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DFC100 Availability Update

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AviJake View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 Oct 2010 at 4:00pm
Quick schedule note for DFC100 availability: 

Mike's post on the R9 insider page is still accurate.  (See http://avidynelive.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=107&title=dfc100-release-92-and-synthetic-vision) .  We recently experienced something that doesn't happen often - the FAA has just agreed to move up their evaluation by 1 week.  For those with an understanding of cert activities, this means that TIA is now scheduled for the week of 1 Nov instead of the original 8 Nov date.  This is very good news.     

Pilot program participants have already been selected and they are having their aircraft modified next week to add inputs for flap position and byteflight wiring to the autopilot tray.   This will give us more real-world data points for installation time estimates that we will pass along via FAQs.

The objective of the DFC100 pilot program will be to ensure any installation challenges are prevented for full-rate installations.   I expect that to last on the order of days, not weeks.


BTW, an updated set of DFC90 and DFC100 FAQs is under works and should be posted soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 2010 at 12:02pm
The FAA had some internal scheduling conflicts and had to push back TIA to be the week of 15 November.  This was  a frustrating turn of events for us but we've been working with the FAA on all the other non-flight test elements of the certification program to minimize the end-game cert approval following their final flight test.


We have shuttled the airplane from our Florida location to our Massachusetts location to support the FAA flight test and will update this thread with test results by the end of the week.

When we are through FAA flight test and are confident in the impending certification, I will post the updated set of FAQs and provide links to the Pilot Guide.

We've also been able to largely complete the pilot program prior to certification being received by conducting the requisite harness and wiring mods to the pilot aircraft.  We are using the information learned in this effort to update installation instructions accordingly so that full rate installations will proceed as smoothly and quickly as possible.

Assuming certification is received NLT mid-December, we expect to be able to completely fill the existing installation backlog by January of 2011.


Edited by BigDaddyJake - 13 Nov 2010 at 12:05pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2010 at 8:36am
Avidyne did successfully complete TIA testing with the FAA yesterday, 19 November.   This was the final set of flight tests the FAA had to conduct prior to certification.   All of the features and performance in the system were accepted without change.  There is no more FAA evaluation of the system required.

On/about Monday, 22 November, we will communicate the extra features in DFC100 Release 1.   We have been silent on the new features above/beyond R9 integration and VNAV until we were certain they would be approved  by the FAA. 

Now that we are through TIA testing, all that is left before certification is issued is for the FAA to pour through the final TSO paperwork submitted by Avidyne.   Technically, the FAA has 30 days to provide comments or findings against that paperwork.   Typically, that takes a lot less time but we can not make any promises at this time.     The good news is that it is strictly a paperwork exercise from here on out and there is no technical or certification risk.   The bad news is that we can't tell if this is a 5 day exercise or 30 day exercise.
Steve Jacobson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turrisi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2010 at 9:01am
Great news Jake! Have more questions now about the next phase: Syn Vis. How far from Hanscom field is that tower in the picture you published?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2010 at 9:06am
That tower is near Sudbury MA.  It's about 12-15 miles west-soutwest from Hanscom.

We've converted N753CD to a full-time SynVis test platform now.   We've also got the FAA coming to our Massachusetts office on 30 Nov for a full review of our SynVis system.   There are reps from the Small Aircraft Directorate, our local ACO, Human Factors experts and pilot reps from the FAA n that group.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turrisi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2010 at 10:01am
I asked because the current TAWS inhibits obstacle warning within 5 miles of an airport. I see that area as the most vulnerable for an obstacle collision. How will the Avidyne Syn Vis address this/
Brian
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2010 at 10:44am
I'll wait until after the 30 Nov session with the FAA.  It's one of the things that we are going to discuss getting a regulation deviation for.   We agree that obstacles within 5 miles of an airport ought to be highlighted if they really are a threat to a given aircraft position.  We think we have a solution but it's one of the things we need to get FAA blessing on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turrisi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2010 at 5:42pm
That would be great if the change were made. Is the syn vis also going to incorporate HITS technology (Highway In The Sky)?
Brian
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2010 at 5:47pm
We'll start a SVS thread over in the R9 section of this forum shortly.

As for HITS, what I will say is that is the first thing I worked on when I joined Avidyne 10 years ago.  We actually wrote the MOPS (standards) for it so as a company, it is fair to say we know a lot about HITS - the uses, the performance, the implementation, the visual depictions, etc.   I don't plan to tip our hand on the HITS story just yet.  Sorry for the non-answer but I don't think you'll be disappointed with our solution.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2010 at 12:34pm
DFC100 Cert Update:  As of 17 Dec, we're still waiting on TSO/STC.  The FAA has been methodically and meticulously pouring through the volumes of submitted material.  When questions arise, we instantly resolve them and wait for the next series of questions.  I'm not able to predict with high enough confidence when this exercise will be complete.  We, of course, are extremely anxious to be through it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2010 at 11:49am
DFC100 Cert Update:  As of 21 Dec, we're still waiting on TSO/STC.   We just learned this morning from the FAA that due to a combination of personnel changes, holiday and vacation schedules and most importantly, a minimum of three unrelated Continued Operational Safety (COS) issues that have popped up elsewhere, it is unlikely approval will happen prior to the New Year.   COS issues always trump everything else as the FAA appropriately puts high priority safety issues first. We have no visibility into the magnitude or impact of these COS issues and therefore can not accurately predict a cert date for our DFC100/Release 9.2 system.

We remain in close contact with the FAA and there are no known outstanding issues preventing cert.   This is a real case of managing frustration and exercising patience.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2011 at 8:39am
DFC100 Cert Update:   As of 13 Jan, we're still waiting on TSO/STC.    There are no known show stoppers at all.  The new set of FAA personnel responsible for the approval are still grinding away on the paperwork as they try to get their heads around the products and supporting cert material.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviMike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jan 2011 at 12:53pm
We are still waiting for the FAA to approve the DFC100 and Release 9.2 paperwork that we submitted 2 months ago. 


Edited by BigDaddyJake - 22 Jan 2011 at 8:33am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jan 2011 at 8:39am
DFC100 Cert Update:  As of 21 Jan, we are still waiting for the FAA.  We are more frustrated than anyone with this unusual delay.  Avidyne has elevated the issue with FAA Management this past week and we expect some positive developments in the near future.

This site remains the best location to check for updates.  

The minute we do receive FAA approval we will communicate that in many ways (direct emails, dealer E-bulletins, email blasts, Twitter, AvidyneLive, press releases, online reporting, etc).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2011 at 6:36pm
DFC100 Cert Update:  As of 26 Jan, we are still waiting for the FAA.   We talk with them  every day, yet no breakthroughs.   We are very plugged into the frustration in the field over these delays and understand the inconvenience, sometimes severe, that our customers are experiencing over this.  We have communicated that situation very clearly to the FAA in the hope that it will push this across the line.

This is an unprecedented (in Avidyne's history) delay on the part of the FAA.  We hope it isn't the new norm.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 2011 at 10:14am
DFC100 Cert Update:  As of 31 Jan, we are still waiting for the FAA.  The FAA has promised an update later today that may indicate when they will grant STC/TSO.  We hope they follow through with  that promise and provide some positive news.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2011 at 8:58am

DFC100 Cert Update:  As of 2 Feb, we are still waiting on the FAA.  They have told us to expect the TSO/STC approval for the autopilot this week BUT, they don't expect to approve the supporting R9 (Rel 9.2) software this week.  They have promised to finish their review of the last document on the 9.2 side by Friday 4 Feb.  We will have a much better idea of the 9.2 cert when we get those (if any) comments.

Note that without the accompanying R9.2 TSO/STC, there is no sense in shipping the autopilot since it needs 9.2 software to work.


Edited by AviJake - 02 Feb 2011 at 8:59am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2011 at 11:59am

DFC100 Cert Update:  We have partial approval for the DFC100/9.2 combined release.  We received notice from the FAA today (4 Feb 2011) that the DFC100 part of this project is complete.   This approval is for the autopilot exactly as it was tested and submitted back in November 2010.  We view this as a necessary and positive step forward in the drawn out process but we’re not done yet.

We still do not have TSO/STC approval yet for the required R9.2 IFD software.  As noted in a previous entry in this thread, the DFC100 needs that supporting software to work. The FAA has given us another new date as to when we should expect any additional feedback - Monday, 7 Feb.

Therefore, we are still not in a position to ship the DFC100 autopilots.


Edited by AviJake - 05 Feb 2011 at 12:00pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2011 at 6:13am
DFC100 Cert Update:  After more than 2.5 months, we finally received the last of the FAA comments on the final document late yesterday afternoon (7 Feb 2011).  As noted in an earlier thread, the FAA had already officially concluded the DFC100 side of the certification efforts and this last document was for the supporting R9.2 software.  We've had a chance to review all these comments and believe we'll be able to submit updates to the document by COB 8 Feb.  While we're extraordinarily frustrated by the unprecedented delays on the part of the FAA, we are very pleased that the required changes by the FAA were contained to a single non-user document.  No hardware or software or user document needed to be altered in any way from the mid-November submission.

The FAA has told us that nothing else stands in the way of full certification beyond this one document.  They are aware of the number of customers eagerly awaiting the delivery of their new autopilots and R9 software.  We hope, and expect, the FAA will place a high priority on completing their re-review and certification sign-off when we deliver the updated document later today.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2011 at 9:50am
DFC100 Cert Update:  As of late in day, on 8 Feb 2011, we did submit our complete response to the FAA comments on that last document.  We know as of the morning of 9 Feb, the FAA is actively reviewing our submitted comments.   The head of the local ACO office has made this review the top priority in his office.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote guidroz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2011 at 12:21pm
Thanks For the updates Jake
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2011 at 12:51pm
You bet Garett.   This saga has been *very* frustrating.  

I've been flying this autopilot nearly daily for months.  I suspect you're going to love it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2011 at 7:40pm
DFC100 Cert Update:  As of the end of the day on 11 Feb,  we are still waiting.     We had a detailed meeting with the FAA and we think we understand every "inch stone" remaining in the FAA sign off process.   None result in any code or system changes in any way.

Nothing is certain but it feels like we're a few days away from the official finish line, using the FAA's own words and assessment.   I hope that the next update is a "We're certified" statement.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 2011 at 10:23am
DFC100 Cert Update:  As of 14 Feb, we are still waiting.  The FAA has requested yet another series of changes to the same R9.2 non-user cert document.  The scope of the requested document changes are expected to take approximately 2 days on our end.   At that point, the FAA re-review of the document will be conducted.

Based on this new development, it is hard to envision FAA approval anytime prior to end of this calendar week.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MASYC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 2011 at 4:08pm
So close, and yet so far!  :(
 
We will keep watching, and the updates are great.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2011 at 9:17am

DFC100 Cert Update:  As of the end of the day on 16 Feb, Avidyne had submitted the latest FAA-requested change to the single R9.2 cert doc.  We know the FAA is reviewing it today (17 Feb) and we hope to hear something very soon but no promises or estimates have been supplied by the FAA.


Edited by AviJake - 17 Feb 2011 at 9:18am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2011 at 7:04pm

DFC100 Cert Update:   As of the end of 18 Feb, we are still waiting on the FAA.  We are told they found the updated submission satisfactory but we still do not have the official signed approval.    Monday is a federal holiday so we look to be still a few calendar days away.


Edited by AviJake - 18 Feb 2011 at 7:04pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turrisi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 2011 at 7:45am
WEll, it has only been 3 months. What's another month or 2 to the FAA?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 2011 at 2:46pm
DFC100 Cert Update:  As of 23 Feb, we are STILL waiting on the FAA.  We have been unable to determine what the holdup is since it's been awaiting the final official signature since Friday.  We are planning for a face-to-face meeting Thursday morning to try and learn more.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evanevery Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2011 at 9:49am
OK Guys...  Thursday has come and gone...  What is the status report from your face-to-face meeting with the FAA yesterday?

(Thanks)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2011 at 9:58am
We have received our official TSO Approval from the FAA today for the IFD software to go along with the already received DFC100 TSO and STC approval.  While the TSO approval for IFD is great news, we are still waiting on the accompanying STC approval that allows us to remove a limitation concerning use of VNAV.    Without the accompanying STC, we are not able to provide a clean installation.  We know the FAA is actively processing this final STC but we don’t have a good sense yet if this is a matter of hours or days away.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evanevery Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2011 at 2:37pm
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

(Sounds of wimpering)

So, whats it going to be AFTER that?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2011 at 3:46pm

The combination of R9 and DFC100 is now certified and ready for customer shipping and installation!

Now for a little more color.   The R9 software release, specifically identified as R9.2.1, can be loaded in the IFDs and the accompanying DFC100 autopilot installed in the airplane under the approval we received today from the FAA with the following limitation in the DFC100 POH Supplement: 

VNAV must be disengaged during departures, arrivals, and approach procedures unless the altitudes displayed for every leg of the procedure are consistent with the corresponding chart.  Reference Avidyne Service Information Letter 606-00083-009.  

While the piloting technique identified in the above limitation is always a good technique, R9.2.1 specifically ensures that this will be the case.  It is a long and confusing story to explain why the 9.2.1/DFC100 combination of software solves this problem yet still has the governing limitation, but suffice it to say, the paperwork just hasn’t caught up with the delivered software.

This limitation will go away upon FAA signature of an amended STC for the R9 system and the DFC100 system.   These STC amendments are undergoing FAA processing at this time but we do not have a good understanding if this effort will be hours, days, or weeks long.  When the amended STCs are signed off by the FAA, to lift the limitation, an owner will need to ensure the airplane is brought to an approved service center where the updated STC paperwork can be added to the aircraft logs and updated POH supplements (without the limitation) can be inserted in the aircraft POH.

For those customers who are eager to get their DFC100 installed immediately and can tolerate the published limitation, please contact Reid Antonacchio directly at rantonacchio@avidyne.com or +1 239-249-0414 to identify the desired shop and schedule an installation date/time.

For those customers who would prefer to wait until the limitation is removed and make only a single trip to an installation shop, we will broadcast the news of the amended STCs as soon as we have them.

Depending on the configuration of your aircraft and the experience level of the selected shop, the estimated labor hours for the upgrade is approximately 8-12 hours.  This includes the wiring of the flap position signal into the autopilot tray, installation of the DFC100, upgrading the IFDs to R9.2.1, the post-installation checkout and accompanying paperwork sign-off.

I don’t need to repeat how unusually long and frustrating this certification effort has been, but I’m sure you will be thrilled to have this terrific autopilot front and center in your cockpit.  Thank you for your purchase and your patience.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviJake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2011 at 11:43am
8 March 2011 Update - As of 5 minutes ago, we've just received word from the FAA that we have the 9.2.1 TSO and STC approval.  That means the limitation identified above is no longer valid - it has been removed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turrisi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2011 at 11:55am
Fantastic! A long process finally completed. Thanks for keeping us informed on this.
Brian
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