By Larry Anglisano, AVweb Contributor
In a continued attempt to tamp down high avionics costs, Avidyne this week announced a drop-in replacement competitor for Garmin's popular GNS430. The new IFD440 is a descendent of a larger model Avidyne introduced last year, the IFD540, a drop-in box to replace Garmin's GNS530. Both of Avidyne's products use a combination of touchscreens and traditional knobs in function keys, something that Avidyne claims will appeal to buyers who aren't sold on touchscreens in Garmin's newer GTN line.
The IFD440 contains a modern Flight Management System that meets FAA requirements for SBAS/LPV precision approach guidance and positional source integrity required for ADS-B position reporting. WAAS GPS approach and ADS-B capability top the list of requirements of today's GPS buyer as the clock counts down toward the year 2020 ADS-B requirement mandate. Avidyne reasons that the direct slide-in capability may appeal to owners on tight budgets. "Our 'plug-and-play' strategy has really struck a positive chord with aircraft owners, many of whom want to upgrade their avionics for touch screen, WAAS, or ADS-B, but are concerned with the high cost of installation," said Dan Schwinn, Avidyne's President and CEO. Garmin's GNS430-series navigator - arguably the single most popular avionics radio ever produced for general aviation application - is discontinued and has since been replaced with the new GTN650 navigator. The GTN650 shares the same footprint of the GNS430 but with incompatible wiring that requires a new installation when upgrading. Avidyne is bringing to market a complete line of slide-in replacement products including the AMX240 audio panel, the AXP340 Mode S ADS-B transponder and the proven DFC-series S-TEC-replacement autopilot.
The IFD440 should be right at home in the lineup and appears to be well-leveraged for Avidyne-equipped glass cockpit applications, too, since the Entegra integrated avionics suite found in a large number of Cirrus and Piper aircraft also contains dual GNS430 navigators, . Dropping the IFD440, the AMX240 audio panel, AXP340 transponder and the DFC autopilot into these existing applications will yield a fully modern one-brand avionics suit without having to endure a complex, lengthy and high-cost upgrade project. Retail price is $14,995. For more information on the IFD440 visit Avidyne.com.