Aspen Teams With Trio To Offer Affordable Autopilot Options


Albuquerque, New Mexico-base Aspen Avionics announced today (Aug. 15) it has teamed with Trio Avionics to integrate the Trio Pro Pilot autopilot with Aspen Avionics display packages for more than a dozen aircraft models. A package including the autopilot and Aspen’s Evolution E5 flight display is priced at $10,750.

The Trio Pro Pilot is a two-axis digital autopilot with all the performance and safety features of Trio’s other systems but available in a single, panel-mounted instrument. “The combined autopilot and display system offers dynamic functionality with control of the autopilot through the Aspen display,” according to the joint Aspen/Trio announcement.

Mark Ferrari, Aspen’s VP of sales and customer support, said, “Aspen welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with Trio Avionics to provide an affordable digital autopilot/electronic flight display (EFIS) system for aircraft owners seeking an alternative option beyond a single manufacturer. We continue to offer an open integration platform that provides aircraft owners a choice when it comes to equipping their aircraft with the latest technology.”

Flight display functions for the Aspen Evolution E5 and Pro MAX (which is also available for integration with the Trio Pro Pilot autopilot) include Selected Heading, Selected Course, Corrected Barometric Altitude, Selected Altitude, GPSS and GPS LPV approaches. For Trio’s part, pricing for the Pro Pilot autopilot starts at $5,995. Enablement software to integrate with the Aspen display(s) costs $200. Customers with a Trio autopilot already installed can return their control head to Trio Avionics to complete the integration for $400. 

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. The willingness to work with other manufacturers is a key factor in my purchase decisions. Thank you Aspen and Trio.

  2. Mark, I have a Trio Pro autopilot installed in my Cessna. I had a phone conversation with Chuck Busch of Trio last week and he indicated that the STC Group, who sells the parts and the STC paperwork for the autopilot, would be doing the upgrades, rather than Trio. Could you check and verify whether it will be Trio or STC Group that will be installing the upgrades? Thanks.

    BTW, the Trio Pro is a great autopilot with lots of nice features. I have enjoyed having it in my plane and look forward to the added flexibility of powering it through the Aspen. Long overdue, but blame that on the FAA.

  3. You will only get this if you are experimental or have a big-three aircraft. (Well, maybe four if they decide to include Mooney.) Those of us with certified aircraft that aren’t a big section of the market, well, we are going to be SOL.

    I just spent 55 hours hand-flying my “new” aircraft to bring it home. Much of that was hard-IFR. No autopilot. It was going to be one of the first upgrades but only one A/P has been certified for the aircraft, the S-Tec System 50, and that has been discontinued. I can’t even install its replacement, the System 30, the only difference being that everything is in one 3″ instrument.

    This whole AML approach to approval leaves people like me, who have unusual aircraft, out in the cold. It doesn’t matter if it works, it only matters if the FAA has allowed the manufacturer to put that make and model in the AML.

    Another example: I have to replace the overvoltage relay. The original part is made by Prestolite and no longer available. Zeftronics makes a replacement that specifically names my OV relay by part number, but my aircraft isn’t on the AML so I can’t install it. I have to find one in a junk yard. Somehow that does not strike me as being the better, safer solution.