While more low-key than in previous years, the AOPA Aviation Summit, held earlier this month in Tampa, Fla., served as the stage for several product debuts.
Close to 7,300 people attended the Summit — formerly known as the AOPA Expo — while another 16,000 watched live streaming coverage of the event online.
At the show, AOPA unveiled its 2010 sweepstakes aircraft: A new Remos GX Light Sport Aircraft (pictured). It will be awarded during next year’s summit, slated for Nov. 11-13, in Long Beach, Calif.
Also unveiled at the show was Dynon Avionics’ new SkyView glass cockpit for experimentals and LSAs.
The new system offers a Primary Flight Display, synthetic vision, and a terrain map as standard features. An Engine Monitoring System Module and Engine Sensor kit can be added to make a complete glass panel system, company officials note. Integrated autopilot software, to be added in the near future, also comes standard and will require the addition of two servos, roll and pitch, to make a complete two-axis autopilot system.
A SkyView PFD system starts at $3,900. An “ultimate system” is priced at $9,980.
Avidyne unveiled several products at the show, including its Autopilot Flight Envelope Protection for its DFC90 and DFC100 autopilot systems, which prohibits inadvertent autopilot-induced stall and overspeed situations. The autopilots also include a “Straight & Level” button that overrides all autopilot modes and levels the aircraft in both pitch and roll for an added measure of safety in the event of an unusual attitude or other emergency situation, company officials said.
The autopilot systems are scheduled for certification and delivery in mid-2010. Prices start at $9,995.
Also making its debut at the show was the EX600 Multi-Function Display (MFD). A follow-on to Avidyne’s EX500 MFD, the EX600 adds a 5.8-inch display and a new Map Panning feature that allows the pilot to pan and zoom to any location on the moving map. Certification and initial shipments are expected before the end of this year. Prices start at $9,990.
Meanwhile, Cirrus Aircraft announced that Avidyne’s Entegra Release 9 integrated flight deck system is now available as an option on selected new SR20 and SR22 aircraft.
The Entegra Release 9 includes high-resolution IFD5000 displays, dual Air Data and Attitude Heading Reference Systems (ADAHRS), dual-redundant FMS900w systems with a QWERTY keypad, digital 16-watt VHF NAV/COM radios, and dual WAAS/RNP-capable GPS receivers.
Cessna reported that due to a recent spike in sales over the last two months, it will extend two sales promotions through the end of the year to coincide with a new federal depreciation provision. The company’s “Deal of the Decade” provides a $10,000 fuel card and free synthetic vision for Corvalis sales. The “Deposit Amplifier” program adds $30,000 to a deposit for a new Cessna 182 or T182 Skylane and gives a new customer a choice of one of three technology upgrades for the Garmin G1000 avionics package.
The company also reported that it will deliver its 300th Citation Mustang in early 2010. Since first deliveries in early 2007, the Mustang fleet has amassed more than 55,000 flight hours.
Meanwhile, Cessna will deliver its first SkyCatcher LSA later this year to Rose Pelton, wife of the company’s chairman, president and CEO. She’ll use the LSA to pursue her private pilot’s license.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Baron, Hawker Beechcraft unveiled a limited edition model.
More than 6,700 aircraft have been produced since the first Baron-55 was introduced in 1960, according to company officials, who note the golden anniversary model includes 14-carat-gold Baron and 50-year emblems engraved into the power quadrant and pilot/co-pilot control wheels. The limited edition Barons are identified by an exclusive number sequence and display the heritage Beechcraft shield on the tail. Each aircraft features distinctive 50th anniversary commemorative graphics on the nacelles and fuselage, with upper leading-edge wing surfaces finished with special anniversary paint.
Hawker Beechcraft also announced that AmSafe Seatbelt Airbags are now available for the pilot and co-pilot seats on its Baron and Bonanza aircraft. The company’s parts and distribution organization, RAPID, is taking orders for the airbags, which can be installed at any AmSafe approved service center.
Also available as an option for new Barons and Bonanzas is Forward Vision’s EVS-100 and EVS-600 enhanced vision systems. HBC service centers also will provide STC-approved systems to the existing fleet.
EVS systems, commonly known as infrared or thermal imaging cameras, help to penetrate haze, fog, smoke and precipitation eight to 10 times farther than the human eye in both night and daytime settings. It permits pilots to see unlit obstacles during taxi and takeoff, while in flight, pilots can use EVS to avoid clouds, fly between layers, and note ground features out of the night landscape.