February 22, 2010
By Thomas A. Horne
Avidyne Corp. introduced new helicopter-specific interfaces for its EX600 multifunction display (MFD) at Heli-Expo 2010 in Houston. The EX600 can serve as a display replacement for the Bendix/King RDR-1400 series color radar and search-and-rescue radar system, but now the unit can support other radar and has an expanded set of features. For example, Avidyne has added Honeywell’s MK Xxi and MK XXII Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System (HTAWS) to the EX600’S large number of compatible interfaces.
The EX600 is a full-function MFD that can display information from GPS navigators, datalink weather, traffic, terrain, and electronic charts. Avidyne’s TAS600-series traffic advisory units will play on the EX600, as well as imagery from the company’s TWX670 Color Tactical Lightning Detection unit.
With Avidyne’s MultiLink capability, the EX600 can display both broadcast datalink weather in the continental United States via its MLB700 datalink transceiver, and internationally via Avidyne’s MLX770 datalink transceiver.
Another EX600 strong suit is its QuickPan function. By using dedicated directional keys on the instrument bezel, the moving map view on the unit’s 5.8-inch diagonal screen can quickly shuttle forward and back from the aircraft’s current position with a single button press, and then quickly return to the last view—without holding down the panning key.
In addition, Jeppesen CMax approach charts and airport diagrams for the United States, as well as European VFR charts, are also available for the EX600.
Price of the EX600 starts at $9,990 for the standard MFD. Prices rise to as much as $16,990, depending on the make and model of the radar interface. Avidyne allows a $2,500 trade-in allowance for old radar indicators and MFDs toward an EX600 purchase, and existing EX500 owners can upgrade to an EX600 starting at $5,495.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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