Aspen Avionic’s Connected Pilot TSO’d

OSHKOSH — Aspen Avionics reported on opening day of AirVenture that it has received Technical Standard Order (TSO) approval of Connected Pilot, the first in the series of the company’s Connected Panel product line that provides a wireless link between certified instrument panel avionics and portable smart devices. FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval for Connected Pilot is imminent, company officials said, so with TSO in hand Aspen has begun production and shipment of Connected Pilot units.

Connected Pilot lists for $2,499.

Aspen’s patent-pending line of Connected Panel products integrates and synchronizes aviation application data from personal handheld devices with the certified avionics installed in an aircraft’s panel. This technology is enabled via Aspen’s Evolution Flight Displays, which are interoperable with a wide variety of avionics equipment that exists within the general aviation aircraft fleet, company officials explained.

Connected Pilot is designed for Apple iOS mobile devices, such as iPads and iPhones, and is able to receive data from almost any panel-mounted GPS navigator. Additionally, Connected Pilot can enter and synchronize flight plans between Garmin GNS 400W/500W series navigators and Connected Panel Enabled flight planning apps.

“Utilizing the iPad, Connected Pilot facilitates a touch screen flight planning interface for Garmin’s GNS navigators. Aspen’s customers aren’t confined to a single flight planning application, but can choose from many apps offered by our Connected Panel Enabled partners. We believe that offering a variety of app solutions is the best way to meet individual pilot needs,” says Aspen’s Vice President of Marketing, Brad Hayden.

All or part of Connected Panel functionality will be available for new and legacy GPS navigators, depending upon its ability to transmit and receive data, he added. For example, the Bendix/King KSN 770 Nav/Com/GPS will be fully integrated with Connected, including functionality such as radio tuning from the iPad. That level of integration may not be available with some avionics that weren’t designed with the Connected Panel architecture in mind, he added.

Connected Pilot includes hardware, software, and application components. The hardware is enclosed in a small box called the CG100 (patent-pending) that is blindmounted behind the aircraft’s panel. The CG100 contains the operating software, wireless connectivity and flash memory storage. The unit is configured and maintained via Aspen’s Flight Connect app, designed for Apple iOS, which will be available via the iTunes store.

Connected Panel is an open platform, and its vitality comes from the development partners who build applications that use it, according to Aspen officials, who note they encourages manufacturers and application developers to participate in the program. Aspen provides open hardware architecture combined with an Application Programming Interface (API). As a result, the number of Connected Panel Enabled partners and independent developers has doubled in size over the last year, Aspen officials report.

Many of those partners – including ForeFlight, AvConnect, Hilton Software, Digital Sectional, Seattle Avionics, Bendix/King and Jeppesen – have Connected Panel Enabled applications that are either now available, or will be available for purchase by the time Connected Pilot receives STC. These apps include flight planning, radio tuning and automatic aircraft data and pilot data management.

“Before we’ve even shipped the first Connected Pilot unit we’ve already seen the vision of this groundbreaking product realized,” says Aspen Avionics President and CEO John Uczekaj. “Since Connected Panel’s announcement last year, we have been approached by an increasing number of hardware manufacturers and software developers who want to explore very exciting and groundbreaking cockpit applications. These solutions will make flying safer, easier, more affordable and more enjoyable. And collaborations with our partners are forming the roadmap for upcoming iterations of the Connected Panel product line – beyond Connected Pilot –that Aspen will roll out in the future.”

For more information: ConnectedPanel.com

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