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Tue, Jul 24, 2012

Avidyne Provides Update To AirVenture 2012 Attendees

Current Priority Is Getting Products To Market

By John Ylinen

Avidyne kicked off the day's news conferences at AirVenture Monday morning, and while no new products were announced, representatives provided an update on the status of their business and products. While the economic climate in GA is not growing, avidyne says it has seen increased sales of more than 10% in the international sector. Their fleet sale has been a highlight as well. The dealer network has improved in their support of customers through the Avidyne customer support initiative.

Dan Schwinn,President & CEO, said the outlook for their future is excellent. Customer feedback on the DFC line of autopilots has rated them “Best in Class”. Avidyne hopes to have the Aspen Avionics STC completed soon. Avidyne provided an update on the products announced last year at AirVenture and the IFD440 announced earlier in the year. Schwinn indicated that customer view the plug and play nature of the Avidyne products to replace other vendor products like Garmin and STEC as being their most popular feature. Next was the Hybrid touch feature which allows the user to either interact with the product by touching the screen or using Knobs. The fact that no wiring changes has to be done has also been highly rated and a factor in user decisions to upgrade.

The IFD 440 will run the same FMS software as their R9 glass panels and IFD540 and will provide most of the basic features. Mr. Schwinn discussed how the two IFD 440s or one 540 and one 440 will allow the user to have different screens of the FMS software up. It will not be just a cross fill capability like other vendor products provide. An example given was to have the map up on the top box and the keyboard up on the bottom box. All changes made are then applied to both instances of FMS running on both boxes. This will give the user much more screen real estate to work with.

Pricing and availability updates were provided. The IFD540 will list for $16995 is targeted for early 2013. The IFD440 will be $14995 and available late 2013. A 16 watt option will list for $4995. The other products in the line will be available with the IFD540. DFC90 certification in Cessna and Beach products is progressing. First will be the Cessna 182, with the others to follow.

Schwinn indicated that bundle packaging pricing would be announced as the products get closer to release. A question was asked if Avidyne would provide a two way IPAD to IFD interface. The answer was Yes, but no details were given. Another question was about interfacing of the IFD line with Garmin 430s.  Schwinn indicated that because of format incompatibilities it would not be possible to have one of each in the panel interoperate.

The Avidyne R9 Synthetic Vision software update is progressing. Flight testing is about complete. Mr. Schwinn hopes to have it certified prior to the IFD540, but it will have to be finished for the IFD540 as it requires that software code. Mr. Schwinn indicated that he thinks their implementation is superior to others and has taken time to get it right.

Schwinn was also asked about support for the legacy Glass panels installed in many Cirrus and other planes. He indicated that they have plans to provide capabilities like ADS-IN Weather and traffic, but made no announcements. The bigger problem is parts availability like screens. At some point in time; the ability to repair systems will be problematic.

FMI: www.avidyne.com

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