Aspen Avionics Unveils Non-TSO’d Evolution E5 Display

The electronic flight instrument is intended to compete with lower-cost, non-TSO-certified products from Garmin and Dynon.

Aspen Evolution E5
The low-cost Aspen E5 replaces failure-prone vacuum instruments.Aspen Avionics

When Garmin and Dynon Avionics in 2016 received FAA approval to sell non-TSO’d electronic flight instruments to owners of Part 23 certified airplanes, Aspen Avionics – already a company known for producing low-cost avionics – grappled with how to respond. Now we have the answer in the form of Aspen’s new Evolution E5 flight instrument, introduced this week at the Aircraft Electronics Association Convention in Las Vegas.

The Evolution E5 display consolidates traditional attitude indicator, directional gyro and course deviation indicator into a single display that retails for just under $5,000. The E5 unit also includes Global Positioning System Steering (GPSS), air-data computer and attitude heading reference system (ADAHRS), as well as a backup battery in case of loss of electrical power.

Aircraft owners can also upgrade to the Evolution E5 display and a compatible TruTrak Vizion autopilot for less than $10,000, Aspen said.

Aspen says the E5 display is brighter and more vibrant than its previous Evolution displays, while retaining its unique form factor intended to keep installation costs down. Designed as a drop-in non-TSO replacement for traditional mechanical vacuum instruments, the Evolution E5’s display is a six-inch active matrix LCD.

“Like all Aspen displays, the Evolution E5 is configurable, upgradeable, and affordable,” said John Uczekaj, Aspen’s president and CEO. “The E5 can also be upgraded to a full TSO Evolution Pro 1000 flight display through an affordable upgrade path. Unlike other standalone systems, our versatile design and open architecture allow features to be easily configured to specific flight.”

The Evolution E5 unit can be upgraded via software to a full TSO-compliant display featuring synthetic vision and angle-of-attack indicator after installation, if the buyer so chooses, for an additional cost. It will be available starting mid-year 2018.

Aspen also said that until the end of April the Evolution Pro 1000 PFD price will be reduced to $8,995 from $10,995 and the Evolution Pro Plus PFD, which includes Aspen's angle-of-attack indicator and synthetic-vision software, will be cut to $10,495 from $13,995.