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Fri, Jan 02, 2009

Gadget Patrol 2008: ANN's #2 Aero-Product Of The Year--Aspen Avionics EFD1000

Aspen Avionics' Evolution EFIS Takes '08 By Storm

Final Compilations by ANN Editor-In-Chief/Corporate Insomniac, Jim Campbell

When it comes to the people, planes and products of the aviation business, ANN firmly believes there is no such thing as an embarrassment of riches. 2008 saw a spate of new programs and 'gadgets' designed to separate a pilot from his flying dollar... fortunately, the vast majority of them are quite worthy of foregoing the occasional $500 hamburger or two

.

In fact, for 2008 we really had to struggle with the list in order to pare it down to a manageable assembly and if we hadn't, we'd have easily had to increase the size of our annual 'Best Of' list to several dozen, or so, to accommodate them all.

From established products that continue to impress, to new and exciting developments across the range of general aviation... here, to our eyes, is another one of the TEN VERY BEST goodies from our list of the most worthy 'gadgets' and programs of 2008. 

Aspen Avionics EFD1000 PFD

Wow… while 2008 was a pretty miserable year for a number of companies eking out their existence in the world of aviation, it was a great year, maybe even an astounding year, for Aspen Avionics… and it's no wonder. 2008 is the year that Aspen turned the retrofit avionics business on its ear with a glass panel retrofit that was everything an upgrading flyer could ask for… easy to install, simple to use, highly capable, affordable and cooler than the observation deck on the Titanic.

Announced at Oshkosh 2007, Aspen bills its Evolution Flight Display system is an affordable glass cockpit solution for general aviation aircraft. With prices starting under $6,000, the modular and upgradeable Evolution system breaks the price barrier and makes the safety benefits of the most advanced glass cockpit technologies finally accessible to the vast majority of the GA aircraft fleet.

By the end of the first quarter of 1008, Aspen's newly issued AML-STC enabled Aspen Avionics to start shipping, and its dealers to start installing, Evolution Flight Display systems... on track with the schedule Aspen promised to its customers.

Certification of the Evolution Flight Display was the second TSO Aspen Avionics has received. The company's innovative AT300 Hazard Awareness Display received certification in November 2005. The certification process for the EFD1000 PFD took approximately 18 months to complete.

While the initial TSO allowed the Aspen PFD to be installed in over 400 types of aircraft, Aspen added several more Class II airplanes, including some heavier twins, to its FAA Approved Model List Supplemental Type Certificate (AML-STC) for the EFD1000 Primary Flight Displays (PFDs). These latest additions include the Beechcraft Baron 58-series, and a subset of the Aerostar 600-and Twin Commander 500-series twin-engine airplanes. Over 650 models can now be equipped with the Aspen EFD1000.

With certification of its Evolution EFD1000 PFD complete, Aspen looks forward to showing off their upcoming line of Evolution multi-function displays. Built upon the same certified hardwire platform as the PFDs, Aspen's MFD line adds additional situational awareness tools... while also providing a fully redundant backup to the PFD. The EFD1000 MFD and PFD combine high-resolution, sectional-style moving maps with dedicated and overlaid hazard awareness displays -- including weather, traffic and terrain advisories and warnings. The EFD1000 MFD also adds a second, independent air data, attitude and heading reference (ADAHRS) system for full redundancy.

Even better, the next variant of the EFD1000 PFD, the ATP, is due in the second half of 2009. The ATP will add many MFD features, including sectional-style moving maps and integrated hazard awareness interfaces, to the PFD navigation display.

Aspen is also pursuing approval to install the Evolution PFD into heavier Class III airplanes (those between 6,000 and 12,500 lbs.) by the end of the third quarter of 2009.

From relative obscurity to super-stardom, Aspen has earned its way onto our Product of The Year lists the old fashioned way… through pure innovation -- we simply can't wait to see what they come up with next. Mark our words, Aspen Avionics will be a force to be reckoned with, in the aviation world, from here on out.

Check Out Aspen Avionics On These Aero-TV Programs!

FMI: www.aspenavionics.com

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