Esterline CMC Electronics’ SmartDeck integrated avionics system has its first OEM customer after Evektor of the Czech Republic this week announced the cockpit’s selection aboard the multipurpose EV-55 Outback twin turboprop.
SmartDeck has had a long gestation, starting out in the mid 1990s as a project begun by Goodrich. The cockpit system has been improved over the years, and almost ended up as a factory option in Cirrus models when L-3 Avionics acquired the system, until Garmin won the business instead. L-3 subsequently sold the FAA-certified SmartDeck system to CMC Electronics, based in Montreal, which has expertise with military and airline avionics.
“We are delighted that Evektor, the highly respected Czech aircraft manufacturer, has selected our SmartDeck integrated cockpit for their new Outback aircraft,” said Greg Yeldon, president of Esterline CMC Electronics. “Flexibility is at the core of our design philosophy and we look forward to working with Evektor and supporting their evolving needs.”
Under development for military and civilian applications, The EV-55 features a large and flexible cabin, offering a variety of configurations that range from nine- to 14-passenger versions and an all-cargo layout. The airplane is designed to operate from short, unpaved strips in hot and high-altitude airport conditions. With a projected price of $2.2 million, the EV-55 is positioned as a competitor to the Cessna Caravan. First deliveries are expecte in late 2014 or early 2015.
A prototype of the new Evektor EV-55 turboprop made its first flight from Kunovice airport in the Czech Republic last June 24. Evektor will offer the aircraft in several versions: passenger transport, cargo transport, a combined version with space for cargo in the cabin forward section and passenger seating in the rear, as well as search and rescue and surveillance versions for military applications.