I’ve spent the past two days in Albuquerque, New Mexico, visiting a couple of amazingly innovative general aviation companies and getting a first-hand look at their impressive products.
On Thursday, I had the chance to spend some time with John Uczekaj, president and CEO of Aspen Avionics. We had a great meeting and I really enjoyed touring their facility, where I had the chance to meet many more of the technical and management staff. I was impressed by the experience and commitment of this group—and of course I had the chance to get a good look at Aspen’s Evolution Flight Display glass cockpit system. John and his team are committed to bringing the top-end technology available in commercial aircraft into GA cockpits at affordable prices, and Evolution system’s design allows you to make the switch from traditional instruments to a fully integrated glass cockpit all at once or in stages. You can see how the system works on this AOPA Live video from Sun ‘n Fun.
Today, Friday, I am at another innovative company, Eclipse Aviation. I love to fly all kinds of aircraft so I was especially excited that AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines and I had the chance to take a flight in an Eclipse 500. VLJs (very light jets) like this one are continuing to change the marketplace and open jet ownership to a wider audience, a bit like the way light sport aircraft are reshaping opportunities for piston pilots.
It’s heartening that everywhere I go I see GA companies continuing to innovate despite tough economic conditions. Their actions speak volumes about our industry’s resilience and optimism for the future.