With another sign that the avionics retrofit market is getting more competitive, Avidyne is targeting vintage light jets with its Atlas flight management system.
The Atlas FMS is a standalone Dzus-mounted box that’s designed to mount in the aircraft’s center pedestal, replacing older FMS units that don’t have a WAAS position source, or even in jets that don’t have an FMS or GPS navigator at all. Based on Avidyne’s successful IFD-series panel navigators, the Atlas is a Satellite-based Augmentation System (SBAS) GPS navigator with Required Navigation Performance (RNP) and Area Navigation (RNAV) capability, including Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV), Lateral Navigation/Vertical Navigation (LNAV/VNAV), LNAV only and Approach Procedures with Vertical (APV) approach modes.
The system has a full QWERTY keyboard, plus Avidyne’s unique page and tab/hybrid touchscreen user interface. The touchscreen also provides full color moving map and Jeppesen approach charts and airport diagrams, plus it can overlay satellite and ADS-B weather. There will also be an optional weather radar interface. Like the IFD navigators, there’s both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in, and the FMS works with a variety of third-party tablet apps including ForeFlight.
Avidyne is currently working on STC approvals for the most popular turbine applications. This includes Hawker, Falcon and Gulfstreams, to name a few. The company has already penetrated this market with the IFD545 for pre-EFIS flight decks, and has configurations for Collins Pro Line 21 and Honeywell Primus-equipped airplanes.
An Atlas installation could be a worthy all-in-one (including ADS-B) solution for old jets that have an avionics bay full of old analog equipment because like the Avidyne IFD navigators, versions of the FMS will have comm (16 watts) and nav capability. This will save panel space and significantly reduce weight, while offering a big shot of modern tech to jets begging for an upgrade. Many of these jets have aging Collins Pro Line avionics that have become expensive to maintain, while support could dwindle in the coming years.
Avidyne said the starting price for the base FMS will be around $45,000 and the VHF radio will be a $15,000 option. “Our hope is that you’ll be able to get two of these installed for well under $100,000, perhaps with a decent credit for removed equipment,” Avidyne’s Dan Schwinn told us. Given the proposed capability and applications, we think that could be a sweet spot for an aging jet upgrade. Contact www.avidyne.com.