Since we bought our 310 a few years ago, I’ve been working on upgrading her to take advantage of all the advanced safety/efficiency improving technology that has made its way to general aviation cockpits. Recently at Sun n Fun, Jaime and I decided it was time to upgrade our 20-year old GNS’s and we visited with all the manufactures product replacements. After spending several hours doing our research, it was a unanimous decision. We decided to upgrade to a full Avidyne avionics suite.
What do you like most about the IFD550 and IFD540?
I’ve had the pleasure of flying several flights with the IFD550 and AMX240. I’m absolutely loving our decision to upgrade with Avidyne more and more after each flight. The IFD550 comes with an attitude reference system with synthetic vision that beautifully displays attitude reference, obstructions, terrain, traffic, fixes, runways, course deviation indicator (CDI) and vertical deviation indicator (VDI) all on one vibrant and easy to read screen. I truly don’t have the time to explain all the features of the IFD that I love but here’s a few of my favorite features:
Highly configurable: allowing me to choose what I want to have displayed and where
It odentifies the communication frequency by facility
The frequency page has all the logical freqs displayed in order for quick selection
Entering and modifying a flight plan is simple, logical and the quick Geofill® saves time by knowing what you’re looking for
I can graphically view my flight plan, instrument approach procedures, IAF section, etc.
The touch screen works amazingly well but you have the option of knobs for turbulent times
Built in Wifi/Bluetooth® eliminates the need for additional boxes
You have an AMX240 audio panel as well. What do you think of it?
As far as the AMX240 upgrade of the GMA340, what a pleasant acoustic difference! The sound/voice quality is greatly improved. We no longer need to constantly adjust the squelch depending on the passengers, headsets and vents. The automatic voice activated squelch works perfectly. I really enjoy the Bluetooth capability of the unit for picking up clearances/releases and Jaime loves to listen to music when we make it away from the busier ATC sectors.
What’s next for your 310 panel?
We are looking forward to getting the remote transponder and SkyTrax installed. The AXP322 allows us to remove the old school transponder and fully control the transponder functions from both our IFD550 and IFD540. The SkyTrax605A combined with the AXP322 will give us all the ADS-B in/out capability we have now with the GTX345 but add a much more complete and accurate traffic picture displayed in our cockpit by not just relying on others to be ADS-B equipped or the connection with ATC. It offers the ability to actively find the other aircraft around you without relying on the external factors.
Long story short, our new Avidyne avionics has made flying (whether single pilot IFR or VFR) easier, safer and more enjoyable. We are very happy we chose to upgrade with Avidyne and look forward to many years of flying with them.
Avidyne is a market leader in the design and manufacturing of integrated avionics systems.