EAA AirVenture

Aspen Drives Price Down With Painless Upgrades

 - July 25, 2019, 1:43 AM

Aspen Avionics president and CEO John Uczekaj told AIN he could not remember a busier AirVenture. And it wasn’t just tire-kicking foot traffic. “People are buying,” he said.

“The avionics space is maturing,” he said. “There is a lot of competition. And like the consumer electronics maturation schedule, what used to be about a 12-year cycle is now closer to four years. No airplane owner wants to be reconfiguring the panel every four years, so we’ve tried to develop cost-effective, upgradeable avionics that can grow with a pilot’s needs.”

He calls it “worry-free obsolescence protection,” based on a hardware platform that can be upgraded by software alone. “It’s a growing industry trend,” said Uczekaj.

He added that interest is strong in the Aspen Evolution Max series. He also pointed to Aspen’s program for upgrading older installations for $4,995, half the cost of a new system. The Max series has a two-year warranty, which would be tacked on to the coverage of an existing system if the owner upgrades. Improvements include new processing technology that is simpler and runs cooler. He joked that one customer said, “Does this mean I can no longer warm my hands on the panel?”

Noting that the price of a Max is $1,000 less than the legacy system, Uczekaj said, “New technology is not only better, it’s cheaper.”