Plans A "Pilot" Program With Selected Users Before
Avidyne this week offered what it
called a "comprehensive" update on the certification and delivery
of Release 9.2 and the DFC100 autopilot on a company message board.
Avidyne says the fundamental differences between DFC100 and DFC90
involved a few architectural changes and several extra functional
features, including VNAV mode, Vectors integration, other envelope
protection enhancements not included in the DFC90. The company says
that there are "a bunch of new goodies in there that we haven't
told anyone about yet."
"Those changes are all schedule deltas on top of DFC90 but the
good news is that we are done with development, have already
entered final "tests-for-credit" and expect to be submitting
everything to the FAA within the next 30 days or so," Avidyne said.
Once that is complete, there will be what is typically a 20-40 day
wait period as the FAA crunches through the reams of data and
documents submitted and fly it themselves for final evaluation. The
end of that wait period results in FAA certification, but the
process is also the final risk point since the FAA could require a
Avidyne says it plans to run a short "pilot program" after
certification where they will select a few airplanes which will be
upgraded at different shops, validated, and then documents will be
updated/changed as required to ensure the upgrade process for all
that follow is as smooth as possible.
Certification of the DFC90 required extensive FAA testing to get
the Envelope Protection features approved. Avidyne says all of that
is considered known ground now with both the company and the FAA,
so the same kinds of fielding delays we had in DFC90 are not
anticipated. When the pilot program is complete, which Avidyne
estimates to be about three weeks, it will be released for mass
installation in R9 equipped airplanes.
The company says it has the physical assets for the entire
DFC100 customer base already in the process of build out and the
supporting R9 software update will be a field loadable software
update so there are no plans to have to ship anything back to an
Meanwhile, Avidyne says release 9.2 has fixes for the following
items; the missing range-to-altitude arc, the Direct-to guidance
issue and the map redraw slowdown. There are also other bug
fixes that will be provided in the release notes.
Finally, the company reports that SynVis is proceeding in
parallel with the DFC100 program and is also making good progress.
SynVis is part of Release 9.3. Avidyne engineers have flown
versions of it and say it is continually being improved by the
software development team.
The company plans a meeting with the FAA this fall to present a
nearly final version so that there will be "no surprises" during
the later FAA flight testing. As the development progresses
and the DFC100 is certified, Avidyne says they will have greater
fidelity on a certification date.