Avidyne Receives FAA Certification of DFC100 Autopilot for Entegra Release 9-Equipped Cirrus Aircraft

02/28/11
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DFC100 provides Dual-source Attitude-Based Digital Autopilot Capability and includes Significant Safety Benefits including Full-time Flight Envelope Alerting.

Lincoln, MA – Monday, February 28, 2011 – Avidyne Corporation, a leading provider of integrated flight deck and safety systems for general aviation aircraft, announced today they have received Technical Standard Order (TSO) and Supplemental Type Certification (STC) of the DFC100 Digital Flight Control System. The DFC100 autopilot, designed for use with Avidyne’s Entegra Release 9 Integrated Flight Deck System, provides the precision and reliability of a dual-source attitude-based flight control system, as well as safety enhancements such as a Straight & Level mode and full-time Flight Envelope Alerting. This STC grants approval for the installation of the DFC100 in Cirrus SR20 and SR22 aircraft.

Avidyne also received TSO approval for Release 9.2 software, which provides DFC100 compatibility for the Entegra Release 9 system, and adds several other significant performance benefits

“The DFC100 takes advantage of the powerful capabilities of the Entegra Release 9 system including attitude inputs from both IFDs for added safety and redundancy and full FMS integration that allows coupled VNAV descents, approaches, and missed approaches,” said Patrick Herguth, Avidyne’s Chief Operating Officer. “In addition, we have certified the DFC100 with Full-Time Envelope Alerting, which provides significant safety benefits, even when the autopilot and flight director are not engaged.”

“Entegra Release 9 was designed to significantly reduce pilot workload and enhance safety and the DFC100 represents the next building block in this fully-integrated system,” said Dan Schwinn, Avidyne’s President and CEO. “Leveraging the power of R9 and the DFC100, Cirrus owners can now have a truly-integrated flight deck system that reduces heads-down time, enhances redundancy for minimal disruption during failure modes, protects against inadvertent departure from the flight envelope, and dramatically reduces workload through all phases of flight.”

About DFC100

Avidyne’s DFC100 is an attitude-based autopilot with integrated flight computer and control panel that is designed for Entegra Release 9-equipped Cirrus SR20 and SR22 aircraft. The feature-rich DFC100 has all the standard vertical and lateral modes of operation of a turbine-class autopilot system, including Flight Director (FD), Altitude Hold (ALT), Airspeed Hold (IAS), Vertical Speed Hold (VS), Vertical Navigation (VNAV), Heading (HDG), and Navigation (NAV, LOC/GS, LPV, LNAV/VNAV, LNAV+V).

The DFC100 also includes the following features:

Full-Time Envelope Alerting (EA) - DFC100 provides innovative speed-based and attitude-based alerting even when the autopilot is NOT engaged. EA is triggered when the DFC100 recognizes an underspeed, overspeed, or excessive bank condition and alerts the pilot via aural and text alerts. Principally designed to provide alerting even when the autopilot is not on, scenarios like traffic pattern stalls are alerted to the pilot. Smart logic in the DFC100 automatically suppresses alerts in full-flap and near idle conditions.

Straight & Level – The DFC100’s “Straight & Level” button overrides all autopilot modes and levels the aircraft in both pitch and roll from a wide range of capture attitudes for an added measure of safety.

Flap Position Input - Flap Switch position is used by the DFC100 to improve the accuracy of the Flight Envelope Protection and Full-time Envelope Alerting triggers. The autopilot uses knowledge of the flap position to compute true stall speed and thereby providing better-defined underspeed protection and alerting.

Dual AHRS support - The DFC100 is designed to be able to use either of the R9 system’s integrated Attitude/Heading Reference Systems (AHRS) as its attitude source. In the unlikely event of an AHRS failure, the DFC100 autopilot will not disconnect and will continue to operate normally, flying right through the AHRS failure.

VNAV (Vertical Navigation) – With VNAV mode engaged, the DFC100 captures and tracks the enroute, arrival, approach, and missed approach legs of the active flight plan of the R9 FMS. In enroute and descent operations, VNAV will hold current altitude until the system reaches the computed Top of Descent (TOD) point for the active leg, and then will start the descent when the TOD point has been reached. During missed approach operations, VNAV will climb to the target altitude and then level at that altitude until the next waypoint is crossed. This provides an Envelope-Protected, hands-free autopilot and one-button IFD transition during missed approach scenarios.

FMSVectors - An extremely popular feature among current R9 users, FMSVectors now extends to the autopilot with DFC100. When the HDG button on the autopilot is pressed, the autopilot will follow the dashed magenta Vectors line on the HSI or Moving Map. Depending on whether the line is drawn to intercept a down path NAV leg or Approach procedure or not, an automatic intercept and autopilot mode transition can occur.

Enhanced Mode Selection Logic – The DFC100 provides one-button vertical and lateral mode engagement. With the DFC100, a dual button press (IAS+ALT or VS+ALT or VNAV+ALT, etc) is no longer needed to perform an altitude capture as was required with the STEC55X. As an example, when the pilot presses just the IAS button, IAS Hold mode will engage and the ALT (Altitude hold) mode will also automatically arm. This mode selection logic is more intuitive and reduces pilot workload.

Roll Servo support - The initial release of the DFC100 will support aircraft with the factory-installed roll trim system, and in addition will support the aftermarket-modified Roll Servo-equipped aircraft. At DFC100 install time, the installer merely selects which configuration the airplane has and the rest is automatic.

Pricing & Availability

The list price of the DFC100 Digital Flight Computer for Release 9-equipped Cirrus aircraft is $14,990.

Entegra Release 9 Gold Packages for the Cirrus SR20 & SR22 start at $59,000.

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