Avionics News August 2019 - Intro

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PILOT'S GUIDE

PILOT'S GUIDE
Aspen Avionics' Evolution E5

A random shop survey to glean the experimental market's next opportunity

WHAT'S

S

RIGHT: Looking to increase
the capabilities of its
six-pack steam-gauge panel,
the owner of this 2005 Van's
RV-10 turned to Aerotronics of
Billings, Montana.
ABOVE: Instead of cutting,
pasting, and patching the
latest Garmin system into the
airplane, Aerotronics arranged
all of it in a composite
sculpture of carbon fiber.
Photos courtesy of Aerotronics

ince the Federal Aviation
Administration announced
its ADS-B mandate, it has
been driving an increasing amount of
business to avionics repair stations
nationwide. Now, with roughly a year
left before air traffic control shunts
procrastinating aircraft owners to
the back of the line, the slow but
steady demand for ADS-B has surely
reached a frenzy that likely is leaving
shops and their customers frazzled
and less than happy because their
antipodal desires of time and money
are not fully satisfied.
But like all equipment
requirements and technological
advances that have charted the
course of the avionics industry
since the first tube-based aircraft
electronics first took wing, this
demand will, in time, pass. As the
ADS-B frenzy runs its course,
the question is, what's next? A
contributing key to sustaining any
business is keeping an eye on the
future, to read the tealeaf trends
suggested by current customers to
better focus one's crystal ball.
For the past several years, when
talking to shops about all manner of
stories, among my final questions
is this: What is the next avionics
opportunity, and what are you doing
to prepare for it? The response
from most shops suggests that
they are so focused on the most
pressing demands of the day that
they haven't taken time to consider
tomorrow. "Danged if I know," they'd
say. "If you find out, let me know."

- 32 -

With
the average
above
35 -
age of
most
- it's
of them general-av
little
iation
have
affordabilit wonder so
hull values aircraft
many
y.
well
aircraft
below
For many
owners
$50,000
approache pilots,
miss
the cost
out due
s the
holds
of converting
to
value
back
of their
some
to
With
$10,000 interested aircraft. For all glass
spending
only in
that matter,
plus conversion
going
$20,000 that much
money
s, it can partial glass.
on
at least and $50,000. an aircraft
be
with valuestough to
as
justify
devoted evidenced This isn't
news
between
to marketing by the
to any
efforts
The past
avionics
componen several glass options so many companies
maker,
years
that won't
saw numerous
budget-co ts come
break
nstrained to market,
the bank.
talking
aviators VFR and new glass
under
IFR,
basic
$10,000
- which
aimed
universal
to
is a lot
at the
mandate.
access go glass
of us.
transceive and, if it's
We're
Some
r to comply relevant,
owners
glass.
add a
may
with the
But
all-or-noth with some hesitate out
ADS-B
of a
of these
LCD
ing proposition
taking
measuring
systems, desire to
a
go all-in
That
. Not
it
outcome progressiv
largely 6 inches diagonally.
on
e-upgrade when they need not
the pilot
across
answers
be an
Avionics
or owner
approach, have the
two or
the question
componen
three
covets
to aircraft shops
spreading option of
annuals.
should
ts.
the common with a
First
the all-in
solid
consider
conversionowners.
up,
Remind
benefits "yes" if
combines the Evolution
highlightin
need
an unaffordab
them
of glass
not be
a
g such
that
E5 Dual
The unit traditional
le price. a one-step-a a glass-cock options
Electronic
AI, DG
roll steering also incorporate
pit
nd-done
and CDI
Flight
Aspen
Instrumen
process
when
into one
unit also
Avionics
sa
with
t
display.
The folks
contains connected WAAS GPS
: Evolutio
and air-data
to a compatible and
from
an
latest
offers
Albuquerq n E5
glass
heading integral air-data
battery
componen
became
autopilot. GPS
ue,
in case
reference
computer,
a quick
t in MarchNew Mexico,
The
of loss
With
system,
A non-TSO'd hit.
the ADAHRS,
an attitude
of electrical
unveiled
2018,
S T O R Y B Y D A V E H I G D O N
data:
as
BendixKing's AeroFlight KI 300
and the
instrument
airspeed,
their
power. well as a backup
componen
the
Evolution
slip/skid
altitude, E5 also
solid-state s in the
displays
indicator.
E5
standard t, the E5 replaces
vertical
instrument
Aspen's
all the
entire
speed,
six-pack
needed
Evolution
E5 produces
turn coordinato
previous
that
with an all six analog
air
attitude
product shares its
Evolution
upgradabl
a brighter,
indicator
factor
r and
form
line. It
openings,
products
to help
e
factor
more-vibra
and directional
fits into
reduce
but
one
The engineers
the space with Aspen's
anging around at general-aviation airports, a common
nt
installation retains
At a price above
gyro
Aspen's display than
future
the
where
typically
costs.
upgrades designed
the
unique
conversation centers on a what-if question: What kind ofthey can get under $5,000other.
reside
flexibility
form
Similar
without
- two
everything for that
uninstalled
into
totally
perpetuallyto Aspen's
for VFR, price - and
, pilots
panel would a pilot choose - if funds were available.
replacing the E5 that
Aspen
other
often
is
configurab
allows
it worth
products
products,
the E5.
designed and more.
ask what
it? What
With so many choices available and so many pilots and aircraftreplacement
the E5
the
updates all have the le and upgradabl
you get
remains
instrument for those E5 as a
option
rather
drop-in
is
every
to receive e - affordably.
s, instead traditional
owners craving some modern instrumentation, the number of
non-TSO
few years.than purchasing
affordable
displaying analog
Aspen
The E5
all-new
gyro
glass cockpits flying increases every year. And more would make
all its
and vacuum
avionics software
the upgradeis an ideal
data
on an
hardware
steppings
paths
active
the switch but for one issue: affordability.
tone
available.
matrix
into glass
Owners
and pilotsthanks to
have
- 58 the
- 59

QUANTHEDA
GOING-GLASS
RY
QUANDARY

H

-

PILOT'S GUIDE

Continued

on following

page...

PILOT'S GUIDE

Life cycle upgrades face new technology challenges

WHAT'S

THE PAST
SAW
SEVER
GLASSNUME ROUS AL YEARS
NEW
COME COMP ONENT
VFR TO MARK
S
AND
IFR, ET,

AIMED
BUDGET-AT THE
AVIATORSCONSTRAINED
.

WHEN BUCKS ARE TIGHT,
BUDGET OPTIONS PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES

S T O R Y

B Y

S C O T T

M .

S P A N G L E R

TURBINE

AIRCRAFT
A consumer's guide of avionics and services,
including a global directory of
certified avionics/instrument facilities,
manufacturers and distributors.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE
AIRCRAFT ELECTRONICS ASSOCIATION,
THE PUBLISHER OF

AEAPILOTSGUIDE.NET

O

n the timeline of turbine-powered business
of JetNetIQ, at the NBAA conference. The remaining
aircraft, whether they are Part 23 turboprops like
two-thirds, however, have created "a ginormous wave"
the King Air or Part 25 turbofans that sing as
of avionics demand never before seen in the industry,
duos or trios, the ADS-B deadline
said Conrad Theisen, avionics sales
will be an event that shapes the
manager for Elliott Aviation.
future of this marketplace.
The wave is cresting now for
HOW LONG IT TAKES
Earlier this year, at an NBAA
a number of reasons, and one of
Aircraft Finance, Registration, and
them is the fact that most business
TO TRANSITION FROM
Legal Conference in Fort Myers,
aircraft operators have long,
ADS-B TO WHAT'S
Florida, Jay Mesinger of Mesinger
incorporated decision-making chains
NEXT DEPENDS ON THE
Jet Sales called the mandate
not known for speedy resolutions,
OPERATOR'S DECISION
deadline "a significant reckoning in
especially when considering
TO EITHER UPGRADE
the preowned business jet market
expensive upgrades. When it comes
OR RETIRE THEIR
due to obsolescence."
to avionics for turbine-powered
Nearly half the population of
aircraft, said Theisen, there's very
BUSINESS AIRCRAFT.
preowned business jets is more
little difference between Part 23
than 20 years old, he noted. This
turboprops and Part 25 business
puts them in a league with their
jets. Upgrading the integrated
smaller, middle-aged piston cousins, where almost any
systems they employ requires more engineering and
avionics upgrade would be a significant portion of the
testing to certify.
aircraft's total value.
With ADS-B demand stretching the capabilities of
Maybe that's why 13,425 business jets - one-third
avionics repair stations to satisfy it, the nationwide result
of the in-service fleet - did not have ADS-B upgrade
has not been pretty, Theisen said. "Everyone is growing
plans, according to Dolland Vincent, managing director
their shops to meet the demand," and with the shortage

- 40 -

Photo courtesy of Chicago Jet Group
With OEMs sunsetting their support of decades-old CRT business aircraft panels, Chicago Jet Group is developing STCs that graft a 21st century, satellitebased brain with active-matrix liquid crystal displays to a legacy avionics nervous system. .

of knowledgeable, experienced technicians, the people
with more knowledge "are just getting beat up."
With a year to go, "everyone has their checkbooks open,"
he continued, and with the unbalanced supply and demand,
aircraft operators are competing with preowned business
aircraft brokers for head-of-the-line privileges at avionics
repair stations nationwide.
"Shops will still be dealing with ADS-B for more than a
year after the mandate deadline" of Dec. 31, 2019, said
Steve Elofson, senior avionics sales rep at Duncan Aviation.
"We saw that after the last big mandates for RVSM and
TAWS. Not everyone made the date, and upgrade projects

were ongoing for a year or so after the deadline."
How long it takes to transition from ADS-B to what's
next depends on the operator's decision to either
upgrade or retire their business aircraft. Until then,
the market "will be in flux until they get it sorted out."
Elofson doesn't expect it to fluctuate for too long.
Owners who need ADS-B, "will be compliant within a
year, if they can find a shop with an opening," he said.
"We'll see how it plays out; the ability of our industry to
step up to the challenge sometimes surprises me."

- 41 -

ADS-B

SOLUTIONS
As the calendar pages fall, an option for every need
S T O R Y

B Y

D A V E

H I G D O N

Continued on following page...

- 44 -

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Avionics News August 2019

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