Avionics on Parade at AEA Convention

 - April 2, 2009, 12:11 PM

Avionics makers today unveiled a host of new products at the Aircraft Electronics Association Convention in Grapevine, Texas, providing a hopeful sign that the general aviation industry can brush off the effects of a bad economy. Aircell caused the biggest stir at a well attended new products introduction session this morning by announcing that its Axxess-compatible in-flight broadband system for business jets will be available in July. The news came as a surprise to those who had been expecting initial availability for business aviation customers in September. The rapid-fire succession of avionics products bowing in at AEA included the new eNfusion AMT-700 SwiftBroadband-ready antenna from EMS Satcom; the Trilogy electronic standby instrument from L-3 Avionics; the G3X retrofit electronic flight display from Garmin; new cabin management systems from Flight Display Systems and Emteq; and iPod/iPhone docking stations galore. Other notable news from AEA included Avidyne’s introduction of the MLX780 satcom system, a combination that includes an Iridium-based weather data receiver and a cabin/cockpit telephone handset. TrueNorth Avionics, meanwhile, introduced a Simphone Duo system with built-in Wi-Fi. The company said the product will let passengers send and receive e-mail anywhere in the world using a BlackBerry or iPhone. In another encouraging sign, the convention’s keynote speaker, Cessna chairman Jack Pelton, told AEA attendees that the use of business jets will lead the global economy out of recession. “Our industry is truly a national asset,” he said. “Each and every one of us must rise up and fight for it.”