I haven’t seen the new ARNAV, so I can’t specifically comment on the improvement over the original ARNAV which I saw.
First, the ability to draw the approach, including vectors to final and missed approach segments is very important to me. DME arcs, holds and procedure turns less so. There is a great deal of situational awareness that results from seeing the approach on the Avidyne as well as on the paper plate. Plus, the paper plate doesn’t show you where you are moment by moment.
Particularly when being vectored to the final approach course you have the impression that you are looking over the controller’s shoulder with the Avidyne display. You see where you are, where the extended centerline of the runway is and how far away from it you are. This helps to anticipate speed reductions in anticipation of extending 50% when established inbound. Plus, you have a further verification of the entire procedure on the screen. All of this results from the advanced interface that the Avidyne has to communicate with the Garmins.
The other big advantage to the Avidyne to me is the ability to interface to a greater number of inputs. The Skywatclh and Stormscope are both present now. The engine monitor is coming, I’m not sure precisely when. Satellite weather is due out soon, and the pictures have been posted to Avidyne’s web site. Mode S traffic display is probably coming soon. Avidyne has been doing the interfaces to various devices, originally onboard weather radar, and has developed quite an ability in that regard.
I don’t think you are going to see satellite weather and Mode S traffic displays on the ARNAV. Avidyne has announced the satellite weather and the pictures on the web site show that most of the development is done. When I talked to Avidyne about Mode S traffic they said that as soon as Cirrus offers the Garmin 330 transponder as a factory option that they will show Mode S traffic.
All in all, I am very happy with the choice of Avidyne.