To AVIDYNE or not To

Terrain in color
Stormscope on screen
Skywatch on screen

Waiting period
Engine Monitoring Delay

Please add to the beginning list your ideas. My delivery is scheduled for Nov. 28th and Cirrus has said they will do what ever you want, they just need to figure out the final cost and how it will be done for the planes currently “on deck”. If anyone has seen or has experience with both systems pease respond with your input. Thanks in advance.

I saw both the Arnav and Avidyne at AOPA Expo. I also have about 25 hours in an SR20 using the Arnav in both day and night. The brightness and resolution of the Avidyne are without a doubt far superior. The controls on the Avidyne are also excellent. One knob controls range changes, and they occur far more quickly than with the Arnav. The screen selection is also done by the lower right knob, and the page choices are displayed. It eliminates any uncertainty as to which direction to turn to get to which page. Just from playing with it for a short time, the Avidyne is my choice for my upcoming 22. Additionally, if you are looking to add traffic avoidance, the Avidyne currently supports Skywatch, and looking at traffic on the large Avidyne screen beats the 430’s hands down. Cirrus has an Avidyne mounted in one of their demonstrator 22’s. You might want to check if any sales person is going to be bringing that plane to your area and check it out. For my money, the decision is easy.

No question in my mind - the Arnav is now officially a dinosaur (just looked like one before). Although I’ve not yet discussed it with my partners, my personal feeling is that we will have to upgrade to the Avidyne as it is safe to assume that the Arnav display will now stagnate in capability even more than before - assuming that Arnav even stay in business. I’m just glad we held off on ordering the engine monitoring!


Since I am picking up my plane the same week as you, I am wrestling with the same issues. Unfortunately, I am torn between flying around with a hole in the panel for months, and the possibility of having a long wait for engine monitoring with the Avidyne display. RIght now, I am still leaning to having them install the ARNAV. I am headed out to Duluth next Friday to see how things are going. My plane is scheduled for delivery on 11/27 so I am really running out of time…I’ll let you know if I find out anything next week when I visit Cirrus.


I am taking delivery of my SR22 B Configuration on November 29. So like several others, I have been weighing the alternatives around switching to the Avidyne. If at all possible I will wait and try not to stare at the blank MFD panel. As far as I am concerned the fewer times avionics are connected and disconnected the better. Hopefully, engine monitoring will be available soon. It would be nice if that were STCd so that it could be added at the same time the Avidyne box goes in.

As for situational awareness, I thought the single GX 50 GPS with its tiny moving map in my old plane was great when it was installed two years ago. Two 430s plus the Sandel, will give me a lot more situational awareness than that and plenty to play with for a few months. Maybe phasing in the gadgets isn’t such a bad idea.

After talking with Avidyne and others informally at AOPA last weekend, I’ve got a couple of additional things you may want to think about.

First, let me make my current situation clear - in case you think that might color my thinking (which, of course, it does). I picked up my SR22 with factory Stormscope in July and promptly had the EngineView installed. And I like it.

Second, if I were having an SR2x delivered in 3Q2002, I’d clearly go with the Avidyne (or whatever was the state of the art then). Stormscope and SkyWatch are less clear. In ny case, Cirrus made it quite clear that they would continue to upgrade the avionics suite as the technology changed - which it surely will. The new Avidyne will also be obsolete - only a question of time.

Third, I wouldn’t be very optimistic about prompt delivery of engine monitoring on the Avidyne. From those I spoke with, it isn’t entirely clear that they have a very good handle on how / when they will get this done. And my experience with these vendors has typically been - take their initial estimates and double them. Then, you are not too disappointed. They weren’t even promising a date at all. I really like the fuel flow computation and the alerting functions of EngineView. Would be very reluctant to give them up.

Fourth, while the Avidyne has better resolution etc, that increased resolution and detail doesn’t yet actually add all that much for an IFR pilot. Take a look at an IFR vs VFR chart. In fact, some of the data you really need in VFR is harder to find on the Avidyne (like obstacles at/below your current altitude for instance). So, it looks higher tech, but don’t think that YET translates to useful information in flight. Long term, Avidyne certainly sounds committed to providing a number of additional functions and they look to be a longer term player in the market.

Fifith, there was a lot of discussion about Garmin delivering a ModeS transponder soon. That would provide a much cheaper (and possibly more accurate) traffic avoidance alternative than SkyWatch (at least in those ~125 high traffic density areas covered by ModeS position broadcasts today). While the response time of a ground radar based ModeS option is somewhat slower, we’re not flying heavy metal. Personally, I doubt that SkyWatch-type technologies will be the leading edge answer in traffic avoidane for much longer. So, that complicates the SkyWatch option - and makes the low cost TPAS option something to think about for the near term. Finally, accident statistics and Aviation Consumer, among others, argue that collision avoidance is a low priority investment for GA pilots in any case.

Sixth, Nexrad and other weather downloads for the Garmin look to be delivered about mid-2002. Much cheaper than Stormscope and will give a broader range of weather information. From my perspective, I’d take weather downloads over Stormscope any day. I’ll probably add it to my SR2x despite already having the Stormscope. So, even the Stormscope is a question mark in my mind today. Especially during the upcoming winter!

Bottom line: I’m sort of glad you guys have to make this decision and not me. Keep us posted. Pun intended.

John: Do you kknow anything about the data loader for the Avidyne EX5000. According to the brouchure that is posted on their web site, there is a data loader jack on the right hand edge of the display. Is this a portable CD drive? Can you also mount a panel mount CD drive for the unit?

I saw in the flight manual supplement for a Bonnanza that was on the Avidyne web site a mention of the use of the CD drive for not only data loading to the unit but also for audio CD’s. With a panel mount CD drive, you can bring your CD’s on board to listen to enroute (for those who are not using MP3 players).

Also, did you hear anything about chart display on the Avidyne. According to the User’s Guide posted on the web site, the Avidyne supports Sectionals, WACs, TACs, and NOAA IFR Low Altitude Enroute Charts. Are all of these supported in the EX5000?

What about approach charts? Do you know what approach chart display is offered? Is the approach chart just an image of the approach chart, or does the unit display a symbolic airplane that shows your position on the approach?

My SR22 will be delivered in mid-Dec to a low-hour pilot (really – it’s one of their training categories!).

And I’ve decided to get the better integration, interface and display of the Avidyne.

Given the situational awareness and integration of things on the MFD, I want to do the acceptance, transition training and cross-country ferrying with a functional MFD in place. No sense in spending the time and money for that training to just stare at a hole in the panel, eh?

Assuming the Avidyne decision/installation planning process take longer than 4.5 weeks remaining, I’ve requested that they consider installing a refurb ARNAV. Of course, I’d be willing to beta test an Avidyne for them! :wink:


I agree. If I didn’t already have my plane I would certainly go with the Avidyne, but, for those of us who already have the ARNAV the question is whether or not to upgrade. The answer really depends on what you want the display to do. For me, where almost all my flying is IFR the ARNAV with the stromscope and Sandel are more than adequate. In fact the only thing I would really like to have is the abiliity to display actual Jepp Approach charts. I plan to add the engine monitoring to my ARNAV and agree that unless Avidyne already has an engine monitoring option, it will be many months before they do.
The problem everyone has is that technology moves forward far more rapidly than anyone can keep up with, and what’s state of the art today is obsolete next month. What matters is whether the equipment you have meets your needs. At least for me the ARNAV does.
My real concern is product support for what may become an orphaned piece of equipment.
Jerry Seckler N1970

There has been much discussion about the questionable need to spend big sums on Skywatch with impending new technology being only months away. Since I prefer to wait and see a shake out, I’d like to cover myself with an instant fix; ie, either the Monroy or Surecheck collision boxes. Has there been any comparative testing between these products. If so, where can I find out their respective strengths and weakness.



There have been recent posts this forum on both. Use the search function or TPAS.

Don’t believe anyone has done a comparison between the two.