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DFC100, Release 9.2 and Synthetic Vision

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AviMike View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviMike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: DFC100, Release 9.2 and Synthetic Vision
    Posted: 24 Sep 2010 at 1:29pm
My apologies for a long explanation but I wanted to give you a comprehensive update on the certification and delivery of Release 9.2 and the DFC100 autopilot. The fundamental differences between DFC100 and DFC90 involved a few architectural changes (talking on the Byteflight digital databus, using the Avidyne FMS900w as the navigator instead of the Garmin 430s, etc) and a bunch of extra functional features (VNAV mode, Vectors integration, and a bunch of neat envelope protection enhancements above what DFC90 has - in fact, there are a bunch of new goodies in there that we haven't told anyone about yet). Those changes are all schedule deltas on top of DFC90 but the good news is that we are done with development, have already entered final "tests-for-credit" and expect to be submitting everything to the FAA within the next 30 days or so. Once that is complete, we have what is typically a 20-40 day wait period as the FAA crunches through the reams of data and documents submitted and fly it themselves for final evaluation. The end of that wait period results in FAA cert.  This FAA cert process is the final risk point since they could require a change.

We do plan to run a short "pilot program" after certification where we'll pick a few airplanes (I'm thinking approximately 3) where we'll do the upgrade at different shops and validate, and update/change as required, any docs and procedures to ensure the upgrade process for all that follow is as smooth as possible. Unlike DFC90 where we had to go through all kinds of crazy gymnastics with the FAA to get the Envelope Protection features approved, all of that is considered known ground now with both us and the FAA so we do not anticipate the same kinds of fielding delays we had in DFC90. When we are complete with the pilot program (I'd plan on approximately a 3-week duration), we will open it up for mass installation to our R9 fleet.

We have the physical assets for the entire DFC100 customer base already in the process of build out and the supporting R9 software update will be a field loadable software update so there are no plans to have to ship anything back to an Avidyne facility. 

Release 9.2 has fixes for the following items; the missing range-to-altitude arc, the Direct-to guidance issue and the map redraw slowdown.  There are also other bug fixes that will be provided in the release notes.

SynVis is proceeding in parallel with the DFC100 program and is also making good progress.  SynVis is part of Release 9.3.  We have flown versions of it and it is continually being improved by the software development team.  We are meeting with the FAA this fall to show them a nearly final version so that there will be no surprises during the later FAA flight testing.  As the development progresses and the DFC100 is certified, I’ll have greater fidelity on a certification date.

Avidyne want these products out more than anyone else and we are pushing the developers and the FAA as much as possible.  Please bear with us as we proceed through these developments and deliver a great and reliable product.
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Harvey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harvey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2010 at 3:36am

What is the best current estimate for the release dates for 9.2 and 9.3 (with SynVis)?  Will 9.2 carry both the DCF100 and the EVS camera?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviMike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2010 at 3:29pm
Harvey,

Release 9.2 is in final test for credit and will be flown by FAA for certification in early November, assuming their schedule remains intact.  Typical documentation assembly after the FAA flight test is two weeks then we submit for TSO/STC approval, which takes about four weeks.  As a result, we are pushing hard to get R9.2/DFC100 done by the holidays. 

We are pushing the FAA to fly EVS when they are here in November.  We and the FAA have separated out the DFC and EVS STC certification activities.  So we could get both, one or none approved during the FAA flights.  We are expecting both but you never know.

Release 9.3 is being worked in parallel.  It will be completed in the first half of 2011.  When R9.2 is certified then that team will be added to the R9.3 team and then we'll be able to predict the end date of R9.3.

- Mike I.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviMike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2010 at 9:10am
I hope you have been following Jake's tweets about last week's DFC100/R9.2 TIA testing.  There was a little concern on the last day but we assured them that how it is implemented is safe.  These tests also complete the R9.2 FAA testing so from here we will be submitting the TSO and STC paperwork ASAP.  We are excited about getting our digital autopilot onto R9 and I'm sure you are as well...

The bad news about last week is that the EVS evaluation did not happen since the FAA test pilot required was not available.  He owes us a big-time IOU!

Keep your eyes open for the full contents of Release 9.2 and additional DFC100 Release 1 features.  I'll start a new post.

- Mike
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