Avidyne founder and CEO Dan Schwinn has been innovating avionics since 1993. To the business aviation audience, his most profound work could well be his GPS Legacy Aviation System (GLAS), dedicated to upgrading lighter jets such as older Citations to not only comply with the ADS-B mandate as inexpensively as possible, but also to update their capabilities to include modern FMS capability and features found in newer models’ integrated flight decks. Rotorcraft are another market for the GLAS protocol.
Avidyne’s IFD550/545 FMS navigators are an approved ADS-B and Waas GPS source, so operators of Cessna CitationJets, CJ1s, CJ2s, and CJ3s can add LPV approach capability, electronic charts, wireless connectivity to their ADS-B upgrade “at a much lower price point than competing solutions,” according to Avidyne (Booth 2181). “We are seeing significant interest from these aircraft operators who are looking for more affordable avionics modernization options, and we are giving them the most capability and value,” said Schwinn.
Features of the IFD FMSs include synthetic vision, Jeppesen chart integration, hybrid-touch user interface (pilots can choose touchscreen, knobs and buttons, or any combination of the two), integrated Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, the IFD100 iPad app, GeoFill (suggests the most likely entry after the first few keystrokes), and Taws-like forward-looking terrain alerting. With the optional RS-170 video input, the IFD can display onboard weather radar.
Avidyne received a supplemental type certificate (STC) for the program on the Citation CJ family with Nascar’s Bill Elliott’s 2001 CJ1. “We are working on several other retrofit programs,” said John Talmadge, Avidyne director of worldwide sales, “including certification of our IFD Series FMS in a CJ3 belonging to the highly accomplished aviation executive and retired Space Shuttle astronaut Charlie Precourt. Avidyne’s IFD FMS systems, which feature our innovative new GLAS protocol, provide direct interface to legacy avionics systems in these CitationJets without the exorbitant costs of external adapter boxes or EFIS factory upgrades.”
The GLAS program is “the lowest-cost way to get LPV capability for coupled approaches,” said Schwinn. “And we’re getting great support from turbine MROs because it’s quick, easy, and inexpensive. It just takes a few days.” At NBAA 2018, he said, Stevens Aviation is showing a GLAS panel at its booth (656). Upgrades can cost from $60,000 to around $95,000, depending on how many components are involved, according to Avidyne.