FAA Approves Aspen Software-derived Angle-of-Attack

 - July 22, 2015, 7:35 AM

Just four months after introducing its new software-derived angle-of-attack (AOA) indicator, Aspen Avionics received FAA certification for the system. The Aspen AOA requires no hardware or wiring changes to the airplane and is a simple software update to the Aspen Evolution flight and multifunction displays. Delivery of the new software update with the AOA indicator begins immediately, and pricing for the upgrade is set at $1,995.

The Aspen AOA indicator provides stall margin awareness for both flaps up and down configurations; the indicator shows both states at the same time with two separate indicator needles, and this allows the pilot to instantly determine how changing the flap setting will affect the available lift. Installation of the AOA upgrade must be done by an Aspen dealer and requires a short calibration flight.

For aircraft owners considering buying an Aspen Evolution display, Aspen introduced the Evolution Pro Plus safety package this week at EAA AirVenture 2015. The package combines the Evolution PFD with synthetic vision and AOA, all for $13,995, a $1,695 savings. The safety package can also be added to an existing Evolution PFD for $3,295, also a savings of $1,695 compared with buying the two products separately.

ADS-B Options

Aspen president and CEO John Uczekaj said that earlier this year at the Sun ’n' Fun show most visitors were asking questions about the basics of ADS-B. At AirVenture, people seem more interested in finding out what ADS-B solution will fit the particular equipment installed in their airplanes. “Customers want choice,” he said.

To offer that choice, Aspen has partnered with L-3 Aviation Products to offer Aspen displays coupled with L-3’s Lynx NGT-9000 MultiLink Surveillance System ADS-B OUT and IN transceiver. Buyers can opt for Aspen’s EFD1000 Pro Plus (with synthetic vision and AOA) and the NGT-9000 for $20,795. The Evolution 1500, which adds the MFD 500 multifunction display to the above package, is priced at $24,655. The advantage of combining the L-3 and Aspen products is that the pilot can elect to display traffic on one system and weather on the other, which helps the pilot get a clearer picture of potential hazards. The NGT-9000 includes a mode-S transponder, integrated touchscreen display, internal ADS-B-compliant GPS and Wi-Fi connectivity to mobile devices.

The above three packages are available in the NextGen GA Fund’s new Jumpstart GA-IN program, which provides a $2,000 labor installation credit when the operator secures a loan through the GA Fund. The labor credit offer is for a limited time, and the work must be done by an FAA-certified repair station.

Aspen Avionics recently purchased GPS manufacturer Accord Technology, and this opens up new markets for Aspen to serve avionics manufacturers with precise and compact GPS receivers. Aspen’s remote sensor module provides a GPS signal for the Evolution displays, but only for emergency use. Now, Uczekaj said, “We’ll probably upgrade [the module] with a certified GPS.” As for what the next avionics product from Aspen will look like, he said, “We’re looking at all potential products.”