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Avidyne’s “Genius Counter” Offers ADS-B Answers

By James Wynbrandt

July 20, 2015 - Got questions about ADS-B? Visit Avionics manufacturer Avidyne during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh for answers. Avidyne's display (Booth 3130; outdoor space 477) offers an “ADS-B Genius Counter," inspired by Apple’s Genius Bar. There, attendees can get equipage advice and receive a "Personalized ADS-B Recommendation" based on their aircraft usage and panel configuration.

Few issues in general aviation today arouse more interest and confusion than ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast). Avidyne’s experts provide straight talk and solution options to meeting the FAA’s 2020 equipage mandate.

“We’re doing one-on-one consulting: Bring a picture of your instrument panel, sit down, and we will talk through the options, both Avidyne and non-Avidyne,” said Dan Schwinn, Avidyne president. “We’re really trying to offer ADS-B consulting to people because this has turned out to be a tricky business.” When the consultation is complete, he explained, “We’ll provide a print out with recommendations” on equipage solutions.

Avidyne’s philosophy on ADS-B solutions, Schwinn said, is to create a family of products “that solve specific customer configuration challenges, depending on the airplane, the money (available to spend), and the functionality (desired). We’re trying to offer really simple products that solve their problems. That approach has been received favorably.”

Meanwhile, manufacturers are finally getting on the ADS-B bandwagon and product options are expanding, said Schwinn, a member of both the EAA and GAMA (General Aviation Manufacturers Association) boards. “We as an industry crossed a threshold in the first half of the year.” He also noted that the FAA’s periodic projections on ADS-B equipage levels and installation capabilities show that unless pilots and operators start upgrading soon, “there’s no way on earth 80,000 airplanes are going to get it done by 2020.”

Also available at Avidyne's its booth: training seminars for the IFD540/440, hosted by Trip Taylor of Adventure Flight Training. The seminars will focus on “showing pilots how to use the company’s new panel-mounted FMS/GPS/NAV/COMs IFDs in real-life, hard IFR situations,” Taylor said.

Avidyne also has a new version of its IFD-series PC-based simulator software for off-site training, updates with all the features of the recently-certified Release 10.1 IFD software. The sim software is available for download from Avidyne's web site.

To further enhance the utility of the new panelware, Schwinn announced the creation of a Software Developer Kit (SDK) that allows third-party developers to create applications for smartphones and portable tablet devices using the wireless data streams coming out of the IFD-series products.  

“Our open-architecture SDK makes the data stream available not only for professional app developers–several of whom we are already working with–but also for students, flight schools, and even hobbyists who want to create new and innovative solutions for the pilot community,” Schwinn said.

“From moving maps on iPads, to electronic flight logs, to fleet tracking, the possibilities are endless and we are excited to open this up to all comers.”

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