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Aspen Avionics Announces Connected Panelâ„¢

July 25, 2011

Revolutionary new product line connects mobile devices to panel-mounted certified avionics

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Oshkosh, WI, July 26, 2011: Aspen Avionics announced today its patent-pending line of Connected Panel™ products that seamlessly integrate aviation application data from personal handheld devices with certified avionics installed in an aircraft’s panel. These revolutionary new products are being demonstrated at AirVenture 2011, in the Aspen Avionics booth #2145, Hangar B.

Connected Panel™ includes hardware, software, and application components that provide two-way wireless communications between panel avionics and personal smart devices to streamline flight-related activities. This technology is enabled via Aspen’s Evolution Flight Displays. Initial applications are in development for Apple iOS and Android platforms.

Connected™ Pilot is the first Connected Panel™ hardware and software system, and will list for under $2500. It will be available for installation via Aspen’s authorized dealer network by the end of 2011. Aspen’s Connected™ Pilot app, designed for the iPad, will be available via the iTunes store.

In addition to creating Connected Panel™ technology, Aspen is fostering a robust community of partners – inside and outside of the aviation industry – to develop products for the Connected Panel™ platform. This platform is based on an open hardware architecture and application programming interface (API).

“Mobile devices have revolutionized how pilots use flight data, but until now these smart devices have been unable to communicate with onboard systems in real time,” says Brad Hayden, Vice President of Marketing for Aspen Avionics. “The Evolution Flight Display products are interoperable with a variety of new and legacy avionics products from multiple manufacturers, making Evolution a natural networker of flight data. Aspen’s Connected Panel™ creates a wireless bridge between smart devices and the aircraft’s certified avionics, increasing the pilot’s access to data and enhancing the utility of their mobile devices.”

The Connected Panel™ hardware is enclosed in a small box called the CG100 (patent-pending) that is blind-mounted behind the aircraft’s panel. The feature-rich CG100 contains wireless, Bluetooth™, and USB connectivity options — as well as flash memory storage. Leveraging commercially available technology, the CG100 includes standard protocol ports and communications slots that will allow Connected Panel™ developers to add peripheral hardware as needed to enhance the utility of their own applications.

Aspen, ForeFlight, and AvConnect Each Offer Launch Products

Connected™ Pilot, the initial product of the planned Connected Panel™ line, includes the ability to tune radios and cross-fill flight plans from an iPad to the Bendix/King by Honeywell KSN 770 Nav/Com/GPS (currently being developed by Honeywell and Aspen Avionics).

ForeFlight, developer of the leading iPad flight planning application on the market, will release a new version of ForeFlight Mobile that will work with Connected™ Pilot. ForeFlight Mobile users who install Connected™ Pilot will be able to create flight plans on their iPads and wirelessly load them into the KSN 770 using ForeFlight’s intuitive, award-winning interface. Modifications to flight plans, made using either the installed GPS or iPad, can easily be synchronized wirelessly on both the portable and panel-mounted equipment.

Radio tuning from ForeFlight Mobile into the KSN 770 will also be intuitive. The ForeFlight Mobile app will allow the pilot, by a simple touch on the iPad’s display, to easily push radio frequencies that appear in airport diagrams and charts into the “standby” window of the radio’s Nav/Com. All the pilot will need to do is toggle the frequency on the radio from “standby” to “active” to accept the tuning from the iPad.

Pilot hours and aircraft performance data logging will be able to be automated through Connected™ Pilot, thanks to its integration with AvConnect — a comprehensive aircraft and pilot management application available for general aviation. The AvConnect iPad app will automatically record pilot and aircraft data from installed systems and will then seamlessly create entries in the cloud-based portion of its application — simplifying aircraft and pilot record keeping requirements.

In addition to the KSN 770 integration, all or part of Connected Panel™ functionality will be available for other legacy GPS navigators, depending upon that GPS’s ability to transmit and receive data.

“We are pleased to have ForeFlight and AvConnect as our premiere launch partners for Connected™ Pilot,” says John Uczekaj, President and CEO of Aspen Avionics. “The integrated functionality of these companies’ applications with Connected Panel™ demonstrates the increased capability and superior user experience this platform can provide. We look forward to our continuing partnership with ForeFlight and AvConnect as we explore new ways to revolutionize the general aviation cockpit.”

Along with Aspen’s open hardware architecture, Connected Panel™ developers will also have access to an open API with no licensing or royalty fees.

Other Industry Partners Join Connected Panel™

Aspen has been actively cultivating partnerships among top aviation hardware and application developers who will employ the open Connected Panel™ architecture to create new and exciting cockpit products in the future. In addition to AvConnect and ForeFlight; Jeppesen, JP Instruments, Parrot, Pinnacle Aerospace, PS Engineering, Seattle Avionics, and Sporty’s Pilot Shop have all committed to building products and applications that will be Connected Panel Enabled™.

“Connected Panel™ is an open platform, and its power comes from the development partners who build applications that use it. The more partners building products that are Connected Panel Enabled™, the more integrated options we can provide to the GA market,” says Uczekaj. “We encourage and invite all hardware and application developers to push the boundaries of what’s possible in aircraft electronics to make flying safer, easier, more affordable, and more enjoyable.”

Attention Editors: Comments from each of the Connected Panel Enabled™ partners follow:

AvConnect, Erik Murrey, CEO

“We’re thrilled to partner with Aspen on the new Connected Panel™ technology. For the first time, we now have the ability to capture second-by-second detailed flight data straight from the cockpit without data cards or cables. Using AvConnect as part of the solution greatly simplifies a pilot’s workload post-flight. By analyzing and disseminating that data directly into their aircraft and flight records, we’ve essentially eliminated the most error-prone and least enjoyable part of flying.”

ForeFlight, Tyson Weihs, Co-Founder and Managing Director

"Aspen's Connected Panel™ is a giant step towards realizing a vision that pilots have had since devices like the iPad landed. That vision is the ability to plan a flight on a mobile device, load that flight plan wirelessly into the panel after engine start, quickly make flight plan changes in flight via ForeFlight's Touch Planning™ interface, and download flight data for logging and archival after shutdown. Connected Panel™ is closing the loop between pre-flight planning, in-flight flight plan changes, and post-flight logging and archival."

Honeywell Aerospace, Mike Rowley, Vice President of Sales

“We are pleased to collaborate with Aspen to deliver a new, state-of-the-art integrated cockpit solution that will provide pilots with more information at their fingertips than ever before. Honeywell foresees a growing interest in solutions such as the Connected Panel™ and the KSN 770 which will ultimately make flying easier and safer.”

Jeppesen, Scott Reagan, Director, Jeppesen OEM Client Management

“The Connected Panel™ program will allow pilots to integrate critical flight data more efficiently to reduce workload and enhance their overall flight experience. We look forward to developing system solutions in partnership with Aspen Avionics that will help to transform the integration of flight information through this program.”

J.P. Instruments, Joe Polizzatto, President

“Being a leader in engine monitoring systems, JPI is excited about developing new applications that will work with Aspen’s Connected Panel™ technology. This exciting new architecture will improve flight safety and enable the pilot to access data about his engine’s operation in real time.”

Parrot, Eric Riyahi, Executive Vice President

“Parrot is proud to partner with Aspen Avionics in supplying infotainment solutions for the Aspen Avionics Connected™ Panel. This will open the door into a new segment for Parrot in the supply of infotainment solutions for the avionics industry. We shall keep investing and offering solutions like the Parrot FC6100 which provides a state-of-the-art infotainment platform based on Android.”

Pinnacle Aerospace, Mike Morgan, President

“By taking advantage of technology advancements in mobile hardware and software, Aspen’s Connected Panel™ architecture readily allows application developers such as Pinnacle Aerospace Inc., to produce exciting new portable applications which greatly improve utility and safety in the general aviation industry.”

PS Engineering, Inc., Mark Scheuer, President & CEO

"PS Engineering is excited with the Aspen Connected Panel™ concept; we've always been devoted to finding better ways to connect the audio systems, and Connected Panel™ will offer us new ways to add audio control, entertainment and utility. We have application plans, and every time we talk about our current ideas, we think of more ways that Aspen's interface can be used to benefit the pilot and passengers."

Seattle Avionics, John Rutter, President

“As a leader in aviation digital technology for nearly a decade, Seattle Avionics Software is very excited to be a key partner with Aspen Avionics on the innovative new Connected Panel™. We know how valuable pilots will find the ability to send wind-optimized flight plans, charts, weather, and other temporal data from our award-winning Voyager Flight Software directly into Aspen certified avionics wirelessly from any tablet or laptop.”

Sporty’s Pilot Shop, John Zimmerman, Vice President

"As a leader in mobile app development, Sporty's Pilot Shop is proud to partner with Aspen Avionics on this innovative project. With Aspen's Connected Panel™technology, we will continue to raise the bar for pilot training and document management apps."

About Aspen Avionics, Inc.

Aspen Avionics specializes in bringing the most advanced technology and capability from the commercial and business aviation markets into general aviation and helicopter cockpits—and budgets. Our products increase situational awareness and reduce pilot workload, making it easier and safer to fly in both VFR and IFR conditions. The way we look at it, getting the latest avionics technology shouldn’t always mean spending a lot of money—on equipment or installation. At Aspen Avionics, we design products to be affordable, easy to install, and easy to own.

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