Founded in 2004 by aviation enthusiasts, Aspen Avionics has a history of punching above its weight, having long battled Garmin to gain a significant share of the general aviation avionics market. The New Mexico creator of the Evolution Flight Display that is the foundation of many glass cockpits now has deeper pockets.
Aspen announced August 4 that it has entered “an agreement in principle to become a member of the AIRO Group companies,” noting that the company will maintain current production and support for its GA product line while expanding into new markets including military and unmanned aircraft.
Aspen Avionics President and CEO John Uczekaj, who joined the AIRO Group leadership team, voiced enthusiasm for the development in the same press release:
“As a recognized innovator in the general aviation segment, Aspen’s inclusion in the AIRO Group’s diversified company portfolio not only helps strengthen Aspen Avionics current business lines but opens up opportunities in other aerospace markets that will enable future growth and innovation,” Uczekaj said. “This is a very exciting development for our current and future customers as well as our employees and allows us to take our business to a higher level.”
The AIRO Group was created to pool the resources of several smaller companies into a larger entity with the chops to battle the big boys in emerging aerospace markets including unmanned aircraft of various sizes and capabilities, along with urban air mobility, and advanced avionics for defense and training.
“The inclusion of leading technology companies like Aspen Avionics helps the AIRO Group further capitalize on the attractive [aerospace and defense] market trends around autonomy, avionics, and military training,” said Chris Gidden, managing director and global head of aerospace and defense for Stephens, a financial advisor retained by the AIRO Group.
AOPA has welcomed Aspen’s contributions to aviation safety and modernization, and installed Aspen’s first FAA-certified primary flight display in the AOPA 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes airplane. Aspen has continued to innovate through the years since, and rolled out its most recent upgrades to the Evolution MAX line in 2019.