L-3 Communications Avionics Systems is bringing a new competitor to the integrated glass-cockpit market for general aviation—and AOPA Pilot editors got a taste of the new system this week.
Announced three weeks ago at the National Business Aviation Association conference in Atlanta, SmartDeck integrates navigation, weather, traffic and terrain avoidance, enhanced vision, and engine monitoring with communications and flight controls on new high-resolution primary and multifunction displays.
SmartDeck also incorporates dual attitude heading reference systems, the S-Tec IntelliFlight 1950 digital flight control system (autopilot), and a PS Engineering audio panel.
Flying L-3's SmartDeck-equipped Cirrus SR22, the editors found the new system to be intuitive and highly capable. SmartDeck uses a shallow menu concept, which means that fewer button pushes and knob turns are necessary than found on some current-generation systems. Cirrus plans to use SmartDeck in its development Cirrus jet and possibly in production models as well.
Look for a full report in an upcoming issue of AOPA Pilot.