Avidyne Brings Atlas FMS to Part 25 Jets

The company’s proven integrated flight deck technology steps into the console.

Avidyne Atlas FMS units
The Atlas FMS units fit the console-driven form factor within jets such as this Hawker.Avidyne

Avidyne has announced the debut of its Atlas Flight Management System for Part 25 certificated aircraft, bringing its integrated flight deck (IFD) technology into jets utilizing a console layout in the cockpit. The system makes its debut at NBAA on October 21-24, 2019, with certification expected in 2020.

The multifunction FMS combines a range of features in the single-box, dzus-mounted design. Flying spoke with Avidyne president and CEO Dan Schwinn to understand more about the philosophy behind the step up from last year's debut of the IFD into Cessna Citation 525 models. "We're a new entrant in the turbine FMS market, but the technology is very mature, very stable," said Schwinn. While it's not plug-and-play, the design is made for an elegant installation, to help achieve Avidyne's objectives of providing a lower-cost system with a lower-cost installation as compared to other FMS in its class.

Schwinn also foresees lower operational costs, in part because the chart/data subscription includes a license for use on an accompanying tablet as well. This reflects the fact that many pilots flying jets in this class use an iPad to complement the legacy FMS installed in the aircraft. Atlas integrates fully with applications such as ForeFlight, offering a fairly seamless transfer of flight plans into the unit. Jeppesen approach plates and airport diagrams display on the map screen, with a geo-referenced own-ship and flight-plan overlay. Because the subscription includes the iPad license, the system becomes a true backup.

Avidyne recognizes that a lot of aircraft operators in this market have prepared for the ADS-B Out requirement in a compliance-only manner, by upgrading the aircraft transponder, adding WAAS antenna, and flying mount GPS/WAAS receiver—but obtain no other benefit. "We think that those type of operators are really good candidates for [Atlas], because they already [installed] the WAAS antenna…and the transponder—we have interfaces with virtually all the transponders—and they can put this in and get the benefits of having SBAS approaches."

The units can be installed in pairs, or in conjunction with the company’s panel-mount IFD multifunction displays to make sense in tighter cockpit installations. Options include an integrated 16-watt VHF nav/com, giving one transmit and two receiving functions, along with VOR/ILS capability—or radar, or TAWS-B. Wireless connectivity comes with the unit, including WiFi, Bluetooth, and USB ports on the unit’s face.

Pricing is set at $45,000 per unit, with option pricing to come. Schwinn looks forward to NBAA to get feedback from operators and pilots on the new Atlas.