Avidyne Corp. has secured a long-awaited supplemental type certificate (STC) that expands installation options of its DFC90 autopilot to include various Beechcraft Bonanza models equipped with Aspen avionics.
The new STC was approved more than a year after the Lincoln, Mass.-based Avidyne announced testing was about to begin on a V-tail Bonanza, with certification hoped for a few months later. Company spokesman Tom Harper said the Bonanza certification effort was put on hold while the company worked with the FAA to complete certification of Cessna 182 installations, and testing on Bonanza models did not begin in earnest until January.
“This is a huge safety enhancement opportunity for the Bonanza fleet,” Harper said, noting the original plan was to start with the V35 alone.
The STC allows the DFC90, with a variety of safety features including envelope protection and a straight-and-level button that AOPA put to the test in an experimental Cirrus, to be installed as a drop-in replacement for S-Tec 55X autopilots, along with other S-Tec versions. The STC covers 25 Bonanza models, and installations including the Evolution Pro Primary Flight Display by Aspen Avionics of Albuquerque, N.M. The DFC90 retails for $9,995, and the Evolution Pro PFD is listed for $10,180, plus installation in each case. Software that allows the two to communicate sells for $1,995, labor excluded.
Avidyne has previously certified the DFC90 for installations in Cirrus and Cessna Skylane models. The company plans to add the Beechcraft Baron and other models to the list of aircraft approved for dual installations with Aspen flight displays.