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Another run at the DFC90?

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ddgates View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 Jul 2017 at 10:08am
Does all the activity at OSH around autopilots suggest a pathway and interest for Avidyne to dust off the DFC90 and bring it to market with servos and a clean sheet install?  Cost barriers should at least be better under the new and improved STC pathway.

Pen in hand, ready to write another check...


Edited by ddgates - 27 Jul 2017 at 10:10am
David Gates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chflyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2018 at 3:17am
No reply to your ping here, David. I guess that means the DFC is essentially a dormant (dead?) product. I notice that while both DFC90 and DFC100 pilot guides are still on the web site, some of the links in those manuals are dead ends. The DFC90 is still in the price list, but the DFC100 has disappeared so I guess it is no longer being sold.

BTW, it looks from the available documentation that a prerequisite is either an Aspen or Avidyne Entegra EXP5000, as an attitude source. With the new solid state AI's now on the market, these would seem to be just as valid for input but there is so little info on the DFC on the Avidyne web site that there doesn't seem to be any interest in Avidyne to further develop the AP product. A bit of a shame.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MysticCobra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2018 at 7:18am
Wonder if the TruTrack and Trio autopilots coming to the certificated market took some of the wind out of Avidyne's AP sails (sales).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chflyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2018 at 7:25am
Could be, although they are GPS-only APs and don't track legacy analog signals (esp. ILS).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MysticCobra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2018 at 7:31am
I agree the target markets do not completely overlap.  But where they do, the T* APs offer a significant price advantage, making it harder to Avidyne to compete.  They may have decided that the remaining market segment where customers wanted the DFC features was not large enough to continue their investment.  All pure speculation, of course.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ddgates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2018 at 10:56am
Last I recall (recalling I prepurchased a DFC90 in 2011, and was told a servo solution was no more than 6 months away) the issue still is servo deficit, but also cost of STC airframe by airframe.  

Truly a shame, as the DFC90 or DFC100 are really good autopilots - a few 90s got sold to install over STEC servos.

My sideline observation is that the DFC90 project is DOA.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oskrypuch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2018 at 2:10pm
The TruTrak + ASPEN E5/Pro install is setting the low water mark for price, together with a high water mark for function, and that is without talking about the SkyView.

It will be tough sledding for any of the classic A/P manufacturers and their products, at least in the lower end of the market. There is little chance that you will see the STEC 3100 with as wide of an AML as their legacy 55x.

I would slip in a DFC90 in a heartbeat, for my 55x, but I seriously doubt its future availability for my plane.

* Orest



Edited by oskrypuch - 03 Jun 2018 at 2:11pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chflyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2018 at 4:51pm
Orest,

According to the DFC90 page on Avidyne.com:

"DFC90 is plug & play with the STEC55X, and STEC30/50/60-2/65 series autopilots may also be replaced by a DFC90 under these STCs."

Doesn't that mean that you could install in your aircraft? Or do I read that wrong? The other prereq is an Aspen, which you have.

I have an STEC30, so an installation reusing those servos would keep the installation cost to a minimum. However, I don't have an Aspen so that's a deal-breaker.

But as David mentions, it appears that the DFC90 doesn't have any future.


Edited by chflyer - 03 Jun 2018 at 4:52pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ddgates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2018 at 6:44pm
To use a DFC90 over a previous STEC, you also have to have a pitch trim servo (which means you have to have the STEC, electric trim, and an Aspen).

Now that others are coming to market with the same scenario, Orest could do the STEC 3100 (also digital) to better advantage, and less costly.  The 3100 would install right over his other STEC if I understand it correctly.


Edited by ddgates - 03 Jun 2018 at 6:45pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oskrypuch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2018 at 8:01pm
I have the STEC automatic electric trim. Problem is that Avidyne has only STC'd the Cirrus, Bo & C182 for the 55x/DFC90 silde out/in swap out.

And, unfortunately the STEC 3100 is NOT a slide out/in replacement for a 55x. It is not pin compatible and even the entire harness has to be replaced, so not really worth it. And, IAC STEC has not STC'd my plane either, yet.

* Orest





Edited by oskrypuch - 03 Jun 2018 at 8:03pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ddgates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jun 2018 at 9:44am
Orest:

My bad.  I have Bonanza on the brain.

It does look like Genesys is moving rapidly to STC their 3100 though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oskrypuch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jun 2018 at 3:21pm
Originally posted by ddgates ddgates wrote:

Orest:

My bad.  I have Bonanza on the brain.

It does look like Genesys is moving rapidly to STC their 3100 though.

Not a bad thing to have on your brain. I was flying a Bo for a while, nice bird.

If/when the 3100 STC is available, may look at it, but as I say it would be a lot of rewiring even though ostensibly you are just replacing the head.

* Orest



Edited by oskrypuch - 04 Jun 2018 at 3:21pm
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