Aspen Avionics announced today its patent-pending line of Connected Panel™ products that seamlessly integrate aviation application data from personal handheld devices with certified avionics installed in an aircraft’s panel. These revolutionary new products are being demonstrated at AirVenture 2011, in the Aspen Avionics booth #2145, Hangar B.
Connected Panel™ includes hardware, software, and application components that provide two-way wireless communications between panel avionics and personal smart devices to streamline flight-related activities. This technology is enabled via Aspen’s Evolution Flight Displays. Initial applications are in development for Apple iOS and Android platforms.
Connected™ Pilot is the first Connected Panel™ hardware and software system, and will list for under $2500. It will be available for installation via Aspen’s authorized dealer network by the end of 2011. Aspen’s Connected™ Pilot app, designed for the iPad, will be available via the iTunes store.
In addition to creating Connected Panel™ technology, Aspen is fostering a robust community of partners – inside and outside of the aviation industry – to develop products for the Connected Panel™ platform. This platform is based on an open hardware architecture and application programming interface (API).
“Mobile devices have revolutionized how pilots use flight data, but until now these smart devices have been unable to communicate with onboard systems in real time,” says Brad Hayden, Vice President of Marketing for Aspen Avionics. “The Evolution Flight Display products are interoperable with a variety of new and legacy avionics products from multiple manufacturers, making Evolution a natural networker of flight data. Aspen’s Connected Panel™ creates a wireless bridge between smart devices and the aircraft’s certified avionics, increasing the pilot’s access to data and enhancing the utility of their mobile devices.”
The Connected Panel™ hardware is enclosed in a small box called the CG100 (patent-pending) that is blind-mounted behind the aircraft’s panel. The feature-rich CG100 contains wireless, Bluetooth™, and USB connectivity options — as well as flash memory storage. Leveraging commercially available technology, the CG100 includes standard protocol ports and communications slots that will allow Connected Panel™ developers to add peripheral hardware as needed to enhance the utility of their own applications.
Aspen, ForeFlight, and AvConnect Each Offer Launch Products
Connected™ Pilot, the initial product of the planned Connected Panel™ line, includes the ability to tune radios and cross-fill flight plans from an iPad to the Bendix/King by Honeywell KSN 770 Nav/Com/GPS (currently being developed by Honeywell and Aspen Avionics).
ForeFlight, developer of the leading iPad flight planning application on the market, will release a new version of ForeFlight Mobile that will work with Connected™ Pilot. ForeFlight Mobile users who install Connected™ Pilot will be able to create flight plans on their iPads and wirelessly load them into the KSN 770 using ForeFlight’s intuitive, award-winning interface. Modifications to flight plans, made using either the installed GPS or iPad, can easily be synchronized wirelessly on both the portable and panel-mounted equipment.
Radio tuning from ForeFlight Mobile into the KSN 770 will also be intuitive. The ForeFlight Mobile app will allow the pilot, by a simple touch on the iPad’s display, to easily push radio frequencies that appear in airport diagrams and charts into the “standby” window of the radio’s Nav/Com. All the pilot will need to do is toggle the frequency on the radio from “standby” to “active” to accept the tuning from the iPad.
Pilot hours and aircraft performance data logging will be able to be automated through Connected™ Pilot, thanks to its integration with AvConnect — a comprehensive aircraft and pilot management application available for general aviation. The AvConnect iPad app will automatically record pilot and aircraft data from installed systems and will then seamlessly create entries in the cloud-based portion of its application — simplifying aircraft and pilot record keeping requirements.
In addition to the KSN 770 integration, all or part of Connected Panel™ functionality will be available for other legacy GPS navigators, depending upon that GPS’s ability to transmit and receive data.
“We are pleased to have ForeFlight and AvConnect as our premiere launch partners for Connected™ Pilot,” says John Uczekaj, President and CEO of Aspen Avionics. “The integrated functionality of these companies’ applications with Connected Panel™ demonstrates the increased capability and superior user experience this platform can provide. We look forward to our continuing partnership with ForeFlight and AvConnect as we explore new ways to revolutionize the general aviation cockpit.”
Along with Aspen’s open hardware architecture, Connected Panel™ developers will also have access to an open API with no licensing or royalty fees.
Other Industry Partners Join Connected Panel™
Aspen has been actively cultivating partnerships among top aviation hardware and application developers who will employ the open Connected Panel™ architecture to create new and exciting cockpit products in the future. In addition to AvConnect and ForeFlight; Jeppesen, JP Instruments, Parrot, Pinnacle Aerospace, PS Engineering, Seattle Avionics, and Sporty’s Pilot Shop have all committed to building products and applications that will be Connected Panel Enabled™.
“Connected Panel™ is an open platform, and its power comes from the development partners who build applications that use it. The more partners building products that are Connected Panel Enabled™, the more integrated options we can provide to the GA market,” says Uczekaj. “We encourage and invite all hardware and application developers to push the boundaries of what’s possible in aircraft electronics to make flying safer, easier, more affordable, and more enjoyable.”
About Aspen Avionics, Inc.
Aspen Avionics specializes in bringing the most advanced technology and capability from the commercial and business aviation markets 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.
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