Avidyne now holds TSO approval and an Approved Model List/Supplemental type certificate for the company’s IFD550 FMS and has completed the first installation, company CEO Dan Schwinn announced today at Sun ’n‘ Fun. The IFD550 has both GPS, ground-based navigation and communications capability, as well as an attitude reference system (ARS) and 3-D synthetic vision, plus video input and touchscreen technology. All Avidyne units upgraded with version 10.2 software can produce synthetic vision, and also connect wirelessly with Avidyne’s iPad app IFD100, allowing two-way data syncing in flight.
A Mitsubishi MU-2 based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is the platform for the first installation. The MU-2 upgraded with the IFD550 represents a huge market for the company: aircraft that would otherwise be too expensive to re-equip with today’s integrated glass avionics suites, according to Schwinn.
“I think the IFD550 will be a great upgrade to the light jets with the first generation of glass cockpits. They can benefit from WAAS and synthetic viz,” he said.
Avidyne’s IFD line works with its ADS-B products, as well as those of several other players in the marketplace. “We are primarily focusing on the higher end of the market but see it as being a long-term market, and we believe the real action happens in the 12 to 18 months before the mandate, and even after the mandate,” he said. The IFD550 loaded with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, synthetic vision, touchscreen and WAAS retails for $21,999. The IFD lineup of products starts at $9,499.
Schwinn went on to emphasize that the Melbourne, Florida-based company is at its core an avionics innovator, and good things are coming to the IFD line in terms of connectivity. The company has agreements with Globalstar and Satcom Direct that will expand the current Wi-Fi and Bluetooth local networking capabilities of the avionics to the worldwide web via both air-to-ground and satellite communication platforms. Its free IFD100 app for pilots is just the beginning of the connectivity capability coming to the Avidyne boxes.
“I think that you’ll see some people put our product in the middle of a small panel as a primary nav/comm and ARS source. Our boxes will communicate with two iPads right now, and I think that will increase in the future. The era of the multiple iPad cockpit is coming,” said Schwinn.
Aero Friedrichshafen was on everyone’s mind, coming up this week in Europe, and Avidyne had news for that crowd, too, announcing that Tatenhill Aviation in Staffordshire, UK, has selected the Avidyne IFD540 and IFD440 for its fleet of light training aircraft.