ARNAV/Avidyne Screen Resolution

I agree completely with the “critical mass” notion: That there must be enough of a market to justify the R&D, etc.
I just think that argument works against Cirrus. Even with a huge production rate increase, a booming economy, and astounding corporate success, it would take decades for Cirri to outnumber all those other aircraft out there - many of them older and thus prime for upgrades. Better to produce a one-size-fits-all item that can be retrofitted in vast numbers, than produce a niche product for the Cirrus. Heck, the last time I checked, Arnav wouldn’t sell the display to anyone else even if they wanted it (which would be unlikely given its awkward size and old technology)! So much for building a to a critical mass…

Joe

I have seen the new engine monitoring install and i am very impressed.I think wth a little more time and a plane that is quickly changing the industry,Arnav will have the incentive to provide us with whatever we want

I’m with you Joe,
If Arnav went out of business tomorrow, would Cirrus become a better or worse aircraft…?

I agree that it’s hard to be on the “bleeding” edge of technology, and easy to make a mistake there. I admire Cirrus for having the courage to venture out there. However, I don’t think the more traditional manufacturers are the complete ninnies that Cirrus devotees often portray them to be. TheyÂ’ve learned a thing or two over the years, and “more panel space = good” is one of them. Virtually every GA manufacturer today is moving away from dolled-up panels to more utilitarian ones. Compare the panel of an older Saratoga to a new one, same thing for Mooney, Beech, Commander, and to a lesser extent Cessna (since they were never much into fancy panels in the first place). Even Socata had abandoned its cosmetic panel trim to make it more installer-friendly. TheyÂ’ve learned that pilots want the latest gadgets, and thereÂ’s money to be made selling them. Win-win. And with the half-life of the latest toys getting shorter and shorter, anything permanent will be obsolete very quickly indeed.

Finally, your argument about hole-cutting being obsolete would be much more persuasive if Cirrus had provided an improved alternative. So far they haven’t and, worse, don’t seem to be much concerned about it.

Cirrus is a good company that produce good (very good) airplanes. But they are a company, not a religion, and even Cirrus can occasionally make a mistake.

Perhaps Cirrus has some great and wonderful plan unknowable by us mortals for solving this problem. Perhaps we should just have faith. I’d prefer dialogue.

Cheers,

Joe

Joe, I think Cirrus has believed from the beginning that cutting holes in the panel for more gauges is an obsolete concept.They are the only company that had the guts to move G.A. forward, and information from one large screen is part of that thinking.I beleive Arnav also put a lot of faith in Cirrus and the hope that they would be the ones that could sell enough planes to make further software development worth the effort.I have seen the new engine monitoring install and i am very impressed.I think wth a little more time and a plane that is quickly changing the industry,Arnav will have the incentive to provide us with whatever we want

Joe, I affably disagree, and let me explain why

They’ve learned a thing or two over the years, and “more panel space = good” is one of them.<
I’d modify by saying: “More panel space=good, according to some people’s tastes.”

As you’ve made clear, you personally would like to have lots more space for lots more dials and gadgets on the panel. Many people are in this camp, and they will resist parts of Cirrus’s approach. But Cirrus made a deliberate decision to embrace a different approach – as you mentioned in a different context, like the Macintosh’s approach, versus the original PC. I well recall when the Mac first came out, many tech writers (including me!) complained that it took too many controls out of the sophiscated user’s hands. Where were all the CONFIG files? What about disk caching? How can I load my suite of TSR programs?
By my lights, at the time, I was right – I could more completely control the details of my PC’s operation by sophiscated use of the various DOS commands. In retrospect, I wish I’d gone down the Mac road, but I didn’t. My point here is: Cirrus has made a choice, and it’s one that doesn’t suit you – and that’s fine, that’s why you decided to buy a different airplane. But to argue that their choice is “wrong” because it’s not to your taste is like my going onto the Mac User’s boards in the mid 1980s and saying, “This approach is wrong because it doesn’t let me use Sidekick and other TSR utilities. Where are the config files? Experienced users want them!” Some experienced users did; other users didn’t. Let’s let the market evolve and sort this out.

(Disclosure: at the end of the “practical prospects for Cirrus” chapter in my book, I explicity compare its potential to Apple’s. That is, for a variety of reasons it may have trouble becoming a truly mass supplier. The niche it’s aiming for may be most like the Mac’s – well suited to some people’s taste, and not to others.)

To say it again, we all understand that, in the free market, you personally have decided to vote with your dollars for a different kind of airplane. Fine! Consumer choice makes products evolve. But other people’s tastes may differ from yours. Another example: you pointed out recently that, to you, big screens are not necessarily better. Fine! Having actually used the big-screen in the Cirrus for a long time, I like its size. Neither of us is right or wrong. We each should act on our own tastes and not assume that a company is out of it for addressing tastes different from ours.

Finally, your argument about hole-cutting being obsolete would be much more persuasive if Cirrus had provided an improved alternative. So far they haven’t and, worse, don’t seem to be much concerned about it.<

As I’ve made clear, I think that either ARNAV has to get a lot better, faster, or Cirrus needs to offer alterantives. Otherwise the market will pass it by. But neither you nor I knows right now what dealings Cirrus is having with Arnav or what “concern” it’s expressing. If Cirrus doesn’t come up with a better alternative fairly soon – via Arnav, or via someone else – that will be a sign that they’ve really fallen behind. But that would also be out of character with their adaptive ability over the last half dozen years.

In affability, jf

The niche that Cirrus is aiming for may be a new market altogether: new pilots who won’t buy old planes. They may be gambling that this niche is bigger than the crop of existing enthusiasts. I’ll go out on a limb with a prediction: Cirrus’ next major offering will be an all-glass cockpit that takes them even further from traditional markets. And it won’t be ARNAV.

I sure hope so!

The niche that Cirrus is aiming for may be a new market altogether: new pilots who won’t buy old planes. They may be gambling that this niche is bigger than the crop of existing enthusiasts. I’ll go out on a limb with a prediction: Cirrus’ next major offering will be an all-glass cockpit that takes them even further from traditional markets. And it won’t be ARNAV.

The niche that Cirrus is aiming for may be a new market altogether: new pilots who won’t buy old planes. They may be gambling that this niche is bigger than the crop of existing enthusiasts. I’ll go out on a limb with a prediction: Cirrus’ next major offering will be an all-glass cockpit that takes them even further from traditional markets. And it won’t be ARNAV.

Gary, Cirrus will sell any plane to any pilot and do it with a smile! They seem to have found a diverse base of buyers (not a niche) including quite a few low time pilots (<200 hours) and manyvery sophisticated pilots including those who fly for a living.

They have designed and built a plane that is all-in-all, very simple to fly, but presents good functionality for the very skilled as well.

The SR20/22’s clearly perform better than any other plane in their cost class and cost less than any plane in their performance class. (Only the Lancair Columbia 300 and the Diamond DA4-180 are close.)

One downside of ‘making it easy to fly’ is that it may make the less experienced comfortable when they should not be. But it is difficult to blmae Cirrus for this. Each and every pilot is personally responsible for their owngo/no go decision, and the company cannot stop a pilot from taking off in conditions beyond their skills.

The V tail Bonanza eaned a repurtation as a 'forked tail doctor killer for just this reason. Pilots with more money than skill were buying and flying very capable planes in conditions beyond their abilities.

Marty

Nice reply, Jim. Really. But never at a loss for argument, let me comment…

[Your Apple comments]
Regarding the Apple argument, I agree that the Apple GUI proved to be vastly superior to DOS – that’s not my argument. My argument has to do with closed vs open architecture, not DOS vs GUI. GUI won, sure, but not Apple. Why? Because their “my way or the highway” philosophy doomed them to a niche market. (Even today Steven Jobs obsesses over the molecular properties of his computer’s plastic cases, for God’s sake! I don’t think many computer types really care, do you? (The NeXT had a pretty slick box too…) There’s plenty of GUI-like modernity in the products from UPSAT and Avidyne…
(Disclosure: at the end of the “practical prospects for Cirrus” chapter in my book, I explicity compare its potential to Apple’s. That is, for a variety of reasons it may have trouble becoming a truly mass supplier. The niche it’s aiming for may be most like the Mac’s – well suited to some people’s taste, and not to others.)
I really should read your book. I absolutely agree with you here, if I just modify your last sentance to say “suited to a new minority of aviation enthusiasts, but not the majority.”

Another example: you pointed out recently that, to you, big screens are not necessarily better. Fine! Having actually used the big-screen in the Cirrus for a long time, I like its size.
Jim we agree here!! All other things being equal, I think bigger is better too! But all other things are not equal, not by a long shot. Sure, the Arnav’s features may be may be “good enough” but remember that “better” is the enemy of “good enough” …and it’s a formidable foe!

Neither of us is right or wrong. We each should act on our own tastes and not assume that a company is out of it for addressing tastes different from ours.

Again I think you miss my point. Our tastes are the same. I LIKE big! I’d just like a better big. After all, wouldn’t you like your larger display to look more like an Apple G4’s than an IBM 8086 running DOS (which is precisely what it looks like)?

As I’ve made clear, I think that either ARNAV has to get a lot better, faster, or Cirrus needs to offer alterantives. Otherwise the market will pass it by. But neither you nor I knows right now what dealings Cirrus is having with Arnav or what “concern” it’s expressing.

Again the religious argument: Have faith, Brother.

If Cirrus doesn’t come up with a better alternative fairly soon – via Arnav, or via someone else – that will be a sign that they’ve really fallen behind. But that would also be out of character with their adaptive ability over the last half dozen years.

As opposed to the last dozen months.

In affability, jf

Yours in faith, :wink:

Joe

One more thought…
Your arguments seem to be to be converging gently and subtly on this: “Joe, wouldn’t you be more comfortable on another board? One perhaps where you’d find more of “your kind” of people?”
Jim, IÂ’d agree in a minute if it were not for the fact that most people on this board seem to share my displeasure with Cirrus and Arnav on this issue. You are the one who seems to be in the minority on this issue, even here.
If Cirrus made a business choice to attract a “certain type” of buyer who doesn’t want to be bothered by the “inner works and hidden mechanisms” of their computer (oops!) airplane, then why aren’t they all just as happy as clams?

Joe