Eclipse Names New Partners for Avio Cockpit
One week after revealing that Avidyne’s involvement in the program has ended, Eclipse Aviation today named a number of replacement suppliers for the Eclipse 500’s Avio avionics system. Renamed Avio NG (next generation), the retooled cockpit will include flight displays from Innovative Solutions & Support, flight management system software from Chelton Flight Systems, dual IFR mode-S transponders supplied by Garmin, navcom radios from Honeywell and a digital audio panel produced by PS Engineering. In development for “many months,” Avio NG is scheduled for certification by the summer, according to Eclipse President and CEO Vern Raburn. Eclipse 500s manufactured before then will be retrofitted with the new equipment by the end of the year, he added. Of the 402 airplanes scheduled for production this year, “significantly fewer than half” will roll out of Eclipse’s Albuquerque, N.M. factory with the Avidyne hardware, he added. Minimal changes to the Avio user interface will mean little to no new training. This isn’t the first avionics supplier change for the Eclipse 500. In the wake of cost overruns three years ago, Eclipse replaced BAE Systems with a half dozen smaller suppliers.