Avionics News October 2019 - 47

S T O R Y

B Y

S C O T T

M .

S P A N G L E R

I

n all things, progress's inescapable traveling partner
times that amount. "It will be interesting to see how the
is the chronological depreciation of capabilities.
OEMs adapt to that. For now, it is a huge opportunity for
Just look at the avionics in legacy Part 25 business
us."
jets. When they rolled off the production line, their
These older jets may have EFIS and an integrated
cockpits were filled with, what was at the time, the latest
autopilot but not a fully integrated flight deck,
and greatest technology available. These systems are now
Schwinn explained, "so you can change out the CNS
a generation or two behind today's latest and greatest
(communication, navigation, and surveillance; aka
technologies. Avionics upgrades are, of course, available,
transponder) package with (Avidyne's IFD 5-series FMS
but for many legacy installations, their cost often doesn't
navigators), which has a whole bunch more functionality,
fare well in the return on investment equation.
and get another decade out of the airplane."
Acknowledging that these jets start
The legacy avionics are capable
getting old after 10 years, Avidyne
of the desired result, Schwinn noted.
identified a new market. Today, said
For example, autopilot flight down to
CEO Dan Schwinn, "a 15-yearILS minimums. The challenge was
old jet will not have an integrated
integrating the new component that,
avionics system because they did not
in effect, told the legacy system how
exist" when those airplanes made
to perform modern tricks such as
their way down the production line.
flying LPV approaches.
This lack of integration opens the
On the surface, it sounds simple,
door to economically updating their
but swapping one box for another
capabilities.
is like traveling to a land where
For jets made today, this won't be
everyone speaks a different language.
true 15 years from now, according to
The newcomer is "presenting
Tom Harper, director of marketing.
information they've never gotten
- DAN SCHWINN, Avidyne CEO
Jets with integrated flight decks will
before," Schwinn said, so that
face a more-challenging scenario.
information must be in a language
When they get sold to a new owner
"they are used to so they can do the
who wants to update their avionics that take full advantage
right thing with it."
of any new operational capabilities that make flying more
Just to make the challenge more interesting, Avidyne
safe, efficient and economical, they have one option. "They
wanted to integrate the IFDs directly, without the need of
go back to the OEM and ask, 'What are you going to do for
a "third-party happy box," Harper said, or requiring the
me?' Hopefully, they get the right answer, but that answer
owner to send the jet's legacy avionics units back to the
might not be at the right price."
manufacturer for modifications or updates. All the new
Regardless of a jet's age, the reality is the same, Harper
capabilities are "all internal and don't affect the operation of
added. In round numbers, when jets are around 15 years
the aircraft."
old, "those airplanes will be worth 15% of what they cost
GLAS - the GPS Legacy Aviation System - is the key to
new," he said. An avionics upgrade that costs $500,000 will
Continued on following page
not fly with those who own jets worth only two or three

"WHILE THE
AIRPLANE THINKS
IT IS FLYING AN ILS,
THE ANNUNCIATION
TELLS THE PILOTS
THAT THE AVIONICS
IS FLYING AN LPV
APPROACH."

avionics news

*

october

2019

47



Avionics News October 2019

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