September 1, 2011
By Dave Hirschman
Aspen Avionics has received FAA approval for its long-awaited Evolution Synthetic Vision and expects to add GPS-derived images of nearby terrain to its primary flight and multi-function displays this month.
The approval came in the form of a technical standard order (TSO) and Aspen said an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) is imminent.
More than 4,000 Aspen Evolution displays have been installed, and existing customers will be able to add synthetic vision through an Aspen dealer software patch. The price of the upgrade is $2,995, and Aspen is offering early adopters to add synthetic vision to multiple Evolution displays without additional charge.
“Aspen’s ESV will give our customers additional enhanced awareness,” said John Uczekaj, Aspen president and chief executive. “The terrain warning system and 3-D traffic are invaluable tools to the pilot operating in congested terminal airspace, reduced visibility conditions, or in mountainous terrain.”
Synthetic vision features include color-coded terrain and obstacle warnings, distance lines and range markers, a flight path marker, and flight director symbols. The system also can display traffic with additional sensors and software.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
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Over the past several years, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) developed its digital flight planning tools into a suite of products that put flight planning capability, airport directory information and aviation weather in pilots’ hands. AOPA partnered with Seattle Avionics to create FlyQ EFB, an electronic flight bag (EFB) iPad application, and FlyQ Pocket, a smartphone application.
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