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L-3 SmartDeck Chosen for Cirrus Jet Prototype

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Cirrus Design has chosen L-3 Communications to provide the avionics for its prototype single engine jet. The announcement was made at the National Business Aviation Association's convention in Atlanta. L-3 calls the avionics package the SmartDeck and says it represents the "next generation" of flat panels. In addition to all the usual features found on the glass wizards, L-3 has included its Stormscope weather mapping feature, SkyWatch collision avoidance system and Landmark terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS). It says it tested the displays with pilots and human factors experts to try and make it as functional and intuitive as possible. Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier said the choice of L-3 for the first Cirrus jet does not mean that production models will necessarily have the gear.

Klapmeier said Garmin and current avionics vendor Avidyne are still in the running. Meanwhile, Klapmeier said work has begun on the prototype, and some parts have been completed. He said he's not predicting when it will fly and not pushing development to coincide with any shows. The mockup of the jet shown at Cirrus's annual owners' event in Duluth in June will be displayed at AOPA's annual convention next week in Hartford.

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