A DFC90 (bottom of center stack) and Aspen Evolution (center panel) installed in a Cessna 182. Photo courtesy Aspen Avionics.
Avidyne Corp. has secured a supplemental type certificate allowing installation of the DFC90 digital autopilot in Cessna 182-series aircraft equipped with the Aspen Evolution 1000 Pro primary flight display.
The STC covers 16 models in the Skylane series. Avidyne’s autopilot, coupled with the Aspen PFD, enables one-button straight-and-level recovery by the autopilot. Software developed by Avidyne also provides protection against stalls and overspeed situations that might otherwise be created by autopilot commands. The autopilot software, thanks to an interface engineered by both companies, draws pitch and heading data from the solid-state sensors included in the Aspen Evolution. Alerts are also generated when the aircraft approaches safe aerodynamic limits.
Aspen’s Evolution 1000 Pro integration allows pilots to enter heading select, altitude select, and vertical speed select inputs to the DFC90 from Aspen’s PFD. For Cessna 182s already equipped with an Aspen PFD, a software upgrade (available for $1,995) allows the Evolution Pro PFD to speak to, and control, the Avidyne autopilot--provided that Evolution’s version 2.6 or higher software is installed.
Evolution Pro PFDs start at $10,180, installation not included, and Avidyne’s DFC90 retails for $9,995, plus installation, for single-engine aircraft with STEC55X or STEC30 series servos already installed. The DFC90 was designed as a “plug and play” replacement for STEC55X systems, able to use the same mounting hardware, servos, and much of the wiring. Replacing an STEC30 series model with the DFC90 requires more significant modficiations, though servos and some brackets can be used.