Aspen Adds New Products; Upgrades Software

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Aspen Avionics bundled a number of announcements and began releasing the information at last week's Aircraft Electronics Association show, also here in Florida. The beat continued this week at Sun 'n Fun with more announcements from the prolific Albuquerque-based company. Two years after launching its product line, Aspen reports that more than 2,600 of its systems are flying. Company founder and president John Uczekaj said the company expects to grow by 50 percent this year, with new products addressing new markets.

First on the list is the latest software upgrade to Version 2.2. It adds the full suite of AeroNav charts and geo-referenced airport diagrams and a new map panning function with improved info selection capability. Aspen plans to add a synthetic vision option in the first quarter of next year, priced at $2,995. The system was on display at Sun 'n Fun. Two more important new products, expected to be available in July, include the EFD1000C3 Pro PFD for larger Class III aircraft (6,000 to 12,500 pounds), and the EA100 autopilot attitude interface. The EFD1000C3 opens an entirely new market segment for Aspen. The EA100, priced at $2,495, performs the digital/analog conversion necessary to interface with attitude-based autopilots. The unit will be compatible with autopilots from King, Century, ARC, Sperry and Collins.

Before the end of this year, Aspen expects to add engine monitoring for its multifunction displays. It will be compatible with RS 232 output and is a $495 upgrade. Also by the end of this year, Aspen expects to release a version of its display as a backup for glass panels to replace mechanical gauges. The unit is essentially an Aspen EFD1000 display laid on its side with the ADI and HSI displays turned 90 degrees in a side-by-side configuration. Versions of the backup display will start at under $10,000, and the 30-minute backup battery adds still more redundancy to owners' panels.

Finally, Aspen outlined a series of economic incentives, including the following product bundles: Evolution 1500 — an EFD1000 Pro PFD and an EFD500 MFD for $14,995; Evolution 2000 — an EFD1000 Pro PFD and an EFD1000 MFD priced at $17,990; and Evolution 2500 — an EFD1000 Pro PFD, an EFD1000 MFD and an MFD500 priced at $22,895. To further stimulate business, Aspen is temporarily offering rebates of $1,000 on the Evolution 1500 package; $2,000 on the Evolution 2000 package; and $3,000 on the Evolution 2500 package. There are also $500 rebates on individual sales of EFD1000s and MFD1000s.