Avidyne Announces Certification of DFC90 Autopilot in Cessna 182 Aircraft With Aspen Evolution Pro Displays

Avidyne Corporation, a leading provider of integrated flight deck and safety systems for general aviation aircraft, announced today they have received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the installation of their DFC90 Digital Autopilot in Cessna 182-series aircraft when interfaced with the Evolution Pro Primary Flight Display (PFD) from Aspen Avionics of Albuquerque. This is the first in a series of DFC90 certifications in aircraft with the Aspen PFD. Follow-on certifications are expected to include the Beechcraft Bonanza and Baron series. 

This initial STC covers the DFC90 autopilot as a plug-and-play retrofit of existing STEC55X systems in 16 models of the Cessna 182 Skylane Series including the 182E, 182F, 182G, 182H, 182J, 182K, 182L, 182M, 182N, R182N, 182P, 182Q, 182R, 182S, 182T, and the R182.  Over 20,000 of these specific models of aircraft were built between the years 1961-1985 and 1997-2012.  STEC30/50/60-2/65 series autopilots may also be replaced by a DFC90 under this STC.  Aspen holds an Approved Model List Supplemental Type Certificate (AML-STC) for their Evolution Pro PFD on a wide range of aircraft including all 16 of these C182 models.  

“The single-pilot IFR mission profile of the typical Cessna 182 makes it a great platform to launch the DFC90-plus-Aspen Pro offering,” said Patrick Herguth, Avidyne’s Chief Operating Officer.   “The addition of Envelope Protection and full-time Envelope Alerting, the Straight and Level button, and Synthetic Vision make the DFC90 and Aspen Pro PFD an excellent combination for C182 owners looking to enhance the safety, the utility, and the value of their aircraft.”

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“Aspen and Avidyne share a common goal to make flying safer and more enjoyable, especially for single-pilot IFR,” says Aspen President and CEO John Uczekaj. “The integrated solution that we’ve co-developed embodies this goal and gives owners and operators a whole new level of performance and reliability from their aircraft. We are pleased to offer yet another option for our customers to extend the life of their aircraft’s panel.”

“There are significant improvements to be gained by updating older aircraft with modern instrumentation and flight control systems, and Avidyne and Aspen are working closely to bring our safety- and performance-enhancing technology to more and more aircraft,” said Dan Schwinn, Avidyne’s President and CEO.  “Cessna182s have continued to hold their value, and aircraft owners investing in the DFC90 and Aspen Pro PFD will be able to extend the useful life of their aircraft while making their flying safer and more enjoyable.”

The DFC90 adds significant performance and safety benefits including Airspeed Hold (IAS), Envelope Protection (EP™), and full-time Envelope Alerting (EA™),  as well as one-button Straight & Level capability. The DFC90 was designed as a plug-and-play replacement for existing STEC55X autopilot systems. The DFC90 can use the existing 55X mounting tray, servos and much of the wiring, which dramatically reduces installation costs.  While not fully plug and play, STEC30/50/60-2/65 series autopilots may also be replaced by a DFC90 under this STC, making use of existing STEC servos and brackets. Avidyne has also announced plans to certify their own ASA575 servos, which will be available in 2013, allowing C182s (and other aircraft) without existing STEC autopilots to also be upgraded with the DFC90.

The Aspen Pro PFD provides attitude inputs to the DFC90 from its integrated Air Data and Attitude/Heading Reference Sensor (ADAHRS), while presenting the pilot with autopilot Mode Annunciations and Alerts right on the primary flight instrument. In addition to pitch and roll inputs, the Aspen Pro PFD also provides Heading Select, Altitude Preselect, Indicated Airspeed Select, and Vertical Speed Select inputs to the DFC90.  The Aspen Pro PFD also has an optional Synthetic Vision feature for added situational awareness and safety.

Source: Avidyne Corp.
Date: Oct 3, 2012