The Piper Meridian turboprop single will soon receive a production-line upgrade to Avidyne’s Entegra cockpit as a replacement for the airplane’s original Meggitt avionics, the Vero Beach, Fla.-based airplane manufacturer announced last month. The flight-deck change for the Meridian puts Avidyne aboard almost the entire Piper line-up after the lightplane maker earlier brought optional glass Entegra systems to several of its piston models.
Avidyne used the stage at Sun ’n’ Fun in Lakeland, Fla., last month to launch a suite of datalink services for general aviation. The new FlightCenter services announced at the show are intended to provide flight tracking and two-way text messaging to operators flying with Avidyne avionics.
Early last month Piper delivered the 200th Malibu Meridian since the turboprop single entered service in November 2000. Piper also announced that a three-screen Avidyne FlightMax Entegra will become the standard avionics system on the Meridian.
Kollsman, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems of Israel, has introduced a low-cost head-up display and integrated glass cockpit concept that the company said could give thousands of general aviation pilots a new way of looking at their world. The products the Merrimack, N.H. company has in mind could be certified and in production within two years.
Avidyne and Ryan International last month announced the completion of a merger that folds Ryan’s traffic-surveillance products into the Avidyne avionics line. Under terms of the buyout agreement, Ryan’s 35 employees in Columbus, Ohio, are now Avidyne employees, and the division there becomes known as the Avidyne Safety Systems Group. Ryan founder and CEO Paul Ryan, 71, will serve for an undisclosed period of time as a consultant.
Avidyne and Ryan International announced discounts of up to $2,000 when customers buy an Avidyne FlightMax EX500 multifunction display and a Ryan 9900BX traffic alert system together.
First came glass cockpits for light piston airplanes, and now there is a Frasca flight-training device (FTD) for pilots who want to learn to use the new breed of avionics.
As it usually does, news from the cockpit avionics front featured prominently at the Aircraft Electronics Association’s annual convention, held this year April 27 to 30 in Grapevine, Texas. Manufacturers showed off their latest cockpit wares at the primarily dealer-attended event, from full glass flight decks to boxes designed to add capability to the glass displays.
Grob’s SPn, a carbon-fiber light business twinjet introduced at last month’s Paris Air Show, will enter production with the Honeywell Apex avionics system, according to officials from the German company.
While buyers will undoubtedly welcome the switch in the Piper Meridian from previous Meggitt Magic avionics to the more capable Avidyne Entegra system, an unintended side effect of the supplier change could turn out to be the fits of jealousy it causes among current Meridian owners.