Business & GA

Team to Replace Avidyne on Eclipse 500

By Tish Drake | March 6, 2007
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Eclipse Aviation named a team of avionics providers for its Avio avionics suite on the Eclipse 500 very light jet, just a week after its separation from previous supplier Avidyne. Eclipse, Albuquerque, N.M., said Innovative Solutions & Support will supply the hardware and software for the flight displays, Chelton Flight Systems will supply the flight management system with flight guidance algorithms for all Arinc 424 published path segments, Garmin International will supply the its dual remote mounted Mode S Enhanced Surveillance transponders (GTX 33 and GTX 33D), Honeywell will supply the multi-mode digital radios, and PS Engineering will supply the digital audio system for the Avio NG, as Eclipse is calling the integrated system. Eclipse said Avio NG’s integrated system applies to the entire aircraft, including avionics, engine operation, fuel system, flaps, landing gear, cabin pressure and temperature. The avionics benefits of the new components include enhanced digital audio and video and a 63 percent increase in pixel density, which improves display resolution. After numerous certification delays, Eclipse broke off its relationship with Avidyne Feb. 27, without divulging details of the split. Vern Raburn, Eclipse Aviation president and CEO, said Eclipse found getting components from several companies rather than one was the best solution for the company and its customers. “Best of breed vs. all from one is how I would characterize  it,” Raburn said in a conference call Monday. “This is the best solution for a variety of reasons.” The change in partners will not have any impact on production of aircraft, Eclipse said. Avidyne will supply components for “significantly less than half” of the Eclipse 500s manufactured this year, Raburn said. The company projects it will manufacture 402 jets in 2007 and less than 1,000 in 2008. All of the Avidyne systems will be retrofitted with the new systems in the second half of the year, Raburn said. Each aircraft will take about 10 days to upgrade and the work will be completed at the company's Albuquerque, N.M., headquarters. “We’re trying to architect a system that as these systems mature it doesn’t mean you have to throw away your airplane to get them,” Raburn said. For related news

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