July 25, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
Avidyne has introduced new plug-and-play avionics to include the IFD540 GPS/Navigation/Communication system, a direct plug-in replacement for the Garmin GNS 530. The company also introduced the AMX240 stereo audio panel with marker beacons, the AXP340 Mode S Extended Squitter transponder, and the attitude-based DFC90 digital autopilot.
The IFD540 is priced at $16,995 and is expected to be available in late 2012. A terrain awareness option (TAWS-B) is an additional $7,995.
Avidyne President and CEO Dan Schwinn hinted there are more products that will be announced at a later time. When asked if there might be a replacement for the Garmin GNS 430 series, Schwinn said, “That’s an interesting question.”
In other Avidyne news, the company is offering a software upgrade for its Entegra Integrated Release 9 Flight Deck that includes synthetic vision. It is expected to be certified by the FAA later this year. The upgrade also includes support for three-screen installations and on-board weather radar.
The synthetic vision system offers an adjustable field of view, and includes a feature called forward-looking terrain alerting to give advance warning of rising terrain.
Another feature is a Total Velocity Vector (TVV) on the primary flight display. The TVV provides a visual representation of the aircraft flight path, indicating where the airplane is going and not necessarily where the aircraft is pointing. Current weather displays include colored flags to locate airports in the 3-D scene. Based on the approach entered in the flight management system, the selected runway at the destination airport is highlighted for additional clarity and ease of identification.
The 3-D field of view is adjustable, so that it can be expanded when flying in mountainous areas, or narrowed to verify a runway heading while still some distance away. The synthetic vision system uses color coding that displays yellow and red hashed patterns overlaid on the terrain display correlating with terrain that is 101 to 500 below the current altitude (yellow) and terrain that is 100 feet below to anything above the aircraft’s current altitude (red).
Avidyne also is expanding the available market for its DFC90 autopilot to include the Cessna 182, Beechcraft Bonanza, and Beechcraft Baron models.
The management team running Chelton Flight Systems and S-Tec Corp. in Mineral Wells, Texas, for parent Cobham Avionics saw an opportunity and bought in.
AOPA met with key California legislative staffers to educate them on a proposed overflight of parks regulation.
Calculating weight and balance is an important task for pilots. AOPA members share their personal favorite weight-and-balance apps.
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