On the eve of AirVenture 2014, Avidyne announced the long-awaited FAA certification of the touchscreen IFD540 FMS/GPS/navcom. Not only did Avidyne gain FAA technical standard order (TSO) certification, but also an approved model list supplemental type certificate (AML-STC) that allows for installation of the IFD540 in more than 1,000 aircraft makes and models.
The IFD540 joins Avidyne’s TSO’d avionics, which include the AMX240 audio panel and AXP340 Mode S ADS-B transponder, and all of these units are plug-and-play compatible. This means installation requires only removing existing avionics, inserting the new Avidyne units into the existing tray, testing them and then updating logbooks to reflect the installation. The IFD540 replaces Garmin’s GNS530 and fits in the same mounting tray. Price of the 10-watt, 8.33-kHz IFD540 is $16,995; a 16-watt transmitter is optional. While the IFD540 can use the existing antenna, Avidyne offers antennas for an additional charge if needed.
Although it fits in the same tray as the GNS530, the IFD540’s 5.7-inch (diagonal) screen offers 10-percent more area, much higher resolution and 65,536 colors, Avidyne said. The IFD540 meets TSO C146c for full SBAS/LPV approach guidance, according to the company. Other features include rubber-band graphical flight planning on the touchscreen; “one-touch” Victor airway and jet-route navigation; Avidyne’s GeoFill waypoint nomination; “hybrid touch” user interface, which allows pilots to use the touchscreen or knobs and buttons for most functions; two-channel VHF nav/VLOC, with “automatic frequency nomination and one-touch frequently list tuning;” and decoding of active and standby frequencies to show station names in plain English. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is built in to the IFD540, as well as an integrated TAWS feature with forward-looking terrain alerting.
For aircraft needing ADS-B OUT capability, coupling the IFD540 and the AXP340 Mode S transponder meets the ADS-B mandate because the IFD540’s GPS receiver fulfills the ADS-B navigation accuracy and integrity requirements.
A handy feature on the front face of the IFD540 is a USB port for updating databases using a standard flash drive. The USB port can also be used to charge portable devices.
The smaller IFD440, which is plug-and-play compatible with Garmin’s GNS430, should be available later this year and is priced at $14,995. The 16-watt upgrade for both units costs $4,995 but can be used only with 28-volt electrical systems.