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PIREP - Williamson

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jnewton View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 May 2009 at 3:08pm

I read the Perspective 560 page manual, and also sections of the G1000 manuals for other aircraft, examined the hardware, received a detailed explanation of the system from a Persecutive trained avionics technician, and flew the Perspective. My conclusion is that it is a slightly enhanced pair of 530's with a PFD and MFD in front of it. The underlying architecture and code, plus SVT and a few other goodies are based on old technology. My professional background was in computer hardware, software and human interface technology and the Prospective human interface at best can be described as crude. As an example during my demo flight the demo pilot still used the twisty knobs to put in frequencies. I asked him why he said habit, but when I pointed out that you couldn't look at the display and the keyboard at the same time, so you had to bounce back in forth he said that was probably the reason. This is just one example of many very poor human interface design issues including hard to read font size. My conclusion was, the system was basically kluged together over time to catch up with integrated avionics suites and it shows.

I then arranged to visit the Avidyne plant in Florida,  and spent a day with the designers. This included two hours on the simulator, a examination of the hardware and software architecture as well as flying the system for two hours. R9 is a ground up new design, with two totally redundant interchangeable IFD's (Integrated Flight Displays) connected by a redundant peer to peer data bus. The hardware and software clearly represents the state of the art. The human interface is superb, designed to be intuitive and absolutely minimize decisions, actions and keystrokes to accomplish any function. The system integrates a Control/Display Unit for data entry and operation with a searate display next to the keyboard so their is no head bobbing or eye movement. Features such as geofill, further minimize keystrokes. In my opinion there is no comparison between the Perspective human interface and R9, ones a kluge and ones a excellent purposeful effective ground up new integrated design. Perspective has SVT now and a digital autopilot (which is excellent), Avidyne will have SVT and a digital autopilot by year end. I've seen the Avidyne SVT and  know the Avidyne test pilot who has been testing autopilots for years and based on what he told me believe the SVT and Avidyne Autopilot will be at least as good as the Garmin if not better. Both avionics suits are feature rich and by year end feature wise, I believe it will be so close it will be at the nit picking level. What the big separator is, is  the human interface, which means R9 is easier to learn, stay proficient and less error prone therefore easier and safer to fly.

By the way in the past you asked how long will a G2 can you fly with R9 after a Alt. 1 failure. The answer is an hour and 42 minuets according to the test results submitted to the FAA. On a G3 it would be until you ran out of fuel, however you don't not have to put up with any revisionary mode of operation in case of a avionics component failure with R9.

So the decision is do you put old technology avionics in the  G3 or do you put new technology avionics in a G2. I believe the second alternative makes more sense for me, however prior to doing that I will most likely give Cirrus the opportunity to deliver a new G3 with R9, which in my opinion is the best solution of all.

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