Avidyne Announces Certification of DFC90 Autopilot in Beech Bonanza Series Aircraft

May 13, 2013
The DFC90 was designed as a plug-and-play replacement for existing STEC55X autopilot systems.

Lincoln, Mass. – May 13, 2013 -Avidyne Corporation, a leading provider of integrated flight deck and safety systems for general aviation aircraft, announced today they have received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the installation of their DFC90 Digital Autopilot in Beechcraft Bonanza series aircraft when interfaced with the Evolution Pro Primary Flight Display (EFD1000 PFD) from Aspen Avionics of Albuquerque. Avidyne previously certified the DFC90 with the Entegra PFD in the Cirrus SR20 and SR22 and with the Aspen PFD in Cessna 182 Skylane series aircraft. Avidyne also has plans to certify the DFC90 in the Beechcraft Baron series, among others. 

This STC covers the DFC90 autopilot as a plug-and-play retrofit of existing STEC55X systems in 25 models of the venerable Beech Bonanza including the 35-33, 35-A33, 35-B33, 35-C33, 35-C33A, E33, E33A, E33C, F33, F33A, F33C, G33, H35, J35, K35, M35, N25, P35, S35, V35, V35A, V35B, 36, A36 and A36TC.  More than 17,000 of these specific models of aircraft have been produced from 1946 to the present. The DFC90 uses the existing servos of the STEC55X autopilot that it replaces.  STEC30/50/60-2/65 series autopilots may also be replaced by a DFC90 under this STC.  Aspen holds an Approved Model List Supplemental Type Certificate (AML-STC) for their Evolution Pro PFD on a wide range of aircraft including these Bonanza models.   

“The Bonanza has a great heritage and their owners represent a large percentage of active general aviation pilots,” said Patrick Herguth, Avidyne’s Chief Operating Officer.   “We have seen a considerable amount of interest in the DFC90 from Bonanza owners who are looking to enhance performance and safety. With this STC, Envelope Protection, full-time Envelope Alerting, the Straight and Level button are now available to them with the DFC90, as well as Synthetic Vision with the Aspen Pro PFD.”

“We are continuing to expand the reach of the DFC90 autopilot and to bring its safety- and performance-enhancing capabilities to more and more aircraft,” said Dan Schwinn, Avidyne’s President and CEO.  “Bonanza owners are incredibly brand-loyal and are willing to invest in new technology to enhance their aircraft, and they appreciate the fact that the addition of a DFC90 and an Aspen Pro PFD can make their flying safer and more enjoyable.”

About the DFC90 & Aspen Evolution Pro PFD

The DFC90 is an attitude-based, digital retrofit autopilot system that adds significant performance and safety benefits for existing aircraft including Airspeed Hold (IAS), Envelope Protection (EP™) and full-time Envelope Alerting (EA™), which prevent stalls and overspeeds, and even provides monitoring and alerting when the autopilot is off.  The Straight & Level capability provides one-button recovery from unusual attitudes. The DFC90 was designed as a plug-and-play replacement for existing STEC55X autopilot systems. The DFC90 can use the existing 55X mounting tray, servos and much of the wiring, which dramatically reduces installation costs.  While not fully plug and play, STEC30/50/60-2/65 series autopilots may also be replaced by a DFC90 under this STC, making use of existing STEC servos and brackets. 

The Aspen Pro PFD provides attitude inputs to the DFC90 from its integrated Air Data and Attitude/Heading Reference Sensor (ADAHRS), while presenting the pilot with autopilot Mode Annunciations and Alerts right on the primary flight instrument. In addition to pitch and roll inputs, the Aspen Pro PFD also provides Heading Select, Altitude Preselect, Indicated Airspeed Select, and Vertical Speed Select inputs to the DFC90.  The Aspen Pro PFD also has an optional Synthetic Vision feature for added situational awareness and safety.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing for the DFC90 autopilot starts at $9,995 plus installation for single-engine piston aircraft. Pricing assumes the aircraft currently has compatible STEC autopilot servos installed.

Aspen Evolution Pro PFDs are priced starting at $10,180 plus installation.  The software unlock for integrating the DFC90 is priced at $1,995, labor not included, and requires v2.6 software or later.  Aspen currently holds an Approved Model List Supplemental Type Certificate (AML-STC) for their Evolution Pro PFD on a wide range of aircraft.  

Pricing does not include the cost of shipping, VAT, other parts or dealer labor.

About Aspen Avionics, Inc. (www.aspenavionics.com)

Aspen Avionics specializes in bringing the most advanced technology and capability into general aviation and helicopter cockpits—and budgets. Our products increase situational awareness and reduce pilot workload, making it easier and safer to fly in both VFR and IFR conditions. The way we look at it, getting the latest avionics technology shouldn’t always mean spending a lot of money—on equipment or installation. At Aspen Avionics, we design products to be affordable, easy to install, and easy to own.

About Avidyne Corporation (www.avidyne.com)
Avidyne’s continuing leadership in innovation and its Flying Made Simple™ system design make flying safer, more accessible and more enjoyable for pilots and their passengers. The company offers a full line of panel-mounted avionics including their new IFD540 and IFD440 FMS/GPS/NAV/COM, AMX240 audio panel, AXP340 Mode S Transponder, and DFC90 digital flight control systems.  Avidyne’s product line also includes the industry-leading Entegra Release 9 integrated flight deck  with DFC100 digital flight control system, datalink-capable EX600 multi-function displays, the dual-antenna TAS-A series of active traffic advisory systems with ADS-B,  the MLX770 world-wide datalink transceiver, and the TWX670 Tactical Weather Detection system. Headquartered in Lincoln, MA, the company has facilities in Columbus, OH, Melbourne, FL, and Boulder, CO.