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AeroVonics introduces economical glass

Goal is matching mechanical-instrument price

AeroVonics LLC of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is poised to enter the avionics market with its AV-20-S, a two-inch-diameter, self-contained multifunction display. The company expects FAA certification through the NORSEE (non-required safety enhancing equipment) pathway any day now, said Jeff Bethel, the company’s founder and owner.

FAA NORSEE certification is pending for AeroVonics' AV-20-S, a two-inch-diameter, self-contained multifunction display with integral angle of attack and other capabilities. The company displayed it at EAA AirVenture 2018. Photo by Mike Collins.

"The primary technology behind it is probeless angle of attack. That lowers the cost of installation, especially for the certified guys," he explained. Bethel said it's based on a Sperry patent from the 1960s and compares aircraft pitch, from an attitude and heading reference system (AHRS), to air data. "And we have G-loading augmentation on top of that," he added.

"What we do differently is we're round displays, so you don’t have to cut the panel up," he said. "It saves on installation cost."

AeroVonics displayed the AV-20-S at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where EAA named the company a 2018 Innovation Showcase winner. It provides 12 functions, including angle of attack with progressive audio cues and display pop-up; G-meter display with voice alerting and peaks; attitude; clock, outside air temperature, bus voltage, dual count-up/count-down timers, engine run timer, flight timer, density altitude; and true airspeed. An internal back-up battery provides 30 minutes of operation. The pending NORSEE certification will apply to Class I and Class II unpressurized aircraft.

The unit incorporates a full-color, sunlight-readable display and a bezel-mounted light sensor for automatic display brightness. It connects to the pitot and static systems of the aircraft, while the otherwise similar model AV-20 does not.

AeroVonics also showed the AV-30, a fully digital dual-mode attitude and direction indicator designed to replace the corresponding legacy vacuum-driven instruments in older general aviation aircraft. Features include primary attitude, probeless AOA, indicated airspeed, altitude/vertical trend/alerter, G meter; HSI mode/compass rose/arc compass; and GPS navigational data overlay. It also has an internal back-up battery that typically provides two hours of operation.

Configured as an attitude indicator, it can replace the legacy standalone attitude indicator, providing a solid-state presentation of roll, pitch, and slip. Configured as a direction indicator, it can replace a non-slaved directional gyro. In both modes, supplemental data can be presented as graphical and textual overlays, configurable by the pilot. Three separate pages can be set up by the pilot, allowing preferred configurations for different phases of flight or to reduce clutter. A dedicated, fully decluttered page is provided in each display mode.

The AV-30 helps to preserve the original look and feel of classic aircraft by rear-mounting in the instrument panel, maintaining the circular nature of the original indicator, and eliminating the need to cut into existing instrument panel overlays. The display can be customized; one EFIS presentation replicates the feel of a legacy mechanical attitude indicator.

The AV-20-S is priced at $895, and the AV-20 is $499. The company said the AV-30 would be available for experimental aircraft in late 2018 for $1,595; the certified version, approved via AML-STC, should be available in mid-2019, also for $1,595.

"We're positioning ourselves below the [Garmin] G5 and Aspen products," Bethel explained. "We're trying to get to the price point of old mechanical equipment. Visually we’re playing with the old styles—we want to match the old airplanes."

Although the company is relatively new, Bethel is not a newcomer to the industry. He has worked in FAR Part 23 avionic systems for more than 30 years. A co-founder of Aspen Avionics, he also has worked at Trimble Navigation, UPS Aviation Technologies, Eclipse Aviation, and Bendix/King.

More information about both products is available on the AeroVonics website.

Mike Collins

Mike Collins

Technical Editor
Mike Collins, AOPA technical editor and director of business development, died at age 59 on February 25, 2021. He was an integral part of the AOPA Media team for nearly 30 years, and held many key editorial roles at AOPA Pilot, Flight Training, and AOPA Online. He was a gifted writer, editor, photographer, audio storyteller, and videographer, and was an instrument-rated pilot and drone pilot.
Topics: Avionics, EAA AirVenture

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