November 5, 2009
Avidyne Corporation introduced its new attitude-based autopilot, the DFC90, Nov. 5 at AOPA Aviation Summit. The $9,995 unit, designed for the Cirrus SR20 and SR22, features a number of safety enhancements. One of them—flight envelope protection—provides aural and visual warnings of dangerous low-airspeed conditions when using vertical-speed, altitude-hold, and airspeed-hold functions. In those modes, inattentive pilots in high workload situations can forget to apply adequate power for climb or level-off, resulting in autopilot-induced stalls. To prevent this, the DFC90 senses when critically low airspeed occurs, and then issues warnings; the unit will also automatically reduce the airplane’s angle of attack. If in a turn, the unit will automatically reduce bank angle to further protect against a stall.
A new indicated airspeed hold mode comes with a dedicated airspeed knob that controls an airspeed bug. In addition, a “straight and level” button overrides all autopilot modes and levels the airplane in pitch and roll.
Hardware and software upgrades are necessary for the DFC90 to work with Avidyne’s Entegra avionics suites, as are modifications to the Entegra’s primary flight display (PFD). “Entegra customers interested in upgrading to the DFC90 should act now and schedule their PFD for modification,” said Rob Higby, Avidyne vice president of sales, marketing, and customer service. “Scheduling your PFD upgrade now locks in a $4,000 savings.” The DFC90 is set for certification and first deliveries in mid-2010.
Avidyne also introduced the new EX600 multifunction display (MFD). The retrofittable EX600 has a wide range of interface capabilities, including compatibility with 19 different weather radars, Avidyne’s TWX670 lightning detection system, and the company’s TAS600-series traffic advisory system. CMax electronic approach charts and airport diagrams also play on the EX600, and datalink weather will be available in the U.S. using Avidyne’s MLX770 datalink receiver, or internationally via the Iridium satellite network.
EX600 pricing starts at $9,990 for the standard MFD, which includes CMax approach charts. Avidyne is taking orders now, and certification and first shipments are expected before the end of 2009.
New draft airman certification standards are available for review on the FAA’s website. In addition to releasing the draft standards, the FAA also announced that it would be deleting questions from the private pilot airplane knowledge test, effective Feb. 9.
A California charter school has teamed up with a glider school to give students a potentially life-changing opportunity.
Do you operate at airports or heliports that have LED systems? If so, AOPA, the FAA, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, and multiple professional pilot organizations want to hear from you.
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