Honeywell, Aspen Team Up Against Garmin

KSN 770 navigator due by year end.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. If you really can't beat them, find a friend who can at least help you score a few body blows. That appears to be the belated strategy of Honeywell, which has enlisted Aspen Avionics of Albequerque, New Mexico, to complete the development and certification of the Bendix/King KSN 770, an all-in-one navcom with WAAS GPS receiver that is intended to compete with Garmin's newly introduced GTN 600 and 700 series touch-screen navigators, announced last week at the AEA Convention in Reno, Nevada. The big news from Honeywell at AEA was that the KSN 770 will also feature a touch screen, measuring 5.7 inches diagonally. Aspen Avionics, a small startup glass cockpit supplier that has delivered more than 4,000 products since its launch in 2004, will finish development of the KSN 770, including FAA TSO and STC approvals, which are expected by the end of the year. It remains to be seen how successful the pairing of Honeywell and Aspen will be in allowing the Bendix/King brand to compete against Garmin, but the tie up shouldn't be a surprise to longtime watchers of both companies. Aspen president and CEO John Uczekaj spent a big part of his career at Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix, in his last role as a senior executive in charge of Honeywell's Primus Epic integrated avionics platform. Aspen, meanwhile, is collaborating with Avidyne on an interface for Avidyne's DFC90 with Aspen's Evolution cockpit.