Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bendix/King Update


The Pioneer In Avionics Sets Its Sights On The Future


Jollis is one of the many employees that Bendix/King has brought aboard at the New Mexico location. Honeywell has structured the company with its own budgets, sales goals and strategic initiatives. The independence has given Bendix/King an opportunity to reclaim their leadership in avionics.

First, they've partnered with Aspen Avionics and are collaborating on the development of the KSN 770 touch-screen MFD. "They [Honeywell Bendix/King] are relying on our expertise in the retrofit market and in light and medium GA," said Aspen Avionics President John Uczekaj. Aspen and Honeywell Bendix/King are jointly marketing the product.

Roger Jollis is pleased with the collaboration and sees it as the first of what could be more joint ventures. "This partnership with Aspen is a model of how manufacturers can work together," he said. Indeed, during my recent visit to the Aspen testing facility in New Mexico, a number of Bendix/King aircraft were in the hangar being overseen by avionics engineers from both companies. It was a refreshing sight and one that should serve as a pattern for all aviation companies. Collaboration seems to suit GA just fine, and we pilots are the beneficiaries of such partnerships.

Jollis explains that the goal of the re-born Bendix/King is to provide what general aviation lacks. "Pro pilots fly five times a week, but GA pilots may fly twice a month," he noted. "So we have to create avionics that are easy to use for the average pilot. At the same time, we have to keep the professional pilot in mind. In the end, it's about avionics that are easy and intuitive."
Bendix/King is so committed to aviation that they offer
employee programs that subsidize some GA
flight instruction and aviation activities. Jollis tells me
about 60% of the staff is made up of pilots and
increasing all the time.
The Albuquerque facility has been increasing staff—especially in engineering and technology—to an impressive level. The target will be some 180 employees. Bendix/King is so committed to aviation that they offer employee programs that subsidize some GA flight instruction and aviation activities. Jollis tells me that about 60% of the staff is made up of pilots and increasing all the time.

In the past few months, Bendix/King has scored several wins. First, the launch of their "myWingMan" app for the iPad was met with great enthusiasm. The newest version (launched in February of this year) offers AHRS support, support for SIDS and STARS, a better, more stable interface and greater flight planning flexibility. The new update makes myWingMan even more powerful, and puts it in a rightful place with cockpit "standards" like ForeFlight, Hilton's Wing-X, and Garmin's Pilot app. myWingMan can be downloaded for free on a 60-day trial.

In December, the company announced its KMA 30 audio panel retrofit. The KMA 30 is a slide-in replacement for older audio panels that can be installed without rewiring the entire panel. The unit has music and Bluetooth capability to allow connection of cell phones and other audio devices.

Jollis says these products are only the beginning. "You'll see more and more products come to market from us that use innovative technology and are easy to use." He adds that Bendix/King will focus not only on technology, but on making these products affordable for GA. "Right now, we're focusing on relationships with our customers," smiles Jollis, "We listen to what they have to tell us." Visit www.bendixking.com for more information.




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