Are you drooling for an Aspen PFD? Join the
club boys and girls because this unit packs quite a value punch. I recently
attended an Aspen Seminar in Denton, TX and was quite impressed with the
capabilities of the Pro. I also saw a video of the Aspen rep's flight with
direct sunlight on the unit and it was impressively readable.
If you've been lusting for one of these pieces
of glass or your HSI components are on their last legs, this could be the time
to drive a hard bargain with your Avionics shop.
Stay tuned for pirep postings on shops pricing
and owner post install satisfaction reports.
Needless to say, I'm drooling too!
Recently, several Beech Listers posted pireps
on a rebate promotion from Aspen touting a $1,000 rebate on an EFD1000 Pro
purchased by 7/31/2009. This rebate has unfortunately ended. Let me know if you
see it reinstated.
Here's the Aspen promotional
(Mouse Over to Start)
Below, I'll post pireps from owners who have
gotten install price quotes and their post install pireps.
Here is Ward A.'s Aspen panel blank and design
for his Bonanza:
Stay tuned as Ward may donate the CAD file and
I may host it here! Thanks Ward!
Panel Blank was sourced by our Beechcraft
friend and maven Kevin O.
him with your panel blank inquiry.
Here is Beech Lister Scott L.'s Aspen Install
and his thoughts:
I really like mine and was able to get used to it
quickly. The GPSS roll steering is great and seeing the approach on the HSI is a
situational awareness plus. You don't need geo reference plates IMHO.
The steam gauges were kept for redundancy and
that helped with the transition as I started with the AI and HSI and then added
the tapes to the scan later. The V speeds are a nice feature on the airspeed
tapes as well.
Kevin O' sold me a new panel and I did not mount
the Aspen flush but have no regrets. I thought if the MFD was added later then
there would be too much cut out of the panel. I have no trouble focusing with
the scan and have never given it a second thought.
The only complaint is that it is too bright at
night, but this is supposed to be fixed with the 2.0 software.
I use a AOPA slap on window tint freebee from OSH
that I cut down to fit on top of the screen when needed at night.
Beech Lister CSW provides the following Aspen
For those of you in the east, and especially southeast, our Mooney is
currently in Lafayette, GA, getting an Aspen installed by Gann Aviation. The
price before the $1000 drop was $10400 installed; not sure if it will go down
any now because I haven't asked. Tim Mathison is the aviation tech (actually, he
owned the business before Mr. Gann bought him out), and he's done Bonanza Aspen
installs before. They do good work. The avionics shop number is (706) 638-7921.
They'll put in a G600 for about $24k, if you're so inclined. Carlus Gann is an
A36 owner (a 350hp Machen conversion), a T-34 owner, aircraft hose manufacturer,
custom engine rebuilder, and overall gearhead. You could eat off his shop floor.
The engine shop's number is (706) 638-3034.
Beech Lister Jack S. adds this
about Gann Aviation:
I want to second the good reference on Tim Matheson at Gann Aviation in
Lafayette, GA. I had a total panel redo on a Mooney and after Tim was through I
did not have a single problem pop up. It was perfect from day one. And, the
price was unbeatable. You will find good mentions of that shop in the Mooney and
Piper forums going back a half a dozen years.
Beech Lister Phil B. adds this
night brightness software upgrade solution:
To solve your BRIGHTNESS at night problem - and it is bad - plus a host of
other new features - There is a FREE 2.0 software update that merely requires
your shop to insert a small MICRO SDHC card in the PFD or MFD and install.
Makes a HUGE difference. This is a major upgrade - so get it done asap -
since, any day now (I am told by the end of the year) there will be a 2.1
upgrade that gives much better pan features on the screen (I think they are
Beech Lister John R. provides the following
quote for his upcoming Aspen install:
The bottom line w/my A&P. $9995 installed ($8995.00 unit an
$1000 install). He probably is getting the unit for a net $8100 and install is
really $1900....who knows.
Avionics was $11,551.00. Penn's quote broke down as follows:
$ 93.10 Parts
$ 181.75 some other charge
$11,551.00 and included removing DG/HSI, install sensor and
interface w pitot/static, slave to Century III, etc
Beech Lister Dale B. provides the following
pirep on his shop's MX20/480 work:
I had good luck with Select Avionics in the DFW area. They are
located at a nice facility in McKinney, Texas (KTKI). The owner has a clean A36
that he is currently installing the Xerion and Garmin 600 into. Clean shop and
pricing seems competitive. The head tech, Jerry, is a stickler to details and
knows his stuff. I just had the 480 software updated there yesterday, the hangar
was full of customers planes--looks like business is brisk. The website link
even has a nice Bonanza on the page:
Darwin C., a Baron 58 owner in Texas provides
this pirep 5/14/2009 on
BeechTalk on his Aspen Pro 1000 install by South Central Avionics at
Well, instead of updating my original thread i thought a new one would
attract more attention and perhaps earn me more street-cred'. anyway took the
aspen up today VMC for a workout with a safety pilot.
First order of business was to throw the yoke over to the rt. seat for
unfettered access to the panel. did an ILS and a couple RNAV/GPS appr's. the
GPSS works as advertised! my century IV autopilot needs to go to rehab and it
still was impressive. put the autopilot in hdg mode, press the gpss button on
the aspen, sit back and enjoy the show. that is til you turn final and you need
to be quick on the APPR button or strange things start happening. so no rocking
wings, no hunting for a heading, just flew like it was on rails.
The aspen's glideslope takes a little getting used to since it's on the AI
display and not the HSI. in fact i flew it the whole while in course display
mode with no HSI display at all and never thought about it til now. I'm sure
there's a subtlety I'm missing, but I'm not sure why i would display needles
instead of flying pink lines.
The only negative was not getting my A/P to do the glideslope thing, but I'll
work on that some more. the 696 was impressive; i like the babe-in-the-box
alerts about getting too low. a full review of that will come once i have the
Plenty more to come...stay tuned.
South Central Avionics
20221 Stuebner Airline
Spring, TX 77379
Phone (281) 370-0550
Fax (281) 370-0557
Stuart S., IA and Baron owner, provides this
Aspen seminar pirep:
Last evening I attended an Aspen open house, hosted by my favorite avionics
shop, Ron Collins
Aviation Electronics. Ron sold his company to four of his employees, the
rest continuing as employees. They moved the company from Evansville across the
Ohio River to Henderson Kentucky. They are working on their 18th Aspen
The Aspen folks showed the unit to me, and answered my questions. I watched
their promotional video and Powerpoint presentation, and participated in a Q&A.
At the end of the program, I asked several more questions on behalf of several
The current product is a PFD. The Multi-Function Display (MFD) will be out
next month. The units are physically identical, just different software. Each
contains a battery for backup and should last five years. Because of the factory
maintenance policy of some companies, I asked about battery replacement. Less
than $50 and is field replaceable. They don't want to be in the refurbishing
If the PFD fails, the MFD reverts to PFD mode. The PFD has airspeed and
altitude tapes, VSI tape, and full RMI functions for dual VOR and dual GPS. ADF
and DME support in a couple of months. The VSI tape appears when the airplane is
climbing or decending, otherwise it disappears. The PFD incorporates all of the
annunciator functions required in any GPS installation.
GPSS (Roll Steering) is standard, as is an altitude alerter. Display of MDA
or DH is an additional and separate displayed item. Standard OAT sensor allows
the continuous display of wind direction and strength, in addition to a wind
arrow. If your autopilot has a flight director, the command bars are displayed
on the PFD.
The PFD provides the HSI functions to just about all the King, Century, S-Tec
autopilots. It does not provide attitude information to the autopilots for two
reasons. First, the FARs require a backup of Attitude, Altitude and Airspeed for
all EFIS systems, and second, Aspen would have to certify their attitude (AHRS)
for each autopilot. They have petitioned the FAA that their reversion to PFD
ability provided by their MFD should satisfy the requirement for backup. Aspen
says that the FAA has agreed and the paperwork is pending with the FAA.
The KI256 (KFC200) emulation is ready for release as soon as the approvals
are in hand. Century attitude will follow. Understand that autopilot support is
provided now for the HSI, even if you only have a DG. To get rid of the attitude
indicators, King first and Century next, will require both PFD and MFD
installation (about $17k total)
Larry O. asked about Track Up in Arc mode. Yes and no. Track Up can be pilot
selected for the MFD, but not on the HSI portion of the PFD. They may
incorporate HSI Track Up in a later release. They did say that there have been a
few requests for Track Up on the PFD HSI. One Aspen fellow recalled a request
from a retired Florida airline pilot, another from a fellow from Kenosha. The
other Aspen guy recalled requests from a windsurfing print shop owner and
another from a real estate guy. In any event, it will do what the EX500 does
not. Each unit is powered independently. The displayed data, nearby airports etc
all come from the GPS. If airports are shown on the 430 or 480, they will be
displayed on the Aspen.
Bob S. commented that the display appeared cluttered. Press the TPS button,
the airspeed and altitude tapes go away, showing a nice clean and large attitude
indicator. Another button toggles between 360 and Arc mode for the HSI. Bob also
commented about the unit sticking out from the panel, flush mount is an option.
They had pictures of the flush mount.
Because the PFD comes with a GPS receiver standard, it allows for an
interesting feature. Although the pilot cannot program the GPS or do anything
with it, should our panel GPS die, the Aspen will retain the last flightplan in
memory and use the VFR GPS to complete the flight.
In case of a total electrical system failure, the Aspen internal battery will
power the unit and it's GPS receiver.
CK L. asked about Synthetic Vision. It is working on their demo unit and will
be released 2Q2010, possibly sooner. Jeppview should be ready in early 2010 and
Jeppesen airport diagrams will be ready later this year for the MFD and will be
geo-referenced with the airplane progressing along taxiways.
Jorge D. asked about 3D terrain for Argentina and the rest of South America.
The Aspen folks says that depends on what Jeppesen offers. Jeppesen provides
data subscriptions, not Aspen. The decision has not yet been made about where
the terrain database will be stored. It may be loaded onto a memory module
or left on a mini SD card and kept in the port as in the Garmin 430/530.
I really liked the unit but would like to see the Garmin offerings (G600).
Keep those pireps coming folks. Click here to
Thanks for your helping other CSOBs select
shops that give buyers positive install experiences while maximizing their
avionics spend dollars!