The Eclipse 550 avionics are powered by the AVIO IFMS avionics system built by Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S). The Eclipse 550 has an upgraded AVIO IFMS system from the previous Eclipse 500 IFMS avionics. The newer avionics that the Eclipse 550 has are being made available to Eclipse 500 operators as an upgrade option. The new AVIO IFMS avionics system is redundant and has dual flight management systems. Eclipse calls the main unit of the avionics computer system the Avio Processing Center (APC). The unit contains the aircraft control system (ACS) that controls the flaps, landing gear, fuel management, climate control, flight envelope protection system, system alerts and the autopilot. The system now contains 13 microprocessors that are faster then the processors on the older Eclipse 500 jets. This is a new upgrade from the previous avionics systems that the original jet had and will allow for greater reliability of the system. Also part of the Avio Processing Center is the Full Authority Digital Engine Control FADEC system. FADEC controls the engines and is commonly found on modern jet aircraft. FADEC helps pilots by monitoring and controlling the engines, which reduces the workload for pilots. The system also keeps the engine operating at ideal settings, allowing for better performance.
The Eclipse 550s avionics system also now includes higher resolution displays that provides for a more clearer presentation of flight information on the screens. All flight information is displayed on 3 high resolution screens, with two primary flight displays (PFD) and one multifunction display (MFD) located in between the two PFDs. There are also a separate standby display units located on the sides of the avionics screens.
Electronic Flight Bag - EFB
An Integrated Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) is included in the AVIO IFMS. The Electronic Flight Bag provides the following information to pilots: airport and approach charts / diagrams, "moving maps" that show the flight plan, navigation aids (navaids) airspace boundaries, airways, runways and intersections. Also included with the EFB are electronic checklists and capability for Sirius XM satellite weather. Side note: The EFB is not a "bag", it is just a term that refers to the system. Early on, EFB were mostly portable devices that pilots carried in their bags. Today many of the features of these "bags" are integrated into the aircraft, like the Eclipse 550 airplane.
The jet also has class 3 electronic charts with capabilities for Jeppesen charts with web based updates.
Enhanced Vision / Synthetic Vision (Optional Features)
The avionics system on the Eclipse 550 jet has an optional Enhanced Vision & Synthetic Vision system. These are advanced features, usually only found on much larger aircraft. Enhanced vision uses a camera mounted below the jet in conjunction with infrared technology to show a video of the outside environment. The is very helpful during landing as the system allows you to see through clouds, fog and low visibility. The video is displayed on the MFD. Synthetic vision creates a 3D display of the outside environment on the PFD. Synthetic vision has become a common feature found on aircraft built today. The system is similar to Garmin's synthetic vision system on it's G1000/G3000 avionics.
The Eclipse 550's AVIO IFMS avionics are fully integrated with the autopilot system on board the jet. The autopilot is connected to the navigation source and can fly flight plans entered into the system. Also available is an optional auto-throttle system that will control the aircraft speed.
ADS-B Out / In
The Eclipse 550 is Automatic Dependent Surveillance, Broadcast out (ADS-B Out) ready. This means that the jet is capable of transmitting an ADS-B signal out to air traffic control (ATC) and other aircraft. ADS-B is a newer transponder system that uses GPS and WAAS to report the aircraft's location to ATC and other airplanes. It is being used to replace the older radar based system that air traffic control and airplanes use. ADS-B is now being implemented in the United States by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As of the time of this article, The entire continental United States (48 states), Gulf of Mexico and Alaska have full ADS-B coverage. In the FAA's 2013 NextGen report, the FAA reports that ADS-B is in use for air traffic control separation services at 28 Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities, so coverage for air traffic controllers is not yet complete. The Eclipse 550 will be able to use ADS-B and is future proof for the roll out of NextGen in the United States. The Eclipse 550 jet is also ADS-B in ready and can receive Flight Information Service, Broadcast (FIS-B). FIS-B provides "free" weather information from the FAA that includes weather radar, reports and more.
Avionics Standard Features Overview:
Here are the standard features for the Eclipse 550 very light jet's avionics systems. Most of these features are described above:
- Dual IFMS
- High Resolution Displays
- Faster Microprocessors
- Standby Display Unit
- ADS-B Out / In
- Integrated Autopilot
- Software Enabled Composite Mode – In a failure of the MFD or power failure, important information that is displayed only on the MFD will be displayed on the PFD.
- Class 3 Electronic Charts with Available Jeppesen Charts
Avionics System Optional Features:
The Eclipse 550 does have many optional features available. Almost all of them have to do with the avionics system. The cost for all of these options was $120,000 on top the base price at the launch of the aircraft. You can learn more about the price of the Eclipse 550 on the price page.
Here is the list of optional features:
- Radar Altimeter – Measures distance directly below the airplane.
- Auto Throttles
- Terrain Avoidance Warning System (TAWS)
- Traffic Alerting System (TAS)
- Enhanced Vision
- Synthetic Vision
- Stormscope – L-3 Communication's Stormscope product that provides real time lighting strike information.
- Color Radar
- DME – Distance Measuring Equipment
- ADF – Automated Direction Finder
- Skywatch – L-3's Skywatch collision avoidance system.
- Iridium Phone
- FAA CFR Part 135 Package – Required items for Part 135 certification from the FAA. Includes a 3rd Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS), additional oxygen mask for co-pilot and an upgraded 40 cubic foot oxygen bottle.
Eclipse 500 Avionics Warranty
All new Eclipse 550 jets have a 3 year (36 months) or 1,200 hours warranty that covers all aircraft components from tip to tail. This includes the AVIO IFMS avionics system on-board the very light jet.