Avidyne and Aspen join forces with a new autopilot interface

Avidyne Corporation and Aspen Avionics announced a new autopilot interface that includes the popular Evolution Primary Flight Display and the DFC90 flight control system.  The all-digital DFC90 interface was previously certified and limited to Cirrus and Piper PA-46 aircraft that are equipped with Avidyne’s Entegra suite.  But the DFC90 and Evolution PFD interface opens the interface potential to a wide variety of aircraft and aftermarket retrofits thanks to Aspen’s sizeable Approved Model List (AML).

The DFC90 includes full-time flight envelope protection and alerting as well as a straight and level mode.  Since the DFC90 is an attitude-based autopilot the Aspen PFD is a logical interface given its proven AHARS system that seamlessly drives pitch and roll reference to the autopilot.  Further, the DFC90 logically displays its mode annunciation on the Aspen PFD display using symbology and mode status color coding that was born from the transport category aircraft world.

Aspen and Avidyne plan to aggressively pursue additional STC approvals to include the Cessna 182, Beechcraft Bonanza and other common aircraft models. The DFC90 is a reasonably easy upgrade for existing S-TEC 55X interfaces since it drives the existing autopilot servos and shares much of the same wiring.  The DFC90 can also offer a seamless upgrade for other autopilots in the S-TEC line.

The DFC90 and Aspen PFD combination bring huge amounts of safety to the cockpit and it should be difficult for pilots to get into a loss of control situation when using the system properly.  The beauty of this Aspen/Avidyne partnership means the interface will ultimately be available to a wide variety of airframes.

Aspen’s software that enables the DFC90 interface is expected in the coming months and pricing for the DFC90 starts at $9,995 not including installation.  Aspen’s software unlock to make the interface work is $1,995. For more information visit www.avidyne.com and www.aspenavionics.com

Avidyne introduces new plug and play touch screen navigator

In response to Garmin’s recent introduction of their touch-screen line of GPS navigators, Avidyne announced at Oshkosh 2011 a complete line of direct-replacement avionics for the entire radio stack including a fresh GPS navigator.  Front and center is the new IFD540 GPS/NMS system that combines both a touchscreen and button-driven architecture that was born from the Avidyne R9 integrated cockpit.  It’s a full featured NMS system combining Nav/GPS/Com with cMax approach charting and full mapping and flight planning capabilities in a single box.

The plug-and-play IFD540 is a slide-in replacement for the popular Garmin GNS530 navigators, providing a larger screen area with 400% more pixels plus an easier to use, button and touch-screen interface. The IFD540 is designed to integrate with all the existing equipment which the 430/530 systems previously operated, including a long list of PFDs, EFIS, CDIs, HSIs, remote sensors, autopilots and MFDs.  And because it’s the same physical size as the 530, it fits into the same tray, uses the same antennas, and can be installed with no wiring changes.  For pilots who want the modern convenience of a touch-screen display but don’t want to give up buttons entirely, the IFD540 seems the perfect answer.  The IF540 also offers an alternative for existing GNS530 customers who are hesitant to upgrade to Garmin’s new GTN750 given the required teardown and panel rework.

With full-stack replacement in mind, the company also introduced the AMX240 audio control panel that’s plug and play with Garmin’s GMA340 and PS Engineering PM8000-series audio panels.  And for replacing popular Bendix/King KT76A/78A transponders, the AXP340 is a direct slide-in replacement that has ADS-B output.  And for replacing the popular S-TEC 55X autopilot, the DFC90 is a digital flight control system is also plug and play and offers flight envelope protection with a wings level mode.

Got iPad?  Integrate it to your panel with Aspen Connected Panel

Connected Panel is a suite of software, hardware and applications that are enabled through Aspen’s flight displays providing a two-way communication stream between the displays and a smart device such as an iPad or Android.  Aspen has developed an iPad application of their own, called Aspen Connected and will be available via the iTunes store.  The popular iPad app provider ForeFlight will introduce a new app called ForeFlight Mobile that will work with the interface.

The panel interface hardware consists of a blind box (Aspen CG100) and contains multiple connection interface capabilities including Bluetooth, USB and wireless options plus flash memory capability.  The program Connect Pilot will allow the ability to tune radio frequencies and cross-fill flight plans from an iPad to the new KSN770 GPS navigator that’s currently being developed by Aspen and Honeywell Bendix/King.

The basic interface suite will sell for under $2500 and will be available by years end.  For more information visit www.aspenavionics.com