Avionics News July 2020 - 41

OPPOSITE PAGE: Business has been good at Elliott Aviation, but
the outlook is uncertain.
BELOW: Elliott has logged 300 Garmin cockpits like this G5000 retrofit.

team. "We have them keep their distance from others to make
sure we don't lose the entire procurement team," said Mark
Wilken, vice president of avionics programs and operational
logistics for Elliott.
The company had to move quickly to set up new ways of
doing things. When there is a meeting in Moline, everyone
participating doesn't go into a single conference room as
they did before. Instead, employees spread out and use Skype
rather than meeting face to face. "We avoid groups whenever
possible," Wilken said.
Elliott had enough N95 masks on hand to keep its paint and
interior operations going for several months, as these masks
are required for sanding and painting operations. There are
180 technicians in Moline working on everything from paint
and interiors to avionics, and they have all been required to
stay at least 6 feet from each other in the high-traffic areas
of the shop. Illinois started requiring masks be used when
social distancing is not possible. Elliott also made face masks
and gave several to each employee that could be laundered
and reused. Employees take their own temperatures before
reporting to work, and Elliott has spread out the times for
lunch and breaks in the break rooms. The sales staff is all
working from home as are some of the administrative staff.
Aircraft are cleaned and disinfected as they arrive and leave
Elliott facilities, and work schedules are adjusted to limit any
contact between customers and staff. The company also started
extensive cleaning on a regular basis throughout the day.
Door handles and other things routinely touched by people are
cleaned and disinfected every few hours, and employees wash
their hands frequently. In cases where it is acceptable under
Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, doors are kept
open so nobody even has to touch a door handle.
The company has been obtaining hand sanitizer locally
from the Mississippi River Distilling Co., which is across
the Iowa border about 20 miles from the Quad City Airport.
The local company started producing hand sanitizer after the
coronavirus crisis hit.
Elliott works almost entirely on turbine-powered aircraft
with a mix of 60% business jets and 40% turboprops.
Fortunately, the company had a fairly significant backlog in
avionics work to keep busy for the foreseeable future when
the virus hit. "We had a good tailwind going into this thing,"
Wilken said. "We were positioned well on the avionics side of
things. It could have been a lot worse."
It was not so much that ADS-B work remained to be done
as that major retrofits of Garmin 1000 with 1000 NXi and
installations of G5000s remained to be done along with highspeed data and Gogo Wi-Fi system projects. And there were a
few ADS-B stragglers still coming through.

Elliott has completed more than 300 Garmin full cockpit
retrofits on a variety of jets and turboprops. The latest
opportunity came In the fall of 2016 when Garmin announced
a major aircraft retrofit with the G5000 for the Citation Excel/
XLS providing a long-term solution for about 700 owners of
these types of aircraft. These aircraft have an 1,800 nautical
mile range but, outdated avionics are expensive to maintain.
The three G5000 14-inch LCD displays provide WAAS/LPV,
XM Weather, electronic charts, ADS-B, MFD range rings,
engine indication and options including synthetic vision,
turbulence detection, SurfaceWatch, underspeed protection,
Chartview and lightning and hail prediction. Elliott noted the
Citation retrofit provides a safer, lighter, more-reliable solution
at a cost that is not much more than maintaining the current
avionics system. Average installed cost is $500,000.
Elliott has completed about 300 Garmin full cockpit
retrofits on a range of Beech turboprops and jets and
Hawker jets.
Elliott also does about one Collins Pro Line 21 upgrade
project per month with NextGen updates for King Airs,
Hawkers and Premier. Now since the ADS-B mandate has
passed, these aircraft owners have the option of upgrading
their avionics without the cost of synthetic vision that runs
tens of thousands of dollars. Options for Collins upgrades start
at $100,000. Originally, the upgrade was an all-or-nothing
offering with synthetic vision, ADS-B updated FMS, WAAS/
LPV and the latest integrated flight information system. The
shop also does G1000 NXi upgrades on previous-generation
G1000 systems on King Airs and on Phenom 100s.
Full avionics upgrades may not flow as readily now during
the COVID-19 crisis. "We are seeing a slowdown in new sales
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Avionics News July 2020

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