July 27, 2013 - Editor's Note: Each year at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, new and innovative ways to use the latest technology in designing, building, and flying aircraft are among the event's greatest attractions. Whether you want an update on solar-powered aircraft, are looking for the lightest and strongest material with which to build a wing spar, or simply want advice on how to use your iPad in the cockpit, you came to the right place.
Recognizing that some of the latest tech developments can be difficult to find at each year's show, AirVenture Today is inaugurating a new daily column dedicated to highlighting some of what our staff thinks are the latest, most-innovative, high-tech solutions to aviation-related challenges. We plan to focus each day's installment on a particular type of technology, like portable tablet apps or unconventional powerplants.
This installment focuses on developments in panel-mounted avionics for experimentals.
For experimental & LSA panels
Dynon & Advanced Flight Systems
For more than a decade, Dynon Avionics and Advanced Flight Systems (AFS) have been at the forefront of innovative and feature-packed avionics for experimental aircraft. Now, with the recently announced acquisition of AFS by Dynon, the two companies' products will be under one corporate umbrella.
Advanced Flight Systems, founded in 1999 by current President Rob Hickman, will continue to offer its line of full-featured engine and aircraft monitoring products. Dynon, also, will continue its product line, saying it is committed "to developing innovative and high-quality avionics integrating the newest technology as it develops at affordable prices for all pilots."
So far, the only announced casualty involving the two companies' management structures and product offerings was a previously announced collaboration between AFS and TruTrak; that will not move forward. AFS will, however, continue to support TruTrak autopilots.
Garmin GTR 200
At what some might consider the other end of the avionics manufacturing spectrum, Garmin International last week announced its GTR 200 panel-mounted comm radio for experimental and light-sport aircraft. The company said its new 10-watt radio features advanced auto-squelch, a two-place stereo intercom, stereo music input, alert inputs and on-screen frequency identification, among others. The GTR 200 is tightly integrated with Garmin's G3X glass flight display and compatible products, including standby frequency selection. The company said optional switches, typically installed on the flight controls, will "allow pilots to keep their hands on the controls while performing functions like swapping active and standby frequencies."
Also, the GTR 200 stores up to 20 pilot-defined frequencies as well as the 20 most recent ones used for easy retrieval. The radio comes with a standard-density 37 pin connector and supports both 14 and 28 volt aircraft, and 25 kHz channel spacing.
The GTR 200 is anticipated to be available in August for an expected street price of $1,199.
PS Engineering's PAR200
Also newly announced is PS Engineering's PAR200, a certified, full-featured audio panel that doubles as a control head for a remote-mounted 760-channel comm radio from Trig Avionics. In addition to controlling and selecting a pilot's communications, the PAR200 includes a four-place stereo IntelliVox intercom with Bluetooth interconnectivity and a 10-watt speaker amplifier. Telephone calls are accommodated by allowing the pilot only, front-seaters only, or all occupants to participate.
The PAR200 also has fully independent power supplies so you can power up the remote-mounted radio or audio panel individually. The new offering uses the same tray and connector as the GMA 240, GMA 340, and PMA8000 series of audio panels. Its list price is $2,995.