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Aspen, Trio integrate digital autopilot

Aspen Avionics and Trio Avionics (The STC Group) announced they have joined forces to bring a digital autopilot package to more than a dozen Part 23 certified aircraft.

Photo courtesy of The STC Group.

San Francisco IT executive and aircraft owner Paul Odum founded The STC Group in 2016 to certify the Trio Avionics Pro Pilot autopilot developed for experimental aircraft as a low-cost retrofit for certified aircraft. A supplemental type certificate enabling Pro Pilot installation in Cessna 172s and 182s followed in 2017, and Pro Pilot STC coverage now extends to 15 aircraft, including Piper piston singles and Grumman AA-5 series aircraft. Trio worked with Aspen Avionics to integrate the digital autopilot with Aspen Evolution E5 flight displays.

The Trio Pro Pilot autopilot starts at $5,995. Software to connect the autopilot to Aspen displays is priced at $200, and customers with existing autopilots can return the control head to Trio Avionics and complete an Aspen integration for $400, according to a press release from Aspen and The STC Group.

For aircraft owners seeking to install both autopilot and display, packages featuring the Trio Pro Pilot autopilot paired with an Aspen Evolution E5 or Pro Max display can be purchased from Aspen Avionics or Trio authorized dealers, and are advertised online for $10,750.

Aspen’s Evolution E5 display combines an attitude indicator and horizontal situation indicator and allows pilots to control the Trio Pro Pilot autopilot through the Aspen display.

The display includes a rechargeable backup battery, GPS steering, air data computer, and attitude heading reference system, which provides attitude information for the aircraft. Installing the Evolution E5 allows owners to remove their aircraft’s vacuum system and eliminates the need for a backup attitude indicator.

The autopilot is a two-axis system that, according to the company, “encompasses all the performance and safety features of Trio’s other systems and makes them available in a single, panel-mounted instrument.”

Mark Ferrari, Aspen Avionics vice president of sales and customer support, said, “Aspen welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with Trio Avionics to provide an affordable digital autopilot/electronic flight display (EFIS) system for aircraft owners seeking an alternative option beyond a single manufacturer. We continue to offer an open integration platform that provides aircraft owners a choice when it comes to equipping their aircraft with the latest technology.”

Niki Britton
eMedia Content Producer
eMedia Content Producer Niki Britton joined AOPA in 2021. She is a private pilot who enjoys flying her 1969 Cessna 182 and taking aerial photographs.
Topics: Avionics, Technology

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