West Star Signs Agreement to Pursue RVSM Solution for the Conquest II

West Star Signs Engineering Agreement to Pursue Conquest II RVSM Solution

West Star Aviation of Grand Junction, Colorado has contracted with Kohlman Systems Research of Lawrence, Kansas for engineering services required to obtain a group RVSM approval STC for Cessna Conquest II aircraft. In addition to the RVSM group approval, West Star engineers will obtain the required STC for RVSM equipment installation and static system modifications in order to provide a turnkey solution to Conquest II operators.

The decision to pursue an RVSM STC for the Conquest II was an easy one, according to Russ Williams, West Star’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Many of our customers bought their Conquest II for the high altitude performance and efficiency it offers, and staying below FL 290 is not going to be an option for them,” said Williams. “As the world leader in Conquest maintenance and modifications, we feel it is our responsibility to bring an RVSM solution to market,” he said.

All required skin mapping and flight-testing for the Conquest II RVSM group approval will take place at West Star’s Grand Junction facility. The company expects to have all RVSM STC’s completed by the fourth quarter of 2004.

The West Star RVSM solution will include Conquest II aircraft with the Collins APS-65, Sperry SPZ-500, and Meggitt 2100 autopilots installed. Aircraft with the Cessna 1000-series autopilot installed will need to be retrofitted with either the Collins or Meggitt autopilot. West Star cites performance, reliability and support issues for requiring the autopilot change. “We do not feel that the Cessna 1000-series autopilot will meet the RVSM accuracy and reliability requirements over the long term,” said Williams, “And many customers have concerns about support issues for this aging equipment,” he said.

West Star will also obtain the necessary FAA approvals to install RVSM-capable digital altimeters and air data equipment. The company is in final negotiations with leading manufacturers of RVSM altimetry equipment as of this writing. Once all equipment and modification costs are known, West Star will send all Conquest II operators a comprehensive information package describing the RVSM equipment options. “Operators will be receiving our information package sometime in the second quarter of this year outlining our RVSM solution and various equipment and pricing options that we have negotiated with the manufacturers,” said Williams.

West Star has previous experience with RVSM certification programs, having earned RVSM group approval for the Learjet model 35/36 in August of 2003. “We hope to apply our experience gained in the Learjet RVSM certification effort to the Conquest II program, in order to bring the best possible solution to market in the shortest amount of time,” said Williams.

KSR is a leading independent provider of aeronautical engineering services and has considerable experience with developing the requirements for, coordinating and conducting the required ground and flight testing and developing and preparing the approval data packages required to achieve both the avionics and RVSM airworthiness certifications. This experience includes RVSM flight testing of 170 aircraft to gain both Individual (Non-Group) Aircraft RVSM approvals for the B707, B727, DC-9, KC-135, DC-8, Citation 501, Falcon 10, Hawker 700, Lear 25, Lear 55, Jet Star, Challenger 600 and Sabre 65 and Group RVSM approvals for the Citation 500/501/550/560, Challenger 600/601, C-9A/B, E-8C, Westwind 1124/1124A, Falcon 10, KC-135, L1011, MU-300, Beechjet 400A, Gulfstream II, Hawker 700, Hawker 800, Astra/Astra SP/Astra SPX, PC-12, Sabre 65, Sabre 80 and King Air 200/300.