Looks like Arnav has announced Datalink Weather for the ICDS2000!!
All the details are in the above link. My own impressions (not that anyone asked, but I feel like saying them anyway):
- Kudos to Arnav for continuing to improve the ICDS2000. I was very pleasantly surprised to see this announcement!
- Glad to see it’s a satellite system; IMHO that’s the way to go, for much better coverage than ground-based. This is significant because, earlier, Arnav was pursuing a ground-based system like Bendix/King.
- By using Globalstar (similar to AnywhereWX), we can make voice and/or data calls from the plane, in addition to getting weather data.
- Looks like the standard info (NEXRAD, METARs, and other info) will be available.
- According to the wording of the announcement, it sounds like it is available NOW. If this is true (and I haven’t verified it), that means that they’ve even beaten Avidyne.
- Cost. About $7000 for the weather system, another $3000 if you want to be able to make voice calls. Plus $300 to upgrade your unit if you already have stormscope or EngineView. Plus, if you do NOT have Rev “H”, it looks like you have to send your MFD back to Arnav; not sure if that’s for a free upgrade or a non-free upgrade.
- In addition, the cheapest plans are $39 per month, with no included minutes. So each weather or voice call will entail an extra few bucks. The Avidyne system also charges per weather unit but there is no monthly cost.
As for me personally, I would love to have datalink weather, but am not sure I want to shell out $7000+, plus $40 per month, plus a few bucks for each request in order to get it.
But, like all purchasing decisions, the cost/benefit analysis will be different for each person. The good news is that the option is there!
P.S. If this was posted before and I missed it, I apologize. I’ve not been able to keep up with all the posts the last few days.