April 13, 2010
By Mike Collins
What could be left for Aspen Avionics to announce at Sun ’n Fun after last week’s Aircraft Electronics Association show, when the company announced that it would add synthetic vision and an engine monitor to its Evolution flight display system?
Electronic chart pricing, for one thing. Aspen will offer AeroNav (formerly NACO) charts, and georeferenced airport diagrams, by subscription through Seattle Avionics—at a price of $299 per year.
The next software upgrade, Evolution Version 2.2, available in April, supports the AeroNav charts. It also offers expanded panning capabilities and a new targeting cursor, among other enhancements. The improvements were based on customer suggestions, as well as ideas from pilots and engineers on Aspen’s staff, said Brad Hayden, vice president of marketing. “We want the Evolution system to work the way the pilots want, not the other way around,” he said. The software upgrade itself is free, but there’s a nominal charge for dealer installation.
Aspen was demonstrating both the synthetic vision and engine monitor at Sun ‘n Fun, attracting a steady stream of visitors to the company’s booth. Engine monitoring will be available by the fourth quarter of 2010, with synthetic vision scheduled to follow in early 2011.
The company said a version of the backup display will be priced below $10,000.
Aspen, which is sponsoring aircraft parking at Sun ’n Fun, is providing dedicated aircraft parking and a hospitality center for Aspen customers. One of the airplanes in the Aspen parking area will be a Diamond DA40 owned by John Uczekaj, Aspen’s president and CEO. The avionics installation was recently completed, and this is Uczekaj’s first long trip with his new Aspen panel.
Mike Collins has worked for AOPA’s media network since 1994. He holds a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
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