Aspen Avionics announced July 21 that its integrated Evolution angle of attack (AOA) indicator has received FAA certification. Aspen said a software upgrade seamlessly integrates AOA information into its Evolution primary flight and multifunction displays. The upgrade, priced at $1,995, is available for immediate installation.
Aspen also introduced the Evolution Pro Plus safety package at AirVenture July 21. The package bundles an Evolution primary flight display preloaded with synthetic vision with the just-certified Evolution Angle of Attack indicator. Purchased together, the system retails for $13,995, a $1,695 savings over purchasing each separately.
“We are offering an affordably-priced Aspen Evolution PFD with preinstalled safety features that no one else can match in value,” said Mark Ferrari, vice president for sales and customer support. “Further, it is important for us to continue to support our current customer base with the same package and we’ll offer the AOA and synthetic vision safety to our current customers for only $3,295.” That price represents the same $1,695 savings of the Pro Plus package, Ferrari said.
“We worked closely with the FAA to integrate Aspen’s AOA technology into our displays in a timely and efficient manner,” said John Uczekaj, Aspen president and CEO. “The FAA’s focus on reducing loss of control accidents through increased focus on AOA and efficient certification processes played a large role in our ability to bring this to market.”
Aspen’s Evolution AOA delivers a software-based, derived angle of attack indication that provides real-time awareness of the airplane’s margin above stall without additional hardware, wiring, or external sensors, Aspen said. The company said its patent-pending approach offers substantial installation savings with minimal aircraft downtime, requiring only simple software upgrades to the Aspen PFD and MFD and a short calibration.
Its certification comes only four months after its introduction, although Aspen had been working on the product for more than two years before it was announced. “We spent six weeks making sure the colors were right, because they had to be right,” said Perri Coyne, Aspen’s director of marketing operations. The company originally used red to represent the stall region, but that choice wasn’t compatible with FAA regulations regarding PFDs, and it was changed to yellow and black cross-hatching.
Aspen said the system improves safety by providing stall margin awareness in real time with flaps both up and down, so the pilot can evaluate the available lift before changing aircraft configuration—especially helpful during a go-around. The display immediately and clearly depicts a trend toward a stall, as well as the stall margin, Aspen said. AOA is displayed near the speed tape on Aspen PFDs; on MFDs, the pilot can choose from several sizes and positions for the AOA depiction.
Aspen said the Evolution AOA is now available through any authorized dealer. It’s on display at AirVenture in Hangar B, booth 2145.