Avidyne Swaps 'Big Glass' Into Six-pack Cockpits

 - July 25, 2016, 9:43 AM
Avidyne is demonstrating the ability to run its IFD series synthetic vision display on an Apple iPad.

At Avidyne’s booth at this year’s EAA AirVenture show, the avionics manufacturer is showcasing some innovative applications resulting from the marriage of wireless data transfer capabilities of its IFD-series navigators and Apple iPads. 

The demonstration setup shows how an iPad can be mounted in a bracket directly over a typical six-pack traditional instrument panel to give the pilot a large-format synthetic vision display. The iPad in this display is running Avidyne’s IFD100 app, which wirelessly obtains attitude, GPS, flight plan and ADS-B IN weather and traffic from Avidyne’s new IFD550 to drive the synthetic vision display. The iPad can simply be removed from its bracket to return the instrument panel to its normal configuration. 

It’s a novel concept,” said Avidyne CEO Dan Schwinn, “but we see it as a way of giving owners of legacy aircraft who might otherwise never have installed big glass the ability to now have access to synthetic vision on a large screen. Why are we doing this? To give people a lower cost path to glass. We’re trying to get people thinking outside of the box.”

Another demo shows an IFD550 driving two iPads, one acting as a primary flight display, the other as a multifunction display, bringing large-format displays into smaller aircraft. “Imagine the possibilities for LSAs, experimental aircraft, light trainers and for the emerging hybrid and all-electric aircraft market,” said Schwinn. 

Avidyne is also demonstrating an IFD440 wirelessly running a 12.9-inch iPad Pro “to drive home the message that ‘big glass’ is available for virtually any general aviation aircraft.” 

Connectivity is of growing importance in GA aircraft,” Schwinn said, “and our in-flight wireless capability is allowing us to really expand the definition of panel-mounted avionics.”