Avionics upgrades make your aircraft safer and more reliable, and can take a burden off of your flight crew. Whether you have an older aircraft or a newer model, there are certain avionics upgrades that you can make to elevate the manufacturer models and ensure you’re flying with ease (and in style). For Cessna Citations, in particular, there are a handful of avionics upgrades that can be made. While they’re not obvious, they do make a big impact on improving a pilot’s situational awareness, or simply making the flight more comfortable.
Upgrade The Pilot’s Display and Visuals
A cockpit upgrade is an expensive project, so you want to know that you’re making the right choice and one that will yield benefits to you or your flight crew. Most Cessna Citations contain a Pro Line 4™ flight deck, by Rockwell Collins. Upgrading to a Pro Line 21 will give your flight deck advanced capabilities and reliability.
All information that a pilot could need would be right at their fingertips.
To accomplish this upgrade, the Pro Line 4 on-board avionics sensors would be seamlessly integrated with the Pro Line 21 primary flight displays for the pilot and copilot. Key benefits include:
- Increased Situational Awareness
- Better Terrain Awareness
- Reduced Pilot Workload
- Easy, Intuitive Upgrade the Requires Minimal Training
- 3D Terrain with Airport, Runway and Flight Plan Symbology
Investment: $$$$ (anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000)
Upgrade the Standby Indicators
If a display goes out, all you have to go on is your standby indicators. If this happens, you want a system that is updated and reliable. And, as most standby indicators are aging, your Cessna Citation could benefit from this avionics upgrade. A SAM® Standby Attitude Module is a self-contained situational awareness instrument that provides aircraft attitude, altitude, airspeed, and slip indication. A compact and innovative design, the SAM fits seamlessly inside of the footprint of the old standby indicator system, making this a labor-efficient avionics upgrade. Not to mention, at 1.6 pounds, SAM weighs less than the three instruments it’s designed to replace.
A Standby Attitude Module provides critical flight and situational data to the pilot and crew under any circumstances they may encounter. With a solid-state electronic sensor array for high reliability and an integral, rechargeable battery that can power the unit for up to two hours if main aircraft power is lost, it doesn’t get more reliable. Not to mention, the user interface allows for simple operation using a single push-and-turn knob that navigates through the user options and menu screens.
Investment: $$$ (anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000)
Enhance Your Flight’s Communication
In-flight WiFi and communications often comes with a big price tag—$80,000 to $200,000+ for Gogo Inflight Internet, not including labor costs or ongoing monthly fees. If your crew doesn’t need all of the bells and whistles of a full wireless internet set-up, the Airtext app could be an affordable, efficient solution.
Airtext technology lets aircraft owners add reliable on-board email, phone calling, and text messaging for up to 16 passengers.
To accomplish this avionics upgrade, a small, FAA-approved Airtext box is installed in the Cessna Citation (or any aircraft) and is connected to the existing iridium phone antenna. From there, passengers can download the free Airtext app on their smartphones and seamlessly send and receive text messages while on board. There are a few iterations of Airtext to choose from, so you can customize the communication experience based on your specific needs:
Airtext Classic: Text, Interactive and Bulkhead Moving Map, FBOlink Messaging, International Weather and D-ATIS, Seat-to-Seat Messaging, Fleetlink Dispatch Software, FAA Certified
Airtext+: Everything offered with the Airtext Classic, plus Email and Phone
AirtextLT: Text, FBOlink messaging, International Weather and D-ATIS, Seat-to-seat messaging, Fleetlink Dispatch Software
AirtextLT+: Everything offered with the AirtextLT, plus Email
Investment: $$ (anywhere from $5,000 to $17,000)
Upgrade a Cessna Citation’s Analog Clocks
Oftentimes, the clocks in older Cessna Citation models are old, analog versions. While a clock may seem like an inconsequential avionics upgrade, the fact is that pilots use clocks during flight to time maneuvers and for navigational purposes. The clock is usually mounted near the flight instrument group, often near the turn coordinator, to indicate hours, minutes, and seconds.
A simple switch from an analog to digital clock means you’d be replacing a mechanical 8-day clock with a digital electronic clock with LED readout. This avionics upgrade comes with increased reliability due to the lack of moving parts, and it’s also incredibly accurate. Most digital clocks also include USB outlets, so a charging area for a pilot’s phone or tablet is always nearby.
Although wired into the aircraft’s electrical system, electronic digital clocks may include a small, independent battery in the event of an electrical power failure.
Investment: $ (up to $2,500)
Elevate Your Pilot’s Comfort
There are two simple avionics upgrades that can be made to elevate your pilot’s comfort and create a better all-around experience for them.
First, consider including Bose headsets for your aircraft. Typically, you have a two-plug headset system in your aircraft and they are functional on their own. However, Bose offers exceptional quality and offers an added noise cancelling perk for pilots and copilots. Give them the gift of clear and crisp sound.
Investment: $ (roughly $1,500 for labor not including cost of headset)
Second, consider installing USB ports throughout the cabin. This could be an avionics upgrade that you perform in tandem with the Airtext upgrade, as more phone usage will require charging stations. This is an inexpensive upgrade but one that makes a world of difference, particularly on longer flights.
Because there is rewiring involved, however, we recommend that you complete this avionics upgrade alongside a heavy inspection where the aircraft interior is being removed. This will help you save on labor costs.
Talk With Us About Your Cessna Citation Avionics Upgrades
Whether you go big with a complete flight deck upgrade, or go small with simple fixes that create more comfort, Winner Aviation has a team of maintenance experts who are ready to help you with your Cessna Citation avionics upgrades. To discuss any questions you may have about your specific aircraft, or to schedule maintenance with us, contact us today.