Avidyne Debuts Vantage Flight Deck for Entegra-Equipped Cirrus Aircraft

The 12-inch PFD and MFD in the Avidyne Vantage suite replace legacy Entegra avionics in older Cirrus piston singles. Avidyne

The latest hardware release from Avidyne brings the company back to an innovative platform through which it changed the game two decades ago: the Cirrus SR20 and SR22 equipped with the first large-format primary and multifunction flight displays for light aircraft. The first Avidyne Entegra PFDs introduced pilots to the wide horizon line, granting them intuitive attitude assessment—and the multifunction displays offered the ability to see GPS-driven moving maps in grand scale, along with digital engine indications and checklists.

On July 21, Avidyne announced its new avionics suite, the Vantage flight deck. With certification expected by 2022, Avidyne is aiming at the aftermarket, with the first round of certification poised for Cirrus aircraft, as owners of those Entegra-equipped SR20s and SR22s delivered in 2002 to 2008 have been asking for the ability to update their panels. Eventually, Avidyne expects to expand the product line into more airplane models, and helicopters as well. Following the aftermarket, the company plans to work with OEMs on factory installation, and also with advanced air mobility manufacturers.

“This is our marquee product announcement,” said Dan Schwinn, in an interview with Flying. “This is based on a brand-new hardware platform that’s the third generation of our display system. We decided that the generation of Cirruses that had our original Entegras was a good place to start. The oldest of those displays is 20 years old. We actually have no end in sight for our support for them, so it’s not like people can’t keep using them—but some people want to upgrade to the newest, latest, greatest.”

The Cirrus single-engine piston line is unique in that its instrument panel is unimpeded by a panel-mounted control yoke or wheel—the sidestick helps free up a lot of real estate on the panel itself. Combined with the placement of the Avidyne IFD series GPS nav/coms in the central pedestal, the new Vantage’s 12-inch screens fit neatly into the models targeted by the first release of the hardware. With roughly 4,000 aircraft that are candidates for the Vantage initially, the new flight deck is likely to gain good traction.

The XGA displays themselves are a distinct level up from legacy systems, with much improved brightness and clarity, as well as processor speeds. On the PFD installation, 3D synthetic vision comes standard and can be viewed on the MFD installation in a full reversionary mode. A hybrid touch user interface—which means you can use the touchscreen for given functions, or physical knobs and buttons on the display bezel. The page-and-tab interface keeps the menu structure shallow, so a pilot is less likely to drown in a cascading feature well. An AHRS in each display unit offers redundancy, and the system can use the existing aircraft magnetometer.

According to the press release, “The Vantage MFD will provide full and split screen displays of maps and flight plans, Jeppesen approach charts and airport diagrams, multiple user configurations, editable datablocks, checklists, and will share much of the same operational user interface as the popular IFD550/540/440 FMS/ GPS/ NAV/ COM systems. Avidyne Vantage will interface with existing engine instruments and SIU for engine instruments displayed on the Vantage MFD, or with newer DAUs that add primary engine instruments displayed on the Vantage PFD.” The system also integrates “tightly” with the DFC90 autopilot, according to Schwinn.

The introductory price per display is $12,500 with an Entegra core trade-in, and Avidyne anticipates a dual-display installation in those aircraft. Those wishing to be at the head of the list can make a reservation now.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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