Avidyne Corporation announced that its new MLX770 datalink transceiver has earned European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval for installation in pressurized aircraft. The MLX770 was previously EASA-certified in unpressurized metal and composite aircraft. The units previously were FAA-approved for more than 700 N-number-registered aircraft. The MLX770 uses the Iridium satellite network to provide weather and two-way messaging. In Europe, datalink weather was unavailable to general aviation aircraft prior to Avidyne’s release of the MLX770.
Initially, the MLX770 will interface with Avidyne’s EX500 multifunction displays, but plans are to make it compatible with electronic flight bags installed in FAR Part 25-certified turboprops and turbofans. The introductory price of the unit is $11,995. An introductory price of $10,995 for existing owners of Avidyne EX500 and EX5000 multifunction displays is in effect for the first quarter of 2009. If both an EX500 and a MLX770 are purchased, there’s a $5,000 discount off the list price.
Both Avidyne and DAC International are now accepting orders for the MLX770, and first deliveries are under way. Datalink service plans are expected to run $70 to $120 per month, based on 10 hours of flying per month.