BendixKing Deepens Partnerships with Avionics OEMs

 - March 27, 2019, 11:02 AM
At the AEA convention, Bendix King showed a panel full of partner-manufactured avionics, which it will sell and support under the BendixKing brand name. (Photo: Matt Thurber)

At the Aircraft Electronics Association convention in Palm Springs, avionics manufacturer BendixKing unveiled new autopilots and engine monitors, part of additional partnerships with other avionics manufacturers that will build products branded and supported by BendixKing. The newest products are engine monitors made by JPI Instruments and autopilots manufactured by TruTrak Flight Systems. BendixKing also announced a new partnership with Avidyne, to rebrand Avidyne navigators under the BendixKing brand name and provide sales and product support for those units.

“This is going to be an eventful year for BendixKing,” said Stephane Fymat, vice president of marketing and product management for BendixKing.

“We had over 20 percent growth last year,” said BendixKing president Gregg Cohen, “and our international growth was a little bigger than domestic. We're getting our legs underneath us on products from our engineering team.” At the same time, he said BendixKing is expanding its relationships with partner manufacturers. The benefit of the partnerships, Cohen explained, is that smaller avionics manufacturers can reach a larger international market served by BendixKing, which also provides a global product support network to support the products.

The TruTrak-manufactured products include two autopilots, the XCruze 100 for the experimental aircraft market and the AeroCruze 100 for certified aircraft. Both are available now and include two servos, wiring harness, and the installation kit. The experimental XCruze retails for $2,600 and the certified AeroCruze for $5,500. Both feature GPS nav and steering, altitude hold, VS select, altitude select and preselect, automatic pitch trim, and more.

Its new engine monitors are manufactured by JPI Instruments and include the xPoint 100 for experimental aircraft and the AeroPoint 200 and 300 for certified single- and twin-engine aircraft, respectively. All three fit in a standard 3.125-inch instrument panel cutout, although the external rectangular instrument face takes up additional panel space. The certified units are approved as primary instruments, so they can replace the aircraft’s original engine instrumentation. The xPoint 100 retails for $795, while the AeroPoint 200 costs $4,278 and the 300 is just more than $5,000.

BendixKing’s new partnership with Avidyne was on display at the BendixKing AEA exhibit, with the Avidyne IFD440, 540, and 550 rebranded as the AeroNav 800, 900, and 910. “We’re doing similar things that we’re doing with TruTrak, to help bring their product to more markets,” said Roger Dykmann, BendixKing v-p of sales for the Americas. “It’s a great navigator, and we’ve integrated them very tightly with our display systems, and it works very well with our autopilot. I think we can work together with our friend [Avidyne president and CEO] Dan Schwinn and make that product even more popular than it is today.”

The BendixKing avionics ecosystem is built around open-architecture design, which makes it easier for these products to work together. “Why not have an open architecture in the aircraft,” asked Fymat, “with all the benefits that can provide? The information technology industry proved that hands down. And so why not do a similar thing in the aviation world?”

Andrew Barker, president of TruTrak, agreed. “We prefer that open architecture where we will interface with and work with anybody that wants to do so. And we love to provide people with additional features.”