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.
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.
Indicative of just how prevalent terrain-awareness avionics have become in the nearly 10 years since Honeywell (then AlliedSignal) introduced the enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS), lightplane maker Cirrus last month announced that it is including Honeywell’s KGP 560 EGPWS as standard equipment in the SR 20 and SR 22 piston singles.
Very light jets (VLJs) may well represent the tsunami on the horizon for the owner-flown turbine market. But with less than a year to go before the first VLJ is scheduled for delivery, the turbine tide, nevertheless, has been rising steadily for at least the past decade-and-a-half.
Avionics manufacturer Avidyne reported that the European Aviation Safety Agency approved TSOs of the Release 6.0 upgrade for the Entegra integrated flight deck system and for the EX500 multifunction display. The Lincoln, Mass. company said the approvals clear the way for Avidyne OEM partners to deliver the upgrade for retrofit on European-registered aircraft.
XM Satellite Radio has Oprah and the Opie & Anthony Show. Sirius Satellite Radio has Martha Stewart and Howard Stern. Now each is diving headlong into the market for aviation weather datalink services, and pilots couldn’t be happier. XM was first on the scene with its “always on” weather service for aviation, available over much of North America for monthly subscription prices starting at about $30.
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