Avidyne Press Release

AOPA Summit 2009: 1706

Avidyne Announces New DFC90 Attitude-Based Autopilot for Entegra-Equipped Cirrus Aircraft

DFC90 enhances precision of flight and improves safety for under $10,000 with new Attitude-Based Digital Autopilot for existing fleet of Entegra–equipped Cirrus aircraft.

Tampa, FL – Wednesday, November 04, 2009 – 

Avidyne Corporation, a leading provider of integrated flight deck and safety systems for general aviation aircraft, today announced the DFC90, Avidyne’s new attitude-based Digital Flight Control System and Entegra Release 8.0 as an upgrade specifically for Cirrus SR20 and SR22 aircraft with Avidyne’s Entegra Flight Deck Systems.

The DFC90 adds the precision of an attitude-based flight control system and Avidyne’s innovative, safety-enhancing Flight Envelope Protection capability. Avidyne previously announced the DFC100 Digital Flight Control System for Cirrus aircraft with the new Entegra Release 9 suite. The DFC90 & DFC100 systems are scheduled for certification and delivery in mid- 2010.

“Since our announcement of the DFC100 for Entegra Release 9 earlier this year, we have gotten tremendous interest from our installed-base of Entegra owners about an attitude-based autopilot solution for them that did not require the expense of the Release 9 major upgrade,” said Patrick Herguth, Avidyne’s Chief Executive Officer.  “Now these customers, who are perfectly happy with their Entegra displays, have access to all the added benefits of an attitude-based, digital autopilot.”

With a retail price of $9,995, the DFC90 is an integrated flight computer and control panel that is designed as a slide-in replacement for existing rate-based STEC 55X flight computers.

In order to take advantage of the precision attitude information of Entegra’s Air Data and Attitude Heading Reference System (ADAHRS), the EXP5000 Primary Flight Display (PFD) requires both a hardware modification and a software upgrade to Release 8.0.  The hardware modification makes the PFD compatible with either the existing S-TEC 55X autopilot or the new Avidyne DFC90 without the need for costly changes to the aircraft’s wiring or servo systems. The PFD hardware modification separately (Mod 55) is $3,000.

Avidyne is encouraging customers interested in upgrading to the DFC90 to go ahead and schedule their PFD now for one of the limited number of hardware upgrade slots. Avidyne expects to be able to perform only about 8 - 10 PFD hardware modifications per week.  Customers who accomplish their PFD hardware modification prior to DFC90 certification for $3,000 are eligible to purchase the DFC90 and PFD Release 8.0 software for only $5,995 upon certification.

Entegra customers interested in upgrading to the DFC90 should act now and schedule their PFD for Mod Five-Five,” said Rob Higby, Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service. “Scheduling your PFD upgrade now locks in a $4,000 savings, and provides priority delivery for a very simple ‘drive-by upgrade’ once the DFC90 is certified and shipping.”

“The DFC90 is the next in a series of flight control system products developed by our Guidance and Controls Group in Boulder, Colorado, and it is part of our systematic development of avionics systems that make flying simpler and safer,” said Avidyne president Dan Schwinn. “Avidyne is committed to continuously enhancing safety for all of our customers, and the DFC90 provides owners of Entegra-equipped Cirrus aircraft with next-generation attitude-based autopilot capability.”

About the DFC90

The DFC90 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), Heading (HDG), and Navigation (NAV, APPR, LOC/GS, GPSS). Customers upgrading from the STEC 55X will notice several major performance and feature improvements including:

  1. Greatly improved stability due to the use of attitude data to control the autopilot inner control loops. This is particularly evident and important when tracking an ILS to minimums in windy conditions.

  2. Avidyne Flight Envelope Protection prevents autopilot-induced stalls and overspeeds, which have previously been a major contributing factor in GA accidents. This includes having the autopilot avoid exceeding the flight envelope while providing visual and aural warnings to the pilot.

  3. The new Indicated Airspeed Hold (IAS) vertical mode includes a dedicated Airspeed knob and a new airspeed bug on the PFD.

  4. A“Straight & Level” button which 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.

  5. The flight director capability of the DFC90 is vastly improved and greatly improves the ability to hand-fly approaches.


There are many other improvements, such as a dedicated Vertical Speed knob, pitch hold mode, wide autopilot engagement, additional annunciations in PFD 8.0, a dedicated GPSS button, automatic Back Course Approach selection, multiple color annunciations to indicate armed and active states, intercept mode annunciations, and Avidyne’s hallmark ease of use.


About Envelope Protection

Both the DFC90 and the DFC100 incorporate Avidyne’s exclusive Envelope Protection capability that prohibits inadvertent flight control system–induced stall or overspeed, which are common problems cited in many general aviation accidents.  (See our companion press release for more information.)

Pricing & Availability

The retail price of the DFC90 Digital Flight Computer is $9,995, and includes PFD Release 8.0 software*.  Certification of the DFC90 is expected in mid-2010.

EXP5000s require PFD hardware Mod 55, which costs $3,000.  Orders are being accepted now for EXP5000 PFD Mod 55 hardware upgrades which will be available by the end of 2009 through Avidyne’s Platinum Exchange Service.

Customers who purchase the PFD hardware Mod 55 upgrade for $3,000 by December 31, 2009 will lock in a DFC90 and Release 8.0 price of $5,995, making their total upgrade price $8,995, a savings of $4,000 from list price.

*The Release 8 software upgrade is for PFDs that already have PFD Release 7 or later. Extra charges apply for PFDs that are pre-Release 7. Contact Avidyne for more information.

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’s expanding line of products include the industry-leading Entegra integrated flight deck  linefor new and existing aircraft, datalink-capable EX5000 and EX500 multi-function displays and the dual-antenna TAS600 series of active traffic advisory systems, the MLB700 broadcast datalink receiver, 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. 

Editorial Contacts

Tom Harper
Avidyne Corporation
(781) 402-7400