Installations Upgrade 1960s Panels To Aspen Glass
Aspen Avionics 'tells' ANN (though, 'brags' is a more accurate term... and for good reason) that it has long enjoyed a customer list comprised of a wide variety of aircraft, but now that list has become more extensive with two L-39 owners upgrading their 1960s-era panels with the Aspen Avionics Evolution system.
The Aero Vodochody L-39 is a low-wing, all-metal turbofan-powered aircraft with tandem seating designed for basic and advanced training, including weapons delivery and light attack missions. While newer versions are now replacing older L-39s in service, thousands remain in active service as trainers, and many are finding new homes with private owners all over the world.
Two such owners are Walt Woltosz and Jim Thompson, both of whom chose to upgrade their L-39 panels with an Aspen Evolution System. Woltosz is Chief Executive Officer of Simulations Plus, Inc., a company that develops pharmaceutical software for use in research and education. Woltosz saw Aspen Avionics in aviation magazines and read the reviews, long before he saw the system in person. He says, “I wanted the same capability in my L-39 as I have in my Citation. The L-39 is not a hard IFR airplane; it’s a fun airplane, but when I’m IFR, I want everything going for me.”
Jim Thompson is President and Chief Executive Officer of ORIX USA, a diversified financial and advisory service provider. He had been flying conventional airplanes for years when it occurred to him to “mix things up a bit and get back to the joy of flying.” The result was buying the L-39. After all, he says simply, “It’s a jet—and a well-engineered one at that.” Thompson installed Aspen’s PFD and MFD in the front panel and a PFD in the rear panel. About his new panel, Thompson says, “It’s easy to read and presents a lot of information. The interface is intuitive which is really what people want.”
“One of our early customers was the AeroShell Aerobatic Team which installed our system in their AT-6s. Now with hundreds of aerobatic flight hours in the T-6s, as well as in Extras, P-51s, and other aerobatic airframes, Aspen’s robust AHRS has met the challenge with ease,” says Aspen Vice President of Marketing Brad Hayden. “With more than 4000 customers, Aspen systems are found in aircraft we had never considered a target—such as the Aero Vodochody L-39. Better than anything, this speaks to Aspen’s ability to perform in a variety of aircraft platforms and mission profiles.”