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DFC90 and the Aspen PFD

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TurboPA30 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TurboPA30 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2012 at 10:39pm
Steve,
I am ready to put a DFC90 deposit down for my 14V '68 Bonanza E33, Aspen EFD2000 configuration, NO autopilot currently except the Brittain wing leveler. I urgently need an autopilot....
Robert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2012 at 11:08am
Hi Robert,

I love your enthusiasm, even if motivated by need more than anything.   We'll be thrilled to trade you a deposit for a certified autopilot and servo set as soon as we're done.

I'll make a certification update post in this thread in a few minutes.  While we're working at full-speed on the Avidyne servo development and certification, I suspect we're still 6ish months away from crossing that cert finish line and being able to ship it to you.

Steve
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2012 at 11:21am
DFC90-Aspen PFD Integration Status Update (7 July 2012):

Getting closer.

Aspen found a defect during their official software test-for-credit that took a few days to fix and retest.   Then, during our company flight test, we found some behavior that we wanted to change with respect to the speed that we drove the existing aircraft servos in a 14V configuration.  That too has been resolved and we're in the middle of our company flight test as I type this.  We started that a few days ago and expect to fly repeatedly  this weekend to complete it.  We have about 250 total flight test points to hit and data log and then summarize in our company test report.  We're on track to finish those test points this weekend then spend a few days writing up the report.

The FAA is all queued up and waiting for us to declare we are ready for their test pilots.  At this point, they have blocked out the week of 16 July to conduct that FAA flight test.  The FAA has agreed to accept our company results for the 28V variant and they will fly the 14V variant.  We plan to ferry the 14V C-182 up to MA from FL next weekend to support the FAA flight test.  So it's all on us to get the rest of our tasks done prior to that so we can make that FAA window.

Next expected status update post will likely be a notification that we've started the FAA testing in the C-182.
Steve Jacobson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2012 at 7:55pm
DFC90-Aspen PFD Integration Status Update (15 July 2012):

Closer but not there yet.  We had a few challenges last week with our company aircraft that kept us from flying enough to finish the test points.  We expect both aircraft (28V and 14V 182s) to be back fully airworthy this week so that we can finish the last 25% or so of the tests.

That does mean we will not be in FAA testing this week but we do have the FAA now booked for the week of 23 July.

On a different note, we also took temporary possession of a 14V A36 last week that we started doing characterization flight tests.  This A36 testing will take a week to 10 days after which, we'll have a full DFC90 software model for that airframe.

When we're finished with that A36 model creation, we'll have DFC90 software variants in hand for the BE33, 35, 36, and 55.   Next up will be the 58-model Baron.   All of these DFC90 cert programs are queued up behind the initial C-182 cert.

I'll make a post when we've completed our company flight test and turned the final report into the FAA, if not earlier.
Steve Jacobson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2012 at 9:27pm
DFC90-Aspen PFD Integration Status Update (23 July 2012):

Another important step finished today.  As of a few hours ago, we've completed all of our official company flight test for the DFC90 in the C-182.  The FAA is doing a remarkable job leaning forward to be ready to do their flight test later this week (Thurs-Tues).

The FAA is reviewing our company test report now and have already determined what test points they will fly during their evaluation.

On a different note, we're having quite a good and busy day here on the 1st day of Oshkosh.   A very large number of folks have stopped by the booth and told us to "hurry up and get that autopilot certified!"  (We got the same message about R9 SynVis, the IFD540 and the IFD440). We couldn't agree more.

Next expected post will be when the FAA has started or completed their official flight test.
Steve Jacobson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2012 at 7:44pm
DFC90-Aspen PFD Integration Status Update (2 Aug 2012):

Here we go.   The C-182 has arrived in Massachusetts tonight.  The FAA will be at Hanscom Field at 0830 Friday (3 Aug) morning to conduct their official flight test.  We and the FAA expect that to be completed in a single day.

I'll make a post when I know the results (but that could be delayed a day or two because I'm going out of town on family business).     

As for other airplanes updates, while we did take temporary possession of an A36 about two weeks ago, we haven't made any autopilot progress yet.  The airplane has been down for maintenance reasons since we've had it.   We think the airplane will be flyable sometime next week and if so, it'll take a few days of flying to finish up that autopilot tuning.

We should also be borrowing a IO-550 equipped B-58 Baron in August to do that tuning.
Steve Jacobson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2012 at 8:00pm
DFC90 - Aspen PFD Integration Status Update (3 Aug 2012):

Official FAA flight test (TIA) is complete and went very well. We had two planned sorties with FAA chosen test points but wound up completing both cards in a single long flight (2.5 hrs) out of KBED. Eval included overall Aspen/DFC User interface and performance checks, Straight & Level, Envelope Alerting/Envelope Protection (high/low speed, flaps, bank) and multiple approaches including published and assigned missed and one using FD only. There were no performance or UI issues identified - none. Expecting STC to go through in the next couple weeks as soon as the FAA processes the paperwork.

Edited by AviJake - 03 Aug 2012 at 8:52pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gring Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2012 at 9:07pm

Awesome, great job. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2012 at 5:14pm
DFC90 - Aspen PFD Integration Status Update (12 Aug 2012):

No news yet from the FAA.  We don't consider that to be bad or good news.   We do know they are churning through their various internal wickets and they would contact us if there were any problems or issues discovered.  We just don't know how far through the FAA-internal process they are at this point.

Will surely post an update if we hear anything this week.
Steve Jacobson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2012 at 7:55pm
DFC90 - Aspen PFD Integration Status Update (24 Aug 2012):

We've run into a new challenge with this certification project.   The FAA is holding Aspen to a different standard than what Avidyne was originally held to.   This is resulting in a delayed certification approval.

By way of background, (and this is summarized due to some real complexity), there are 6 players involved with this certification:  Avidyne, Aspen, Avidyne's assigned Aircraft Cert Office (ACO), Aspen's assigned ACO, FAA Small Aircraft Directorate, and HQ FAA.   The current challenge is between Aspen and their assigned ACO.   Aspen understandably chose to minimize that impact by gaining approval (certification) for the Release 2.6 software but without the DFC90 activation utility approved.   Aspen is now shipping Release 2.6 software and is continuing to work with the ACO to gain approval for the DFC90 activation utility.   All the rest of pieces in this puzzle are complete and either approved or awaiting FAA signature with no known problems or open issues.

So now we wait while Aspen tries to comply with the new and late-breaking requirements imposed by their ACO.   The optimists in the group think this could be complete within a week.  Other schools of thought estimate it could take a few weeks.

We know it will be worth the wait and of course wish it were all resolved and behind us.   Needless to say, I'll make an updated post as soon as we hear something.
Steve Jacobson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TurboPA30 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2012 at 12:09am
I just wish your Avidyne PFD were ready, I am really getting concerned about Aspen with several key people quitting in the past weeks and them adopting Garmin-type practices (DFC-90 activation for a fee, while supporting legacy autopilots for free) which likely contributed to this delay.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Sep 2012 at 9:25am
DFC90 - Aspen PFD Integration Status Update (6 Sep 2012):

Another big milestone was just achieved yesterday.  Aspen received official TSO and STC approval for their DFC90 Activation Utility from their FAA yesterday.  That means every road block has been lifted and the final step in the FAA approval process is now with the local FAA office that Avidyne works with.  They have all the material they need, have already reviewed it and noted it all looks fine and now we are in the final waiting game for the final FAA approval signature.   In the recent past, it has typically taken about 2 weeks for those signatures to come once we hit this stage in the process.

The next post here from me *should* be a very good one...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2012 at 6:55pm
DFC90 -  Aspen PFD Integration Status Update (13 Sep 2012):

Another big milestone was achieved today.   We now have TSO approval for the Avidyne DFC90 autopilot for the DFC90 - Cessna 182 combination.   That's a big step but there's still one more step to go - we are awaiting the FAA to issue STC approval.   We're close.
Steve Jacobson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote duncang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Sep 2012 at 5:42pm
Great news guys -  will the C182 STC include -RG models?

Cheers,
Duncan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2012 at 10:56am
Yes.  What is your aircraft serial number?  As an educated guess, I've included a few serial number ranges below that you hopefully fall into.  Note that turbocharged variants are not expected in the initial STC.

R182
Skylane RG
(turbocharged models (TR182) within s/n range excluded)   

R18200002 – R18201628

R18200975,  R18201629 – R18201798   

R18201315,  R18201799 – R18202041  
Steve Jacobson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote duncang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2012 at 6:57pm
Thanks - looks like we're in :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stevea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2012 at 8:57pm
Jake-

So, I'm in the TR182 crowd.  Bummer.  I was looking forward to swapping out this STEC.

I guess the good news is I can still get a pre-STC deposit/price???  ;)

Also - if I go with the Aspen separately for now, are there any special concerns or options there that I'd need to address to be fully compatible with the DFC-90 when it's available?  Specifically I'm interested in the connected panel features.

FWIW - I'd like to do the IFD540 too when it comes out if that matters.

To be clear though - if I were to do a G500, I could not use the DFC-90 under the planned STC's, correct?

Good to see you guys rolling this stuff out there.


Edited by stevea - 25 Sep 2012 at 9:06pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2012 at 4:41pm
DFC90 -  Aspen PFD Integration Status Update (2 Oct 2012):

It's official.  We have STC and TSO approval for the DFC90 in Cessna 182s with the Aspen PFD.  This is the first certification of the DFC90 with the Aspen PFD.
Steve Jacobson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stevea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2012 at 5:13pm
Jake - to confirm though, this will not apply to TR182's?  The turbo-normalized RG's?
 
I'm literally in the shop right now about ready to troubleshoot my STEC.  Would love to get rid of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2012 at 7:06pm
Hi Steve,

Confirmed  I'm sure that's not the news you'd like to hear now and I feel for you having to pay for STec service.

As for when, it'll have to wait until we're through our first pass of the 182, Bonanzas and Barons.  Once we've got the initial certs on those airframes, we'll take a 2nd pass and pick up additional configurations (like Turbo) and other servo support (like Century and Avidyne).

As for your earlier post, yes, the bright side is you can still do a pre-cert deposit!

We also have no program to integrate with the G500/600.  Garmin has expressed no interest in supporting that.

The same Aspen software that supports the DFC90 (v2.6) also supports and is certified to work with their ConnectedPanel.
Steve Jacobson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stevea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2012 at 7:39pm
Oh man, back of the line?  Bummer.  At least u made the Aspen / G500 decision for me.

What about a field approval?  Is that an option?  I would think the altitude envelope would be the difference so could that be placarded to prohibit anything above the non turbo or is it way more complicated than that?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tindseth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2012 at 9:48pm
Congratulations on the STC. That is a major milestone and hopefully the Bonanza and Barons will be down hill from here. Do you have any WAG or feeling for the timeline to Bonanza/Baron cert based on experience with the 182? Are we talking end of the year or 1st qtr of next? I already have the Aspen 2.6 software on mine, just need  the hardware.

Regards,

Tom Indseth
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2012 at 10:06pm
Thanks Tom,

If I recall correctly, you have a 14V V-tail but didn't have electric trim.  Is that still true?  If so, that would be a problem.

We expect the V-tail to be the first of the Beech aircraft certs we seek.  We expect to start the end-phase of that effort in a few short weeks.  If all goes well, and so far that has proved to be a big "if", that would translate to a STC approval sometime in Q4 this year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Oct 2012 at 11:39am

Reference stevea's post on 2 October, we like your thinking but unfortunately, no one we've ever dealt with or heard about in any FSDO will sign off on an autopilot field approval.  We had the same thought but hit a brick wall with that attempt.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stevea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Oct 2012 at 12:21pm
I thought that might be the case, but I saw where Aspen had provided the data in their STC (FAA approved data) to allow people to get field approvals (or attempt them) on non-approved models.  Obviously it's a different thing.  I would 100% agree if you didn't have the R182 already STC'd, but thought there might be a glimmer of hope since going from R to TR shouldn't be that big of a deal.
 
Just curious on the process though - why did you have to exclude the turbo models? 
 
Oh and goes without saying, but...  congrats on the STC!  That's a big win, and nice to see some real competition heating up and promoting new ideas and new players.  It's too bad it's such an uphill battle.  Something like this in my opinion really provides a big safety margin that is currently not available.  Flight envelope protection, straight and level button, etc.  
 
It's too bad that there isnt' a differentiation for something like this which would provide a fast track approval. 
 
Too late to run for President though.
 
Best,
 
Steve
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tindseth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2012 at 10:11am
Good memory - I will be installing the electric trim soon or concurrently with the DFC90. I have discovered the trim to be desirable now regardless of autopilot or not. As I recall in some of the earlier FAQ data, control wheel steering may or may not be available for the Bonanza/Baron. Has that been decided yet?

Thanks for the follow up. No doubt I will run in to the sales group at ABS/AOPA next week. That should be a major topic of interest for the membership.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2012 at 10:17am
Good news Tom.   Then you should be able to take the 1st Bonanza STC we do and install under that.

The DFC90 does fully support CWS so if you already have that wired in your airplane, it will just work.  If an airplane isn't wired for CWS, that's a fairly straight-forward add for those who want it. Either way, it's part of the baseline DFC90.  Was it the Ragu tagline that said "It's in there...."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2012 at 1:10pm
Is there a timeframe for the STC for the PA32 series?  I'm looking to upgrade to a glass panel and new autopilot ASAP.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PA32N3QQ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2012 at 1:26pm
What's the STC status for the DFC90 on retrofiting to 1976 PA-32  lance   -N3QQ
Currently have IIIC with AP DG. No Alt hold or pitch servo currently. No Aspen PFD yet as well.
If approved what would be required to install the DFC90 and estimated cost?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PA32N3QQ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2012 at 1:27pm
BTW; I do have electric trim
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tindseth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2012 at 4:45pm
Looking forward to the install. What is it they say about "Best equipped, best served" these days?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2012 at 8:31pm
For those of you asking about PA32 support, I've started a new thread on AvidyneLive for PA32.



Edited by AviJake - 04 Oct 2012 at 8:32pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mry110 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Oct 2012 at 2:38pm
Is the flight testing finished for the A36?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Oct 2012 at 9:44pm
Yes, we're done with A-36 characterization testing.   That means we have a TSO-ready autopilot model for the A-36.

As a side note, we now have full autopilot models for all three variants of the Bonanza (33, 35, 36) and both main variants of the Baron (55, 58).   We are now transitioning to certifying those autopilot software models.  It'll take a few months to get them all STC'd.  We're starting with the V-tail Bonanzas.
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