Avidyne reveals its Entegra WAAS-enabled FMS

 - May 2, 2008, 5:38 AM

Avidyne unveiled its Entegra FMS900W WAAS-enabled GPS navcom flight management system last month at the Sun ’n’ Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. The FMS announcement is significant, since the system is the central computer–not to mention the user interface and input device–for Avidyne’s next-generation integrated avionics system. It is also the first of “four major announcements” that the Lincoln, Mass. avionics manufacturer plans to make this year, according to company president Dan Schwinn.

“This system represents another major step in Avidyne’s commitment to enhancing our Entegra platform and to continuing to deliver on our philosophy of making flying simple,” noted Schwinn.

The clean-sheet FMS900W “will lighten the workload of pilots operating turbine-class aircraft and will also be great for VFR pilots who fly simple direct-to flights,” he added. Using a fully modular architecture, the new FMS is an “enhancement” to Avidyne’s Entegra integrated flight-deck platform and is designed to take advantage of Entegra’s large-format displays and Byteflight databus architecture.

FMS900W system components include single or dual remote-mount line-replaceable units, each with Avidyne’s GPS723 WAAS/RNP GPS sensor and a DVX740 VHF navcom module and optional ACD215 control display units. Avidyne said the GPS723 sensor is a DO-229D-compliant, Gamma 3 navigation system that will be able to meet RNP-0.3 requirements.

The DVX740, which has accumulated thousands of hours flying aboard Eclipse 500s since it was certified in 2006, has 8.33-kHz channel spacing and provides four communication and four navigation channels that can simultaneously transmit or receive voice and data. Since the navcom system incorporates digital signal processing via software, it can be upgraded easily to support new data formats such as VDL Mode 3 “nextcom.” To further reduce pilot workload, the FMS will also continuously nominate and tune VOR and approach frequencies to the nav radios.

According to Avidyne, the FMS allows pilots to fly WAAS precision approaches to ILS-like minimums, meaning it has both Lnav and Vnav capability. The FMS also includes Geo-Fill and Vectors Mode features. GeoFill simplifies flight- plan entry by predicting and displaying the next waypoint or airport of a flight, based on the aircraft’s position, said Avidyne. Vectors Mode contributes to situational aware- ness by drawing heading vectors directly onto the system’s moving map.

The FMS900W can store up to 100 user-defined routes, each with up to 128 legs. It is capable of route copying, flight-plan inversion and using up to 1,000 definable waypoints.

In dual-FMS installations, the redundant systems eliminate the need to manually cross-fill active flight plans and user waypoints. According to Avidyne, the FMSs will automatically transfer data across the high-speed databus. Should one of the two FMSs fail, the other will pick up the flight plan without missing a beat.

Avidyne is now nearing completion of the product design phase and will soon be entering the certification phase of the Entegra FMS900W program. Expect more announcements on this from Avidyne in the next few months.

Meanwhile, current Entegra owners won’t be left out of the picture when it comes to the FMS900W. “Several hardware/ software upgrade paths will be offered,
depending on current configuration, for those who wish to take advantage of all the benefits of the FMS900W,” Avidyne said.