Connectivity is the theme for Avidyne at the Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In and Expo in Lakeland, Florida, and it appears to be serving the company well. New products, new features, and a factory-direct sales team helped to launch the company’s 2015 sales 40 percent over the previous year’s totals.
The Massachusetts-based avionics manufacturer announced a number of new products and features at the show, many of them with a focus on panel integration. Avidyne has put its own spin on the iPad revolution with the IFD100, a bridge between the tablet and the panel-mounted IFD 400- and 500-series GPS navigators. The free app works like a repeater of the FAA-certified panel-mounted boxes. Flight plans, weather, traffic, and moving map can be sent back and forth between the iPad and the panel-mounted unit.
In what it says is a unique market niche, Avidyne also is now offering synthetic vision on the IFD navigators. Current customers will receive a version that puts the perspective above and behind the airplane for free. For cockpit-view synthetic vision, there must be an attitude and heading reference system, which the company will be offering in the IFD550, a new addition to the product line which began with the IFD540 and IFD440. With an installed AHRS, the IFDs will serve as a backup attitude source, with dynamic overlays on the moving map.
Avidyne announced numerous other upgrades to its IFD line, including the ability to overlay video and on-board radar. Avidyne President and CEO Dan Schwinn couldn’t yet go in to details on how its partnership with Globalstar will impact the IFD GPS navigators, except to say that relatively low-cost phone and Internet with service fees in the neighborhood of $100 a month will be integrated later this year and next year.