The wait for Avidyne’s drop-in replacement for Garmin’s GNS 430-series is over at last: The Lincoln, Massachusetts, firm announced June 18 that the IFD440 has been approved by the FAA. An update of the software that runs the device and its previously approved cousin the IFD540 (designed to replace Garmin GNS 530-series units) also fixes the bug that prompted an emergency airworthiness directive in May.
Avidyne’s 10.1 software release also unlocks new features in the IFD540, including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity with mobile devices, including Avidyne’s MK 10 mini keyboard. The new software supports Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) interactivity with Avidyne transceivers. Weather data received by the Avidyne MLB100 or MLX200 can now be displayed on the screen; rubber banding of the active flight plan leg is now enabled; data blocks are scrollable; and pilots can download user-defined waypoints and routes via USB. The software update is available at no charge through authorized dealers, the company announced.
“Release 10.1 software brings many new features and functions, including ADS-B, to the IFD540 that give it greater utility and make it even easier to use,” said Avidyne CEO Dan Schwinn, in a news release. “Along with the newly-certified IFD440, Avidyne now offers a complete suite of next-generation, ADS-B capable panel-mounted avionics and a platform for the future.”
The IFD440 was announced in 2012, and FAA approval follows nearly a year after the IFD540 (which AOPA reported on in September, with many of the new features active on a pre-release version), rather than the weeks of separation the company had once hoped for. The IFD440 retails for $14,995, which is $2,000 less than the IFD540, and antennas and installation are not included in those prices. The supplemental type certificate and approved model list for the IFD440 covers more than 1,000 aircraft makes and models, the company noted.
With the IFD440 approval, Avidyne offers a full stack of direct-replacement avionics, including audio panels, ADS-B transceivers, Mode S transponders, and the DCF90 autopilot.