Next-Generation IFD System Ready For Prime-Time
As expected (and alluded to in previous ANN coverage), the
anticipated certification of Avidyne's next-generation flight deck
was not only around the corner... its right here, right now.
Avidyne has confirmed to ANN that they have certified their new
Entegra Release 9 Integrated Flight Deck (IFD) system. And not a
moment too soon... when much of the industry is about to award
first prize to industry behemoth Garmin in terms of Flight Deck
preference and market share, Avidyne's massive Release 9 effort,
along with their FMS and Digital Autopilot programs raises the bar
enough to make the lead a real horse-race.
Avidyne has received Technical Standard Order Approval (TSO)
approval for the Entegra Release 9 suite, which is being
retrofitted into existing Cirrus SR20 and SR22 aircraft. Avidyne's
Entegra Release 9-equipped SR22 is currently available for
demonstration flights throughout the week of the Lakeland
"Entegra Release 9 is the culmination of over six years of
intense product development, in-depth human factors evaluations,
and rigorous flight testing," said Patrick Herguth, Avidyne's Chief
Operating Officer. "Entegra Release 9 sets a new standard in
performance and safety by providing the highest level of
integration, and the easiest-to-use pilot interface available."
"Our vision is to deliver a flight deck system to meet the
demands of 21st-century flight, yet it has to be simple and
intuitive to operate, and Entegra Release 9 has exceeded our
expectations," said Avidyne president Dan Schwinn. "With its
state-of-the-art FMS, dual-redundant Byteflight databus
architecture, a workload-reducing autopilot interface, and its
overall ease of use, we believe it is simply the best flight deck
in all of aviation."
Utilizing a fully-modular architecture, Entegra Release 9
represents the next generation of integrated flight deck systems
for light general aviation. The Entegra Release9 retrofit for
Cirrus SR20 & SR22 includes dual XGA-resolution IFD5000
displays, dual-redundant FMS900w systems with a QWERTY keypad,
next-generation fully-digital VHF NAV/COM radios, and dual
WAAS/RNP-capable GPS receivers.
In addition, Entegra Release 9 provides a new level of
communication between the FMS/NAV system and the existing STEC 55X
autopilot. This added capability virtually eliminates pilot
interaction with the autopilot once coupled to the Entegra system,
automatically switching the autopilot modes during transitions from
en route to approach phases of flight, reducing pilot workload and
eliminating 'modes confusion' associated with other systems.
Page & Tab User Interface
Entegra Release 9 sets a new standard for all-glass flight decks
with the easiest-to-use pilot interface in all of general aviation.
Release 9's innovative Page & Tab operation makes it a breeze
to quickly access all the data you need without delving into
hierarchical menus, pop-up windows or hidden modes. Five
dual-directional Page keys make it easy to display PFD, FMS, Map,
System, and Checklists pages.
Access to any of Entegra Release 9's powerful capabilities is as
simple as pressing the desired bi-directional page key for PFD,
FMS, MAP, SYS or CHKL, and the various display options within each
page are represented as tabs. Pressing the same key in a desired
direction navigates through the clearly-labeled tabs, with no more
guessing as to what a given pilot input will do. It's simply the
easiest user interface available.
Entegra Release 9 system was also designed with a
fully-redundant architecture that eliminates traditional
'Reversionary Modes' and the need for a 'big red button' as seen in
competing systems. A typical Entegra Release 9 installation, as
retrofitted in the Cirrus SR22, features two large-format IFD5000
Integrated Flight Displays, (IFD) which are fully interchangeable
for use as PFD or MFD. Since each IFD5000 is fully capable of
performing the functions of the other, no unfamiliar or limited
reversionary modes are required. In the unlikely event of a display
failure, the remaining IFD5000 continues to operate as either
display format with no loss of functionality.
Some competing glass flight deck systems have limited redundancy
during failure modes, losing critical functionality such as
datalink weather, traffic, or even autopilot, which force the pilot
to learn new and unfamiliar "reversionary modes" during
high-workload situations. Entegra Release 9 fully-redundant
architecture eliminates all these limitations.
Avidyne was first to bring big glass flight decks to general
aviation when Entegra was certified in 2003 on the Cirrus SR22.
Avidyne has always been lauded for the ease of use of the Entegra
display systems, which relied on 3rd-party navigators for position
and flight planning data. In 2003, the FAA's Industry Safety Study
on Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) suggested that glass
flightdeck-equipped aircraft increased the "availability of
safety," but said the highest level of head-down time-a safety
concern when pilots are spending too much time interacting with
their avionics rather than looking out the window and flying the
airplane-was attributable to the complex GPS/NAV/COM systems in
most first-generation TAAs.
Since that time, other flight deck systems have come into the
market with a higher level of "bezel integration." These so-called
2nd-generation systems used the same communication, navigation and
surveillance (CNS) components as 1st-generation systems, but the
CNS components were remotely mounted with all of their knob and
button functions integrated onto the bezels of the displays. The
result was an equally-capable system but with a much higher level
of complexity for the pilot, due to higher knob and button counts,
pop-up windows, and hidden and hierarchical menus, which did
nothing to address the issues of the 2003 TAA report.
With Entegra Release 9, Avidyne has developed a truly integrated
system that is specifically designed to eliminate complexity,
reduce head-down time, provide a whole new level of redundancy, and
dramatically enhance safety.
The retail price of the Entegra Release9 retrofit for Cirrus
SR20 & SR22 is $72,800 which includes dual XGA displays, FMS
keyboard, dual GPS/FMS receivers, dual 16-watt VHF COMM radios, and
MLB700 XM/SIRIUS Broadcast datalink receiver.
Avidyne has a backlog of Entegra Release 9 customers and initial
installations are beginning this month at selected Release
9-qualified Avidyne Service Centers. Avidyne is accepting orders
now for installation in June 2009.