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At the EAA’s Innovation Trends in GA Avionics roundtable on Tuesday, the EAA’s moderator Dave Chaimson, set loose an impressive lineup of speakers, most of whom had very long titles, so suffice it to say, they’re all in charge of the avionics business at their respective companies, to discuss the future of avionics innovation. The panelists were led by Avidyne’s Dan Schwinn, who asked the questions (which panelists mostly answered). Those panelists were, Garmin’s Phil Straub, Dynon Avionics John Torode, Trig Avionics’ Andy Davis, and Open Flight Solutions’ Steve Sokol.
Questions ran the gamut from takes on the state of ADS-B equipage to assessing the state of electric flight technology, to soliciting guesses about the future of flying cars, which most agreed was shorthand for aero mobility solutions.
That last topic was one of the most fascinating of the hour-long discussion, and somewhat surprisingly, most of the commentators weighed in that even though it was still years away, there was no stopping the progress of this mode of mobility, though Trig’s Andy Davis suggested that most of the craft that would emerge from this scene would be toys and not viable parts of the transportation system.
A couple of things that most panelists agreed upon, as well, were that most of the people developing these otherworldly looking vehicles (mostly polycopters) don’t view the electronics in their craft as “avionics” and that the people who fly in these planes will be called something but it probably wouldn’t be “pilot.”
In short, they all agreed the world of avionics will not only change but change in ways that are currently hard to predict, a thought that’s both a little exciting and a little scary.
Look for more on theses subjects and more in an upcoming issue of Plane & Pilot.