ARNAV receives FAA TSO for ICDS 2000 MFD

Just received an email from ARNAV with a PDF file containing a Nov 15 (today) press release. Describes next upgrade V920AH with hardware and software enhancements: improved display resolution, new color library, increased database capacity, elevation contours and geographic elements with color fills, Skywatch integration. They will announce price and availability early next year.

Cheers
Rick

Amazing what a little competition can do, isn’t it. Is it just coincidence that these improvements are suddenly available after last week’s developments. Curiouser and curiouser.

I was going to jump in and make a post about the same news release. The part that got my attention was:

“The [next] release will support elevation contour mapping and geographic elements in color fills resembling aviation paper charts.”

This is good news (a) for Arnav, (b) for competition in general, © in particular for the 250+ Cirrus owners with “legacy” Arnav equipment already installed.

This is good news (a) for Arnav, (b) for competition in general, © in particular for the 250+ Cirrus owners with “legacy” Arnav equipment already installed.

I question your ©. I read the anouncement and it sounds like the upgrade will be a new box. When I decide I want charts on my display it looks like I will have the choice of junking my Arnav and buying a $13,000 Avidyne or junking my Arnav and buying a different $13,000 Arnav.

Reading the Press Release, I beleive the reference to the “upgrade” including both hardware and software was intended to contrast with the free, software only upgrade to V92A0G.

While no price is quoted, and it clearly could be significant, you have postulated the “worst case” scenario - complete replacement.

Lets hope we do better than that.

And, that ARNAV is able to stay in the market to deliver.

How, exactly, are “legacy” pilots worse off because of this announcement? Six hours ago, we had only one of the two options you list. Are you seriously suggesting that Arnav’s decision at least to compete in this field is not a good sign? How would you feel if Arnav’s release had said, “We are leaving the GA market to concentrate on our military customers”?
The emergence of competition for this panel space is the best hope for having more, better products at reasonable prices.

Art,
I am hoping the way ARNAV offers the upgrade by building a pool of, say twenty-five or so, displays with the upgraded hardware and offers them on an exchange basis to current owners for some reasonable upcharge. They could then upgrade the returned units with the new hardware and send them out to others wanting to upgrade. This method would allow them to upgrade the existing units for the minimum cost.

I asked the Arnav people about the pricing issues, and got this reply:

At this point, I have no idea what the H Rev will cost. I wish it could be the same price as the “G” Rev, but free is out of the question. ARNAV has a long history of low cost upgrades to legacy products at reasonable costs. We’re not going to change that policy now. I think every ICDS owner will be pleasantly supprised.<<

We’ll see what that means when we get the details, but again the idea that Avidyne and Arnav are competing to give us a good product can only be positive news.

Folks, we have to remember, when most manufacturers come out with a ‘new’ or upgraded product, most don’t offer retrofit kits or free upgrades for existing users. Detroit was built upon that concept, and no matter how much better you may feel that foreign car manufacturers are, none offer the upgrades. Good manufacturers do offer existing customers something, and great ones offer their customers something considerable. Let’s see where Cirrus and ARNAV (& Avidyne) fall.

Now I too am a bit bummed that after a year or two complaining about the ARNAV MFD, seeing new purchasers get a better option, but as Jim said a week ago, it is like the do I buy a new PC now and have it be obsolete in 6 months, or do I wait and not have a PC for those 6 months.

As far as my choices, I’ve sprung for the ARNAV engine monitoring, so the cost and functionality of the Avidyne is way over the top. My realistic choices are to upgrade the existing ARNAV, do nothing and save my money or order a new Cirrus. (Who is the sales rep for my area?) :slight_smile: Viva la choice!

Marty

I received this response from the people at Arnav thurs nite. It sounds like it getting harder to choose between the Avidyne and Arnav. I am SR22 #155 with a late Feb arrival date. Just the right time NOT to have a chance to see and test drive either one.

Their email:

Darryl,
"It is hard to be exact in a delivery time estimate when the FAA is involved. To be on the safe side, I will say the “H” Rev will be available around April, 2002. If you take delivery of your Cirrus with the ARNAV installed prior to H Rev availability, ARNAV will upgrade you at no charge. This should be true for anyone taking delivery of an ICDS 60 days prior to an upgrade. It has been our standard policy for 20 years. We will have the interface for the Skywatch and the ARNAV WxLink in the new version along with terrain contour mapping and geographical fills like the infamous “blue lakes”. You will be able to turn on the map detail or off to declutter the screen. I really must add, that for the cost of an Avidyne, you can get an EngineView engine monitor installed for your ICDS. Improved performance, engine trending and protection, easy leaning cues, fuel saving of about 3 gallons per hour, and the safety of having automatic warnings when things go wrong is a compelling reason to choose the ICDS 2000. Good luck with your decision and good flying. "

BRGS,

Sue Hamner

ps. What’s the blue lakes reference?

ps. What’s the blue lakes reference?

I believe that is a reference about our leader Alan Klapmier (sp) stating his dissatisfaction with the display and wanting blue lakes displayed on the big screen.

Darryl: I too am very interested in the choice between ARNAV and Avidyne. To my way of thinking, the Avidyne has much greater ability to display data from a large number of sources. They have developed plug compatible radar data displays for a large number of manufacturers. On the Skywatch, I think the more important question is not whether ARNAV will display Skywatch but whether either of the two units will display Traffic Information Service (TIS) data presented by Mode-S transponder. A Mode-S transponder at about $5,000 (less your trade in on the 327 transponder that you have in your Cirrus) will provide a display equal to that of the Skywatch in the service area of all ATC radars that provide Mode-S, most of the high traffic areas in the country. I have a lot more confidence in Avidyne being able to interface to that data promptly than I do for ARNAV.

ARNAV has had to build new hardware as well as new software for the “H” revision they are talking about. The Avidyne unit operates on Windows NT and the new interfaces are apparantly just new software.

As far as engine monitoring and datalink weather are concerned, see the following email from Avidyne on 11-12-01:

"Thank you for your email. We are sending you the requested information, and I wanted to take a few minutes to answer your question not discussed in the brochure.
Future capabilities for the EX5000C will be driven by Cirrus’ requests, and their intent is to offer engine monitoring and datalink on the EX5000. Please check with Cirrus regarding availability. If it is not available by the time you take delivery of your aircraft, you can rest assured that the EX5000, like all FlightMax products, will be upgradeable as new capabilities are developed. The service provider for the datalink service is not the same as Garmin. While their service is adequate, we found our customer base needed additional capabilities and therefore are offering a customized service direct from Avidyne. It will be all-altitude, no gaps, on demand communication. This will allow our customers the ultimate in datalink service. I hope I’ve answered all your questions, and feel free to contact us anytime.

Regards,

Jamie Luster

Sales Representative"

Be sure to study all of the Avidyne web site (www.avidyne.com). There is, I believe, a considerable similarity between the EX5000C and the earlier models. Avidyne has posted the pilot operating handbooks and the flight manual supplements for their earlier products, and have posted some information on the costs for database updates and subscriptions.

I don’t think the choice is as simple as ARNAV puts it. The question is really one of which unit has the greater capacity to interface with and display data from a large number of sources, some of which are still in development and which is able to display useful Sectional, WAC and other chart data as well as enroute IFR charts and approach plates in the future. I very much like the fact that the Avidyne has a connector on the front panel for a portable CD data loader. This will mean that not only chart and approach plate data can by loaded by the user, but also that system upgrades are possible without removing the unit for a new memory card as the ARNAV requires.

I don’t think you are going to get a chance to “test drive” either the Arnav or the “H” revision of the ARNAV. For now, the main source of information has to be the web sites of the two manufacturers.

When you do that look at the earlier models of the Avidyne. There appears to be a great similarity between the EX5000 and the earlier models, and you can get a lot of information about what to expect in the EX5000 from looking at the earlier models. Also, the fat that the EX5000 is, I believe, the 4th major model from Avidyne is in itself significant. This is a much larger organization and has a much greater research and development enterprise than ARNAV does.

Finally, take a look at the January 2000 article in Aviation Consumer on the Flight Max 440 and 740 models. If it were not for the fact that the material is covered by copyright I would paste the article here in full. Suffice to say, they concluded that the units were the:

“The most impressive, easy-to-use moving map technology weÂ’ve tried; well-thought-out operating logic and virtually unlimited flexibility and upgradeability but a high installed cost compared to delivered capability and what the competition is currently pitching.”

In referring to the “competion” they are referring to Bendix/King, Apollo and Garmin. There is not even a mention of ARNAV in the review.

Subscribe to Aviation Consumer and you can read the entire article. In a choice such as this, you need as much information as you can collect so as to be able to make the best choice.

I was initially tantalized by the sudden prospect of an Avidyne display being made available for Cirri, but now that I know it is using a Windows operating system, I wouldn’t even consider it for a second. Like everyone else, I have spent too many hours fixing Windows related and Windows caused PC crashes. If anyone is willing to turn over crucial navigational display duties to Bill Gates & Company, they are more willing than I. This gives the ‘Blue Screen of Death’ new meaning. If I find out my ARNAV uses Windows, I don’t know what I’ll do. Maybe just go ahead and pull the breaker to save myself the time spent troubleshooting at a critical phase of flight.
FWIW,
Greg

Yeah, you have to feel sorry for us guys who have been flying around for months or years with our less-than-state-of-the-art displays, while those lucky SOB position holders are smugly renting clapped-out spam cans, knowing that someday, they’ll have a cooler display!

I think the computer analogy is right on, and for those who missed the mild sarcasm in the previous paragraph, you have to weigh the value of “get to use it now” vs. “someday it will be even better.” I guess I shouldn’t be lecturing Marty on net present value and future value, though.

-Mike

Yeah, you have to feel sorry for us guys who have been flying around for months or years with our less-than-state-of-the-art displays, while those lucky SOB position holders are smugly renting clapped-out spam cans, knowing that someday, they’ll have a cooler display!

Ahh yes, the virtue of patience and what ever shred of justification we can find to help justify the 18 month wait until #765 is built and delivered (4/03).
You must have been talking to my wife and anyone else that would listen to me as I explain - ad nauseam , as to why the wait is worth it and how much cooler our plane will be , and how all the bugs will be worked out of the planes and ect. ect…

Clark #765

Not a problem; ARNAV runs DOS. Feel better now? :wink:

Greg Scoggins wrote:
Like everyone else, I have spent too many hours fixing Windows related and Windows caused PC crashes.

Happily, I’ve never had to fix a Windows crash. My secret? I use a Macintosh.

Cheers,
Roger

Here is the Aviation Consumer quote on the Windows operating system (they were reviewing the FlightMax 440 and 740 in January 2000):

'Like the previous models, the FlightMax units use Windows NT as an operating system. Before you cross your fingers and gag, however, worth pointing out is that this is a highly customized and apparently stable version of NT, not remotely related to the bug-invested consumer versions of Windows 95/98.

Although we have in the past expressed serious reservations about having anything from Microsoft near an airplane, the Avidyne proved stable and relatively trouble free. (Other owners have told us as much.) Shortly after it was installed, our FlightMax test unit failed to boot. It was returned to the factory and repaired the following day. The problem appeared to be a “dirty” shutdown that corrupted the hard drive.

Although it was repaired right away, this does highlight one beef we have with this system: It runs like a computer, meaning the boot-up process is tedious and you can’t merely switch it off. You have to follow a specific “safe” shutdown procedure or risk crumping the drive or file structure. If we had our druthers, it would be like any other box in the panel in terms of shutdown and start up."

I think that it is altogether too easy to extrapolate from your experience with Windows 9x to say anything that runs on Windows doesn’t belong in a cockpit. I can’t see buying otherwise state of the art avionics with a MFD still running DOS.

Here is the latest from Avidyne regarding delivery dates and capabilities:

"Thank you for your email. We currently haven’t outlined the datalink services yet including the features offered such as ceiling/visibility, wind vectors etc. We expect to announce the service packages closer to product launch which is scheduled for mid 2002. Cirrus will dictate when datalink will be available on the Cirrus version of the EX5000, but we expect it to be around the same time as product launch. As with all FlightMax products, the EX5000 will be upgradeable so datalink and other enhancements can be added as new technology arises.

Cirrus has indicated to us that they will begin Avidyne installations in production aircraft in January, 2002. We will have the portable loader and subscription services available at that time for Nav Data updates. We haven’t finalized the subscription services yet, and the loader may or may not be included with the subscription. The services will only offer Nav Data, no charts or sectionals (they are not available on the EX5000). The NavData includes updates on all airspace, waypoint, airway, airport etc. information. It will also include obstacle and curved flight path information.

We haven’t looked into interfacing with the Garmin GTX 330 yet. Cirrus is dictating to us the interfaces they want to see. If they request us to research interfacing with the Garmin GTX 330, we will do so. You may want to discuss this with Cirrus Representatives. If you have any other questions, please let me know. Thanks and have a great weekend.

Regards,

Jamie Luster
Sales Representative
-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen M. Shirley [mailto:shirleylaw@earthlink.net]
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2001 7:09 PM
To: Jamie Luster
Subject: Re: EX5000

Jamie Luster:
Thanks for your reply. I spoke with a Avidyne representative Monday and they are sending a CD with the demo programs. If I should by chance get two of the CD’s I’ll send one to my CFII. I appreciate your sending a brochure in the mail. Some of the “airport” and “nearest” and “flight plan” pages are too small to read on the .pdf version.

On the weather display on the EX5000, in addition to NEXRAD, what other weather options are there: e.g… ceiling/visability, wind vectors, temperature/dew point, etc. Do you have any subscription information?

More importantly, when will Avidyne begin deliveries to Cirrus. My SR22 is scheduled for completion on 2-5-02, and I would like to have one available at that time. When will the weather receiver option be available?

What about the portable data loader. I noted on the brochure for the EX5000C a mention of a front panel port for portable data loader. How much is that unit, and when will it be available?

There is mention on your web site of the “Jeppesen North America Database”. Does this include all sectionals, or just the airport and runway and frequency information? What is included in the Jeppesen North America Database? How much are the Sectionals, WACs, TACs, and NOAA Low Altitude Enroute charts? Are these all sold separately, or are they part of the North America Database?

Do you have any information on whether the Avidyne EX5000C will interface with the new Garmin GTX 330 Mode S transponder and the Traffic Information Service? Apparently, the GTX 330 interfaces with the Garmin GNS 430, and the GNS 430 interfaces with the Avidyne EX5000C. Is the data format compatible for the Traffic Information Service display on the Avidyne? Is this standard ARINC 429 data in the same format that the Skywatch data is? What will the screen display look like on the Avidyne of the Traffic Information Service. According to some early information I got from Garmin, the Traffic Information Service display will include vectors showing groundspeed and track of the displayed traffic. Will this display on the Avidyne?

I’m sure there will be other questions in the future. I appreciate your information.

Sincerely,

Stephen M. Shirley

Jamie Luster wrote:

Thank you for your email. We are sending you the requested information, and I wanted to take a few minutes to answer your question not discussed in the brochure.
Future capabilities for the EX5000C will be driven by Cirrus’ requests, and their intent is to offer engine monitoring and datalink on the EX5000. Please check with Cirrus regarding availability. If it is not available by the time you take delivery of your aircraft, you can rest assured that the EX5000, like all FlightMax products, will be upgradeable as new capabilities are developed.The service provider for the datalink service is not the same as Garmin. While their service is adequate, we found our customer base needed additional capabilities and therefore are offering a customized service direct from Avidyne. It will be all-altitude, no gaps, on demand communication. This will allow our customers the ultimate in datalink service. I hope I’ve answered all your questions, and feel free to contact us anytime.

Regards,

Jamie Luster

Sales Representative"

Greg:

Both systems use MS OS’s, but the Avidyne uses the “Embedded” version of NT, which is used in dedicated applications such as medical and laboratory instrumentation and critical applications. Embedded NT allows you to roll your own OS with only the components necessary for your application. In the case of the Avidyne all the networking and “desktop” UI elements have been removed.

I can speak with some authority on this as my company is currently developing a medical lab instrument which will run on Embedded NT (actually Embedded XP when it rolls out).

Is it a perfect OS? Of course not. Is it appropriate for use in a MFD? In my opinion, yes.

Avidyne uses NT which is more reliable than other Windows products. But one criticism I’ve heard is the time required for NT to boot; early systems added 5 minutes or more to preflight, and a similar amount of time for an orderly system shutdown before killing power. Has anyone used an Avidyne recently to have input on that?