Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sun ’n Fun Roundup 2014

Starting the air show season right

Avidyne IFD540
Avidyne IFD540
Avionics manufacturer Avidyne Corp. of Lincoln, Mass., displayed its soon-to-be-certified touch-screen IFD540 and IFD440 FMS/GPS/NAV/COMs in Lakeland. Designed as replacements for Garmin's GNS 530 and 430, the plug-and-play units slide into the same racks respectively as the legacy Garmins and require no installation. The units provide VHF communication and SBAS/LPV navigation, and meet ADS-B accuracy and integrity requirements. The touch-screen functionality includes pinch-zoom, map panning and graphical flight-plan editing.

"The 540 is priced the same as Garmin's 750, but there are no installation costs," said Tom Harper, Avidyne's director of marketing. "And we think customers will like the features on our unit." Avidyne plans to have the unit certified and available for purchase at AirVenture, scheduled for late July in Oshkosh, Wis. The units are priced at $16,995 for the 540 and $14,995 for the 440.

Mooney International Corp.
Mooney Acclaim And Ovation 3
Mooney International Corp., which bought the assets of moribund Mooney Aircraft Company in October 2013, announced it's resuming production of the single-engine Acclaim Type S and Ovation 3 models. The first off the assembly line since 2009—an Acclaim, Mooney's 240 knot-plus flagship model—is scheduled for completion in July and will be auctioned online, the proceeds seeding a Mooney Museum, CEO Dr. Jerry Chen told guests at the company's relaunch ceremony at Sun 'n Fun. Open to all qualified bidders, the auction will end and the winner announced on July 11, two weeks before AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., where the aircraft will be displayed. After that first delivery, the factory will produce one aircraft per month through the end of the year and double the rate in 2015, aiming to quickly climb to three aircraft per month. The company's new owners, Soaring America Corp., backed by Chinese investors, are committed to spending at least $50 million over the next 10 years to revive the company, Chen said. Base price for the turbocharged 2014 Acclaim is $699,000 and the normally aspirated Ovation 3 is $649,000.

Flight Design Vision Touch By Garmin
Flight Design Vision Touch
By Garmin
Flight Design and Garmin announced this avionics package, which combines TSO'ed and non-TSO'ed avionics, for the in-development C4 4-place aircraft. The avionics suite will be certified together with the airframe, an approach that provides a significant cost reduction—some $30-$40,000 over an all-TSO'ed system, according to Flight Design—with greater flexibility for future enhancements and upgrades. The suite features two of Garmin's new G3X Touch screens combined with a Garmin GTN 750 GPS-Nav/Com, Garmin GNC 255 Nav/Com, Garmin GMC 305 autopilot and a Garmin GMA 350 audio panel. "Affordable new technology is the goal of the (FAA) Part 23 rewrite," said Tom Peghiny, president of Flight Design USA. "That's what we're doing with the C4." The C4's first flight is expected this summer and certification is anticipated by mid-2015. Thanks to the savings on the avionics, price for the airplane will be about $250,000, Flight Design says.
What better way to celebrate tecnam's 65th anniversary than by offering our cutomers the very best next-generation LSA—the astore?

Tecnam Astore
Tecnam Astore
Italy's Tecnam officially introduced the Astore LSA, a sporty Rotax 912-powered aluminum low-wing trike, incorporating an Apple iPad mini as part of its standard equipment. The aircraft received its Special Airworthiness Certification the week before the fly-in. "What better way to celebrate Tecnam's 65th anniversary than by offering our customers the very best next-generation LSA—the Astore?" said Paolo Pascale, Tecnam's Managing Director. The Astore's iPad comes equipped with checklists, weight and balance data, and POH. The Astore uses the same wing as the P2002 Sierra, the company's previously introduced low-wing LSA, but the fuselage is redesigned. A clamshell bubble canopy tops the cabin's side-by-side seating, and the interior features luxury car styling. Power choices are the Rotax 912 ULS, 912 iS and Turbocharged 914 UL. Panel options are the Dynon SkyView Touch or Garmin's G3X Touch. Price varies based on configuration, but starts at about $139,400.


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