Tom Haines

What fate Avidyne?

May 30, 2008 by Thomas B. Haines, Editor in Chief

What would happen if there was no competition in the avionics market?

Dominant player Garmin got not just a toe, but a foot in the door this week at Cirrus Design–one more airframe manufacturer in the Garmin camp. With last week’s announcement by Cirrus that it is offering the Perspective panel by Garmin for the SR22 GTS, Avidyne, general aviation’s other major display provider, once again loses market share. Avidyne pioneered the glass cockpit revolution in GA and once dominated the market. But Cirrus was the last major airframer to offer only an Avidyne panel. Piper offers a choice of Avidyne or Garmin on the Saratoga, but only Avidyne on other models. Many other airframers offer only Garmin panels. Columbia and Diamond a few years ago offered only Avidyne panels. As soon as the Garmin option became available almost 100 percent of new sales went out the door with Garmin panels.

So what fate Avidyne, you ask? Others asked the same question this week and Avidyne responded. Here are some quotes from the statement: “As have several other airframe manufacturers, Cirrus, too, has broadened its avionics options for its customers. Avidyne will continue to aggressively promote and market to Cirrus prospects to buy Entegra-equipped Cirrus planes.” Regarding the financial impact of the Cirrus decision: “Avidyne enjoys a broad and diverse portfolio of revenue streams, including ongoing relationships with several additional OEM partners. We also have an incredibly strong and growing after-market business.” And the future for Avidyne: “Avidyne commends Garmin for its ability to gain a portion of the Cirrus market. At the same time, Avidyne is very confident that pilots will continue to select their avionics packages based on core value propositions such as price, ease of use, interoperability, performance and future upgradeability. Avidyne remains very confident that our current technology and any future releases will maintain and expand our position as the ‘avionics provider of choice.'”

Given Garmin’s aggressive and innovative product development process, it’s no wonder airframers find the change compelling. And you know the switch wouldn’t occur without a lot of requests from customers.

But what might the future be like if it’s only Garmin supplying gear to airframers in the future?┬áPost your comments through the link below. I look forward to reading your thoughts.


3 Responses to “What fate Avidyne?”

  1. Aaron Says:

    So I’m torn on this. The problem is that there’s no standard design for glass cockpits. For NAV/COM radios they were pretty simple so there was no problem with different mfrs and they were swappable and the functionality was very similar. Now we have the Aspens and Avidynes and Garmins and everyone else doing their thing differently. I’m glad because this means that there will be more training materials/familiarity with the G1000 all around, but of course not glad about the lack of competition for the avionics. But is this just an ‘up-scaling’ of the market to the higher end airplanes where there isn’t any competition anyways since it’s certified only one way? Not sure I know the answer. Maybe the answer is to enforce specific operational modes on the glass cockpits?

    However, it does blow my mind that Garmin charges $25 for the G1000 simulator, whereas the 530 simulator is free… you’d think they want it to be free so people are more likely to use aircraft with them. If you know someone at Garmin, please ask them this question!

  2. Pat Kelly Says:

    In my mind it’s all about these 3 things:
    Do the features of each unit increase your safety.
    Are these features presented in a intuitive visualization that is easily interpreted and understood while in flight, so decisions can be made (quickly).
    Is it easy to change the settings on the unit without considerable contemplation.
    Whoever provides the lion’s share of meeting these needs, will get the lion’s share of the business.
    May the best company win.

  3. Dave Says:

    Avidyne had it’s chance and while it had great technology, it failed to build the infrastructure necessary to compete with Garmin. It relied more on engineering talent than business people…..

    Avidyne would be better served to sell it’s company to a Rockwell Collins who have the infrastructure…

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