BendixKing takes the fight to Garmin

BendixKing takes the fight to Garmin

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Honeywell avionics brand eyes G1000 retrofit market

BENDIXKING is going head-to-head with Garmin in the lucrative integrated flightdeck avionics retrofit market with the unveiling of a new suite for the aircraft, based on much bigger-hitting Honeywell kit.

The new AeroVue IFD is a direct competitor to Garmin’s industry-leading G1000 suite, which has been the avionics retrofit of choice for years and a major earner for Garmin.

The AeroVue’s first FAA Supplemental Type Certificate will be for the popular King Air 200, expected in early 2015, with a growing and wide range of other turboprops and light jet STCs to follow in quick succession.

BendixKing boss Kevin Gould told P1 AeroVue installs in King Air 200s will undercut G1000 versions by around $100,000, and that it also has enough power to also compete with Garmin’s new G3000 suite.

AeroVue might be a new product, but it has impressive pedigree: it’s based on Honeywell’s Primus Apex line, standard fit in Pilatus PC-12NG and Viking Twin Otter. The Apex is itself a derivative of the Primus Epic systems found in Gulfstream, Cessna, Embraer, and Dassault Falcon jets – Gulfstream’s newest PlaneView and Dassault Falcon’s EASy systems are both based on Epic.

Gould said: “Our discussions with avionics dealers and turboprop operators indicated there is a real need in the market for a choice of cockpit retrofits.

“With AeroVue we answer that call by delivering an advanced IFD with an unrivalled pedigree that descends from Honeywell systems found on some of the most advanced business jets in the world.”

The three-screen AeroVue incorporates a Flight Management System, autopilot, synthetic vision, and INAV functionality with Electronic Charts displayed on bright 12in LCD screens which function as dual PFDs and an MFD.

The system does not go down the touchpad route rival Garmin favours for control inputs on its newer systems (e.g. G3000), instead using the keyboard and trackball/cursor combo favoured on the AeroVue’s Honeywell Primus stablemates.

BK claims better hand stability means the Cursor Control Device (CCD) allows pilots to input commands and data more reliably than touchscreen systems, especially in turbulent conditions.

At P1 we’ve used many of the Honeywell equivalent systems and found them very good, but with so few of the latest Garmin systems actually on flying aircraft we can’t make a direct comparison yet. In either case though, they put older button-heavy systems to shame.

Test pilot Kevin O’Hara explained: “From a human factors standpoint, the AeroVue system has been conceived for ease of use.”

AEROVUE SPECS

Three high resolution 12” LCD displays
Two Primary Flight Displays + one Multifunction
Display with Interactive Navigation (INAV™) graphical flight planning
Enabled with the Honeywell SmartView™
Synthetic Vision System
FMS with Flight Director, coupled VNAV capability
Dual WAAS-GPS receivers
Integrated autopilot with yaw damper
Integrated engine instrumentation availableon the PFD to enable easier pilot scan
Dual-channel Air Data and Attitude Heading Reference Systems (ADAHRS)
Software-based multi-mode digital radios for navigation and communication
Dual Mode S transponders, ADS-B out compliant
FMS keyboard for enhanced user interface in turbulence and enhanced situational awareness
Weather radar*
Radar altimeter*
TCAS*
EGPWS*
XM Weather
BendixKing AeroWave 100 in-flight Internet
Charts and maps with vertical profile for terrain
Electronic checklist
Cursor Control Device (CCD)*
PFD contains track-centered display with acceleration chevrons for more precise flying
Dual audio panels with Bluetooth® connection and clearance readback function
Digital standby attitude module with airspeed, altitude, and slip indication

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