Let’s say you’ve got an older bizjet, one worth less than a cool million, but it’s still a great airframe with good engines. But it lacks so much, including the ability to fly WAAS/LPV approaches. What does one do that’s in keeping with the value of the plane? Because, let’s face it, a half-million-dollar investment in a million-dollar bird can be tough to justify.
Avidyne has the answer with its new Atlas rail-mounted color touchscreen FMS with all the digital approach goodness plus a full QWERTY (so easy to type that word) keyboard AND a VHF transceiver for starting at around $45,000 for a single unit and, well, about twice that if you want to make yours a double. The keyboard, again, is beautifully executed, with large, easy-on-the-fingertips lighted keys and a removable brace/guard.
The system gives pilots a full-color moving map with touch screen, Jeppesen electronic approach charts and airport diagrams and more.
We met with Avidyne founder and president Dan Schwinn and marketing director Tom Harper at NBAA this week for a guided tour and were impressed. The units are based on the company’s successful IFD550, which we reviewed and loved, so the technology is all proven.
Harper said that for planes that have just upgraded to ADS-B, the system can take advantage of an existing WAAS antenna for additional savings and installation optimization.
The company is looking to identify initial STC airplanes. Certification is planned for next year.
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