution LCD, LED-backlit EFI-1040 Display (PFD and MFD) offers flexibility and presents all required flight critical data including altitude, airspeed, attitude and heading. It also provides enhanced situational awareness including traffic, weather, terrain and Synthetic Vision.
  • Touch EFIS Control Display: Combines a multitude of flight deck controls, including the flight displays, FMS, radios, weather, traffic, and terrain into a centralized control device.
  • Alphanumeric Keyboard: Provides tactile user input to the InSight system and integrated SBAS-FMS.
  • Reference Select Panel: The Reference Select Panel (RSP) provides the flight crew with dedicated knobs for altitude select, heading select, and the ability to set speed and altitude reference values.
  • Data Concentrator Unit II: Housed in a 3 MCU box, it provides various avionics discrete, analog, and serial data interface inputs, passing that data through to other devices in the aircraft. It allows for integration into aircraft with various analog and discrete native interfaces.
  • Engine Interface Unit:The EIU adds digital interface to the LCD displays to enable display of engine instrumentation data on the LCD displays

Universal Flight Management System:

  • UNS-1FW Flight Management System with FlexPerf™: The UNS-1Fw is comprised of an FPCDU and a remotely mounted Navigation Computer Unit (NCU). 4-inch, 5-inch airline type displays are available. The UNS-1Fw incorporates extensive I/O capabilities for advanced system integration.

Additional Components

  • Class A TAWS: Universal Avionics TAWS and Vision-1® Airport Database includes more than 11,000 airports and approximately 22,000 runways worldwide.
  • Mid-Continent MD-302 Electronic Standby Instrument (SAM®): A solid-state, 2-inch-format instrument displaying attitude, altitude, airspeed, slip, vertical trend, and heading information to the pilot. Unique two-screen display features high-definition graphics and extra-wide viewing angles. At 1.6 lbs, it weighs less than the three instruments it’s designed to replace. Pilots appreciate the intuitive interface.

Cabin Broadband

Gogo AVANCE L3 and ACU: This system offers the ability to stream media, take a call, send and receive email, and video conference all at near-office speed. Components include:  ACU, 2 X Terrestrial Antenna, 6 X Wi-Fi Antenna, 2X ASE Dual Directional Antenna

Certifications

To meet the myriad certification challenges, MC2 teamed-up with sister division Avionics Design Services (ADS) a Transport Canada DAO. ADS employed its considerable experience to smooth the way for Universal Avionics to submit required applications to Transport Canada (TC) through the FAA. The result was a dramatically reduced timeline for TC’s approval of the original FAA STC. In addition, ADS developed a Transport Canada STC to approve a certified software upgrade Universal was required to create, plus an STC to install the new MD302 Electronic Standby Instrument.

Great Results

Following this complex modification, this Citation VII aircraft has a new lease on its flying life. The flight deck offers significantly improved situational awareness and safety, and the Gogo AVANCE L3 connectivity system keeps passengers engaged in-flight.

What the Operator Says

“We fly the aircraft across North America, and wanted to maintain our investment in this terrific platform. MC2 took the time to deeply understand our needs, recommending effective, high quality solutions. Their creative approach and dedication to detail made the decision to choose MC2 easy.”

Extend the life of your aging Citation VII

Contact one of our friendly, knowledgeable avionics sales experts.