Avionics News January 2016 - 39
"There are up to 130,000 GNS 430s
and 530s in the world today. We
see each of those as a pre-wired
socket ready to plug in a newgeneration IFD440 or IFD540."
Avidyne's director of marketing
along, we had the idea of spinning those components off
into individual products for the retrofit world."
Harper explained that the tipping point came when
Avidyne introduced its DFC90 autopilot retrofit as a
plug-and-play replacement for the S-TEC 55X autopilots
found on Entegra-equipped Cirrus aircraft.
"That was a first for this segment of the industry, and
it turned out to be an extremely successful program for
us," he said. "Shops could literally pull out the ratebased 55X and plug in the attitude-based DFC90. The
servos, wiring and harness all stayed the same."
So when the decision was made to take Avidyne's
plug-and-play model into the GPS/navigator arena, the
choice to develop a replacement for the venerable GNS
430/530 series was a foregone conclusion.
"Depending on whom you ask, there are up to 130,000
GNS 430s and 530s in the world today," Harper said.
"We see each of those as a pre-wired socket ready to plug
in a new-generation IFD440 or IFD540."
And it's not only the staggering installed numbers that
make the 430/530 an attractive target, it's also the fact
that a large percentage of those boxes are not yet WAAS
capable. From Avidyne's perspective, it's an extremely
workable strategy to offer those owners an advanced
WAAS-capable, touch-screen FMS/GPS/NAV/COM with
little aircraft downtime and minimal installation cost.
Harper stressed that customers are getting not just a
replacement for their trusty 430 or 530, but a unit that
delivers additional capabilities and conveniences that
aren't available in any other box that fits in this same bit
of panel space.
For example, the color displays aren't only larger:
4.8 inches for the IFD440 and 5.7 inches for the 540 -
they're also touch screen, which is a major performance/
"The displays we selected have a capacitive touch
screen, and we've coupled that with new software to
create what we call MultiTouch capabilities," Harper
said. "What that means is like an iPhone or iPad, the
IFD440/540 screen can recognize two-finger gestures for
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