Pilot's Guide to Avionics 2016-2017 - 62
PARTIAL-PANEL UPGRADE PLANNING
one square or rectangular screen .
Arguably, Aspen Avionics may take
the prize for its innovative Evolution
mass gyros and eliminate aneroids
System in its various forms .
and diaphragms from maintenance
One form factor device available as
either a PFD or multifunction display,
Maybe it's a move to upgrade
Aspen designed its Evolution packthe stack to reduce operating empty
ages to replace a pair of instruments
weight and the maintenance burdens
by vacating two of the six pack of flight
accompanying analog instruments .
For many operators, owners and
Could be a desire to simplify
pilots, removing an attitude indicator
the panel with an electronic cluster
in the center of the top row of three,
replacing the multitude of engine
along with the direction gyro (typiinstruments and gauges - tachometer, manifold pressure, oil pressure
cally the center instrument right below
and temperature, cylinder head and
that AI), provides space to plug in
exhaust-gas temperatures and the
an Aspen Evolution PFD capable of
outside thermometer . Or a combinareplacing the entire analog six pack -
tion that updates radios, both commuand with integral navigation indication
nications, navigation and surveillance
for good measure .
Pull one top-row instrument and the
With so much equipment and so
second-row instrument immediately
many variations available, simply idenbelow makes room for one Aspen
tifying targets and defining the finished
Evolution pack; pull two and you make
panel can be a formidable task .
space for both an Aspen Evolution
For some, mission needs help drive
PFD and an Aspen Evolution MFD .
the definition phase; for others, the
Free a third pairing of vertical holes
age and condition of the candidates
and the panel provides space for three
for replacement may carry the most
Aspen Evolution instruments - with
virtually all the navigation functions
Have your expert avionics shop
of multiple CDIs, standby PFD instruments, an always available moving
help you define what's needed based
map display, and redundant displays
on the dominant flying done . This will
for weather, traffic, autopilot operation
help you identify what you can afford,
- even an angle-of-attack instrument .
when you can pay for the work, and a
Save for the wiring needed to contime frame for the various elements .
nect navigators to the Aspen displays,
Little debating, though, that flightno other panel work is needed to fit up
instrument upgrades hold strong
to three in place of an analog six pack,
appeal - particularly considering the
a couple of navigation indicators, autoextra functions many PFDs offer, compilot control, traffic and weather inputs,
pared to the singular functions of the
and lightning sensors .
analog instruments .
Most of these functions are availFlight instrument options:
able with two displays; with three, you
have added depth and redundancy .
The past 20 years brought a
But Aspen is far from the only
multitude of optionsJIM
for trading analog flight instruBendixKing
ments for a modern digital PFD .
from analog instruments - basically
Avidyne, BendixKing, Garmin and a
replacing six individual dials with
Continued from page 61
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host of experimental systems exist to
accomplish the same ends .
Perhaps none enjoy the form factor
advantage that has helped make for
no-panel-modifications-needed installations of Aspen's equipment, however,
since the others tend to come in wider
square or rectangular formats . But the
other packages still deliver similarly
powerful functionality and, typically, an
empty weight increase .
Weighing updated radios,
ADS-B Out depends on data from a
precision position source - with WAAS
GPS the dominant solution . But many
solutions to the ADS-B Out mandate
employ WAAS GPS solely to provide
position, speed and vector data to the
ADS-B broadcast .
They aren't IFR-approved navigators or, for that matter, even VFRuseful navigators . Like a blind altitude
encoder, only the transponder or the
universal access transceiver know
what the GPS is saying to air traffic
To use a WAAS GPS for navigation,
it needs to be in a working navigator;
for IFR and approach use, that navigator needs a database loaded with
the approach procedures and airport
data for every airport with an approved
For nearly two decades, one of
aviation's most-popular IFR-GPS solutions came in the form of stand-alone
GPS navigators . Until, that is, Garmin
revolutionized cockpit electronics with
its GNS 430 and GNS 530 - the first
Upgradable to WAAS GPS as the
GNS 430W and GNS 530W, these
boxes combine a powerful VHF communications transceiver with a VHF
navigation receiver, the IFR-eligible
GPS navigator, and a large eight-color