ANN's 'Heroes 'n Heartbreakers' '09: Aero-Hero #7--Aspen Avionics Design Team | Aero-News Network
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ANN's 'Heroes 'n Heartbreakers' '09: Aero-Hero #7--Aspen Avionics Design Team

All Hail The Aero-Heroes of 2009!

Final Compilations by ANN Editor-In-Chief/Trouble-Maker, Jim Campbell

It is both the most "fun," and most difficult, task facing the ANN staff at the end of every year -- determining who, or what, did the most to promote the cause of aviation in the past 365 days... while also chastising those people or entities that did all they could to undermine the many successes the aviation/aerospace community has managed to accomplish.
Thankfully, 2009 was a year in which we saw the best and brightest among us step forward and work tirelessly on behalf of us all. No doubt about it... the challenges we faced in 2009 were numerous, and ongoing... so was the quality of expertise and passion brought to our defense by those who heroically demonstrated to the world the very best side of aviation... via their deeds, words and actions.
It is ANN's honor to recognize Ten persons/organizations or groups that qualify as our Aero-Heroes for 2009... in something of an informal order, starting from the 10th to the 1st. Let us know what you think of our selections... whom YOU would have liked be included or omitted from such a list. In the meantime, we thank the folks who made this year's list. Thank you, folks... we really needed you this year, and you didn't let us down.

ANN will list our Top Ten choices over the next few days's, but in order to kick off the New Year right, let's enjoy another selection from our Heroes List for 2009...

Aero-Heroes #7 -- John Uczekaj and The Irrepressible Aspen Design Team

To those of you who use your airplanes for real-live transportation, especially when the weather heads for the deck, the quality of one's instrumentation has never been more critical. And along with the criticality of said panels, and the search for solutions that fit a pilot's needs, comes the ever-delicate balancing act between getting the capabilities you need for a price you can afford.

While today's wunderboxes have never been more capable, the prices have been climbing faster than an F-104 in full burner. The search for a good IFR capable panel was getting to be as expensive as a small house... and until recently, the trends indicated that this was not about to change anytime soon... but, instead, amazing changes took place because of the fine workl of some folks from Albuquerque.

Thanks to the extraordinary foresight of the Aspen Avionics Design Team, under the direction of John Uczekaj, there are now amazing new capabilities to be had... for truly affordable dollars. Whether one updates an "almost good enough" panel with just a PFD or goes whole hog and builds themselves a three screen solution, the Aspen Avionics program offers the BEST RETROFIT VALUE in today's avionics. Period. As a matter of fact, the aforementioned single PFD can be bought for less than $10K, while the three screen solution (with incredible redundancy and system flexibility) can be bought for well under $30K -- and those who have taken the plunge are singing the praises of their newly reinvigorated airplanes.

Our flights in Aspen equipped aircraft have been impressive, the displays are tremendously readable, the interface is easy to learn and use, and the past year's experience detailed by user/owners speak highly of Aspen's service and support system as well as the rugged nature of the boxes themselves. To pilots who have much loved older aircraft with a real need to use them in both VFR as well as IFR environments, the Aspen Avionics system has been an answer to a prayer and brought truly impressive new value to elder airframes.

An Aspen Avionics upgrade has turned out to be the one of the few runaway "no-brainers" of 2009. Up against aggressive juggernauts like Garmin, it's thrilling to see small companies with great ideas come forth and beat everyone in a well-established industry. We're impressed as hell with what Aspen has brought forth this year and we CAN NOT wait to see what's next.

Great work, folks!



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