New Suppliers For Eclipse Avio

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Eclipse Aviation and Avidyne decided last week to terminate their relationship, leaving the company's 500 jet's Avio avionics system to the newly appointed hands of Chelton Flight Systems, Innovative Solutions & Support, Garmin, Honeywell and PS Engineering. While working with Avidyne, Eclipse had concurrently "been working closely with this group behind-the-scenes for a number of months, and has already made significant progress" and "this change has no effect on Eclipse 500 production or delivery," said Eclipse spokesman Andrew Broom. Any aircraft delivered with Avidyne Avio systems will be retrofitted with the now fast-tracked Avio NG (next generation) package before year-end, according to Eclipse. Retrofits should consume less than ten days downtime to install and functionality look and feel should remain consistent to provide ease of transition for original Avio users. Meanwhile, Eclipse is still working on obtaining a production certificate to deliver aircraft en masse. CEO Vern Raburn said he plans to announce more news on this front in a couple of weeks.

"The exact timing of the production cut-in is currently being finalized," Broom told AVweb, though the switchover is expected in the summer. "Avio will continue to be an integral part of the Eclipse 500, and we are confident in our ability to deliver all of the promised functionality to our customers on an aggressive schedule." As to the specifics: IS&S will now provide hardware and select software for the Eclipse 500 primary and multifunction displays, while Chelton Flight has been selected to do the flight management system. Meanwhile, Garmin has been picked for its remote-mounted Mode S transponders; Honeywell for its KTR 2280 Multi Mode Digital Radios, as well as its previous selection for the RDR 2000 Weather Radar System and optional KGP 560 Terrain Awareness System; and PS Engineering for its PMA500 remote audio control system.