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View Full Version : DYNON KILLS DEVELOPMENT OF THE AP76


Brantel
01-30-2009, 07:12 AM
Hope you did not have your heart set on ever upgrading your AP74 to an AP76. Hope you never wanted to get all the promised advanced features like vertical coupling to anything with the Dynon AP.

From the Dynon forum from Dynon Support:

"Thanks for your patience on this. Delays getting the initial autopilot release out the door have backed up our schedule a bit. As a result, we've had to make some hard decisions in order to get the next generation out in a reasonable time frame.

With software development winding down on current generation we've decided that the majority of our resources for the foreseeable future needs to be heavily concentrated on the next generation product line. We will still be releasing firmware version 5.1 for the current product line which adds several improvements to the Autopilot. However, AP76 development is on hold for the foreseeable future.

As far as future autopilot development is concerned, our current plan is to to bring the next generation products to the level of capability that exists in our current autopilot. When we reach that milestone and move forward with more advanced autopilot features, we will re-evaluate our product mix and determine whether it makes sense to restart AP76 development, or whether we should offer those features exclusively on the next generation product line. Realistically, this means that the AP76 will not reach the market before the end of 2009.

In the meantime, we WILL continue to add additional airplane support through Dynon-produced mounting kits and the release of capstan servos (for cable-drive aircraft). We will also continue to support and troubleshoot the Autopilot and all other current products at the level our customers have come to expect."
One word :mad:

I have not ordered my avionics/ap yet so my loss to this point is in the hours spent laying out and cutting a panel based on this solution. Those of you that have already bought in have more to loose. To tell people that were promised an advanced AP that will work with today's products, sell them hardware based on these promises and then months later decide to let them know that you may not even develop a solution to make good on your promises is just bad business!

Dynon, this is not cool, not cool at all!

DanH
01-30-2009, 07:33 AM
I'm old school enough to remember builders who were promised (and paid for) entire airplane kits and never got them. A promised future feature in avionics? Gee. Gosh. How terrible <g>

My business side says Dynon makes sensible decisions to develop practical avionics at a price point......for which I think we should be thankful.

Brantel
01-30-2009, 07:40 AM
I'm old school enough to remember builders who were promised (and paid for) entire airplane kits and never got them. A promised future feature in avionics? Gee. Gosh. How terrible <g>

Dan,

We are thankful for Dynon and support them, that is why those of us that support them and have invested in their product line and made decisions based on what they said they were going to deliver, expect them to come thru.

This is totally out of character with Dynon's prior business practices.

This is not just a "promised feature", it is an entire core section of what was being advertised as an advanced AP for the current Dynon product line.

My business side says Dynon makes sensible decisions to develop practical avionics at a price point......for which I think we should be thankful.

??? Normally I would agree with you but this latest move is completely opposite to that statement!

There is no way that anyone is going to convince me that this is acceptable behavior from a company that is as respected as Dynon where in its customers have learned to trust!

Sam Buchanan
01-30-2009, 07:54 AM
There is no way that anyone is going to convince me that this is acceptable behavior from a company that is as respected as Dynon where in its customers have learned to trust!

So Dynon should have continued to just promise the AP76 knowing it could not deliver product on time that worked properly??

Brantel
01-30-2009, 07:58 AM
So I guess Dynon should have continued to just promise the AP76 knowing it could not deliver product on time that worked properly??

Your missing the point! And that is not what the fuss is about!

Informing us that it will be late is one thing, but posting that "it will be re-evaluated" to decide if they are even going to make it is another.

Remember that this is a core part of the advanced AP that was being sold for the current products since day one!

If it is the end of 2009 before there is an AP76 that works is not a problem, but when they say they may never make good on the promise of the AP76 for the current products, that is the issue.

the_other_dougreeves
01-30-2009, 08:00 AM
I'm not going to apologize for Dynon, but better that they were honest about canceling the AP76 than just saying "Yeah, it's coming soon. Really! Trust us!" Some other avionics manufacturers (who will remain nameless) have gotten into trouble by promising a lot and delivering a little. Others have gotten a good reputation by delivering more than what they promised. You can decide who falls into which camp.

TODR

f1rocket
01-30-2009, 08:03 AM
Perhaps this is the start of a wave that was created by Garmin's announcement of their entry in to the experimental/LSA EFIS market? Looks like Dynon decided to concentrate on their core line of business in order to survive.

I've always thought that EFIS makers who stray into the autopilot OR moving map lines of business where making a mistake. Dynon, GRT and others have a niche carved out that they need to protect. Better to deal with the disappointment now rather than have them go out of business later (which they may do regardless). I agree with Dan. I remember folks who were cheated out of entire airplane kits. I remember because I was almost one of them.

Radomir
01-30-2009, 08:04 AM
On the upside, you didn't actually purchase any of it.. so the "hit" isn't all that bad after-all.. Admit... laying out the panel was actually fun even if time may have been wasted :)

One article author once said "buy based on features that are available today.. not what's promised for tomorrow..." This is just another example of that.. but by no means, the only example..

Brantel
01-30-2009, 08:05 AM
I'm not going to apologize for Dynon, but better that they were honest about canceling the AP76 than just saying "Yeah, it's coming soon. Really! Trust us!" Some other avionics manufacturers (who will remain nameless) have gotten into trouble by promising a lot and delivering a little. Others have gotten a good reputation by delivering more than what they promised. You can decide who falls into which camp.
TODR

I am afraid that Dynon has already done just that: Promised alot and now is going to deliver nothing in respect to the AP76. Remember that this promise has been a part of the AP release from day one.

Brantel
01-30-2009, 08:08 AM
On the upside, you didn't actually purchase any of it.. so the "hit" isn't all that bad after-all.. Admit... laying out the panel was actually fun even if time may have been wasted :)

One article author once said "buy based on features that are available today.. not what's promised for tomorrow..." This is just another example of that.. but by no means, the only example..

I am in too deep to turn around now. I still love the cost effectiveness of the Dynon solution in regards to EFIS/EMS/EHSI and now the "Basic AP".

I know I should have listened to Stein! Stein, I will learn someday!

I don't need the AP76 features today, it was a part of my future IFR upgrade plan that did not include ripping out the entire panel and starting over! Not any more!

SteinAir
01-30-2009, 08:39 AM
Brian....You beat me to it. I was going to say:

I TOLD YOU SO!!! ;)

I can only repeat the same thing over and over and over so many times, if people choose to believe or not believe me is their perogative.

Cheers,
Stein

Brantel
01-30-2009, 09:23 AM
Brian....You beat me to it. I was going to say:

I TOLD YOU SO!!! ;)

I can only repeat the same thing over and over and over so many times, if people choose to believe or not believe me is their perogative.

Cheers,
Stein

:o Well sorry Obi-wan, but hey look on the bright side, now when I decide to upgrade in a couple years to a full up IFR solution, you will get to sell me a whole new setup! A setup consisting of real readily available and proven products! :eek:

N941WR
01-30-2009, 09:24 AM
Brain,

From what I have heard, the only advantage of the AP76 over the AP74 is the vertical navigation piece.

Having flown with the AP74 since June of '08 this may not be that big of an issue. The AP74 does have V-nav built into it, sort of.

You can set the climb and decent rate in the AP74. In my case I have ist to 500 FPM, which matches the default rate set on my 496. When the Garmin tells me to start decending, I enter the desired alititude and the Dynon takes me there at a very steady 500 FPM.

I realize this will not work for a number of approaches but that doesn't mean you can't change the decent rate in the Dynon. Truth it, I think at that point it would probably be best to hand fly the plane rather than mess with the decent rates.

In other words, the AP74 will work great for climb, enroute and and letdown but may be handy capped when trying to fly a coupled approach. (Have we gotten spoiled or what?!)

N941WR
01-30-2009, 09:25 AM
PS. Check your PM's Brian

Brantel
01-30-2009, 09:27 AM
Dynon Support:

One question for you...

Where does this leave the lateral NAV radio coupling features (VOR/LOC) of the AP74? Are they still going to be implemented any time soon?

dynonsupport
01-30-2009, 09:30 AM
Lateral nav from a VOR is coming in the next software update. It's in beta testing right now. It will work with or without an AP74.

jferraro17
01-30-2009, 09:36 AM
All-

Keep it civil, and adult like, please.

Joe

kentb
01-30-2009, 09:37 AM
While building my plane (panel) I was real hung-up on making sure that it was the best-coolest-high-tech panel ever invented. Now I think that this was a mistake.
I have changed my panel twice in a little over two years. I wasn't that hard to do. After flying for a while I decided that my AOA indicator should be closer to my line of site, so I cut a new hole and move it. Cover up the old hole with a small plate. Then I decided that I should have a 496, it was cool and had weather. So I move my compass and ELT control and made a hole that it would fit in.

Each time it only took a few hours to make the changes.

Now there are cooler EFIS unit out that are better then what I started with, so I am working on replacing my BMA EFIS/AP with another companies product. Again I don't feel that it will take me more then 10 hours to make the change.

By the way BMA promised that the had a certain feature set working on their AP. I have never been able to fly an ILS approach with it coupled.

If I were still building my plane now I would highly recommend not putting all that much into the panel to begin with. After the plane is flying for a while then start adding to it. The one thing that I think is most important about the "first" panel is to have good engine instrumentation.

Happy panelling out there.

Kent

Pirkka
01-30-2009, 09:37 AM
I'd like to remind that not so long time ago we lost one of the engine manufacturers. The business with EFIS field most probably doesn't look as bright either as it did a year ago. Many of us has most likely considered pushing their investments to foreseen future...

I wouldn't be surprised at all if we would lose some of key EFIS manufacturers during next year. So therefore focusing things may be expected as well. :rolleyes:

David-aviator
01-30-2009, 10:00 AM
I'm not sure I go along with all this fuss over an autopilot. These airplanes were conceived for fun VFR flying not hard work IFR flying. All the push button magic in the world will never make an RV a decent IFR airplane.

Much good-time VFR flying is being missed stewing over what is and is not available for a panel. The basic airplane is what this is all about, not a vertical auto capture mode of an experimental electronic device that may or may not be advisable for IFR use anyhow. Such equipment typically costs a huge amount of money in real airplanes designed for such flying, it is not realistic to expect such perfection and design excellence for relative nickels and dimes from a company like Dynon.

That may well be why they decided to put it on the back burner for now - good move - side tracked potential disappointment for customers and major headaches for the company.

I like Dynon, they've been very good to me.

Lycosaurus
01-30-2009, 10:13 AM
My take is that the whole philosophy by which Dynon's management has been operating under is evolving/shifting. OK, maybe Stein had a better view of this happening earlier on :-)

I chose Dynon for their price effectiveness in delivering the features and quality I wanted/needed. Their support so far has been very good, and they are open to discussion, evidenced by their involvement in their online forum.

Unlike some competitors, they provided the fuel flow and other sensors for the cost of the hardware. Other companies charged additionally for the software that was enabled to support these devices. I thought that was a great feature, as I did not relish being nickle and dimed for these items.

They also did not orphan their products like one competitor (GEN1, GEN2, GEN3... you get the idea) whereby you were SOL once the next generation was developed (no parts, repair/support).

Dynon offered to provide free software upgrades with improved features, thoroughly tested. They have delivered on this.

Where it started going somewhat downhill for me, was the development of the HS-34, where it was going to allow us to use a wide variety of navigation equipment. I wired my panel accordingly and bought the unit ... only to find that this was not so. OK, mistakes happen, and Dynon has publicly offered to buy back the unit. I just don't feel like doing some rewiring at this point, and the HS-34 still has some value in providing OBS control of certain limited Navs and GPS. I have yet to buy my nav units to take advantage of that feature.

Then, I found out that DSAB would not be supported in their new products. This would prevent migration of say a D100/D120 combination, keeping the D120 and upgrading to the new EFIS. Reasons... I assume there are many. Supporting DSAB on their new units would require additional development, and increased effort in software regression testing for every version. Not even the D10A will be supported. It's a business decision, and while I don't like it, it is what it is. It will definitely affect my future purchases, less likely to be tied down to a Dynon solution in the future. Definitely not a Microsoft business model for upgrading.

Now I hear about the autopilot. I was going to buy the servos, and held off a bit until I got a few more hours flying the plane. Glad I waited. An autopilot, tied to an EFIS, becomes a boat anchor when you decide to redo the panel with another brand of EFIS. I may just decide to hold off longer on my decision. A 3rd party autopilot will work likely work even with a EFIS panel upgrade, though purchase cost will be more.

So, what are my feelings about Dynon. I think they have a great product and support. I consider it an appliance that works very well. The upgrade path is not rosy though, and even if they offered better features, I may be tempted to migrate to a company that offers some continuity and easier upgrade paths for their customers.

That being said, Dynon needs to do what it believes is right for them. It needs to focus its energies on creating more value for the company. I do want for Dynon and the other competitors to succeed and be around for a while. Competition is good (for consumers and the companies), and sometimes hard decisions need to be made by company management in order to thrive / survive. They obviously have to balance losing some loyal followers, with the lure of competing for new customers in a larger feature set environment.

What does this mean for me? I'm happy with what I have now (D100/D120/HS34). Will continue to be cautious on future purchases, evaluating each situation on its merits at the time of purchase.

Wish I had a crystal ball though :-)

(sorry for the long one .... my first long post)

allbee
01-30-2009, 10:23 AM
I was talking with my neighbor yesterday and he just loves doing Waas approaches, he said me might as well hook in a TV and watch when doing them. This is in a Cessna, can't remember the name of the auto pilot. But this guy has everything you can emagine in his plane, balloons in the wings(I think, might be just heat) and prop heat, pitot heat. You name it he has it. A good IFR plane.

Now our RV's, arn't they suppose to be fun to fly??? why do we even need auto pilots. Why not just fly them???

With that said, I'm glad I have the ap74, it sure makes it easy to dial in the b. I'm actually glad of the delay. That means I'll be able to at least get the first flight in before the 74 goes obsolete. :)

SaratogaKTMB
01-30-2009, 10:52 AM
I'm not going to apologize for Dynon, but better that they were honest about canceling the AP76 than just saying "Yeah, it's coming soon. Really! Trust us!"
TODR

Excellnt point but thats just what they were telling people last fall. My brother-in-law Tom has already purchased his AP74 in the hopes to later have the full-IFR autopilot to go with the EFIS unit we bought. No, we don't want to wait 2 years for the moving map in our (shared) RV-7, and we don't want the very limited autopilot system we are now stuck with. As Tom has been the guy in charge of our avionics I am sure he feels a debt owed to me for setting us up with a non-IFR autopilot when we are building an IFR panel, and he was swayed away from the TruTrak by Dynon's promise of approach-shooting capability for $1500 plus parts.

Not sure what to do now - might any of you gentlemen wish to purchase a AP74 autopilot? $1500 for 2 servos and AP34.

orchidman
01-30-2009, 11:07 AM
Now our RV's, arn't they suppose to be fun to fly??? why do we even need auto pilots. Why not just fly them???
Depends on which RV you are talking about. If your normal leg is 3 to 5 hours at 12,000 to 14,000 ft, I would say an AP with all the bells and whistles is all but required.:D

Jamie
01-30-2009, 11:17 AM
Depends on which RV you are talking about. If your normal leg is 3 to 5 hours at 12,000 to 14,000 ft, I would say an AP with all the bells and whistles is all but required.:D

To respectfully disagree, on those long flights you just need an AP that can follow a GPS course...that's it. :)

jferraro17
01-30-2009, 11:34 AM
Long legs, at cruise, from a pilot fatigue/violation/task eliminator point of view, I'd say altitude hold is more important, unless you are on an IFR clearance and expected to hold a specific course/radial.

JMO- :)

Joe

Jamie
01-30-2009, 11:38 AM
Long legs, at cruise, from a pilot fatigue/violation/task eliminator point of view, I'd say altitude hold is more important, unless you are on an IFR clearance and expected to hold a specific course/radial.

JMO- :)

Joe

Well, I wouldn't say it's more important....but yeah, it is important. I was referring to all of the "fancy" stuff. You don't need vertical nav, ARINC support, etc for long legs.

allbee
01-30-2009, 11:39 AM
Depends on which RV you are talking about. If your normal leg is 3 to 5 hours at 12,000 to 14,000 ft, I would say an AP with all the bells and whistles is all but required.:D


Ya, I know, that's why I have the AP also. For those CC flights.

breister
01-30-2009, 12:02 PM
Brain,

From what I have heard, the only advantage of the AP76 over the AP74 is the vertical navigation piece.

Having flown with the AP74 since June of '08 this may not be that big of an issue. The AP74 does have V-nav built into it, sort of.

You can set the climb and decent rate in the AP74. In my case I have ist to 500 FPM, which matches the default rate set on my 496. When the Garmin tells me to start decending, I enter the desired alititude and the Dynon takes me there at a very steady 500 FPM.

I realize this will not work for a number of approaches but that doesn't mean you can't change the decent rate in the Dynon. Truth it, I think at that point it would probably be best to hand fly the plane rather than mess with the decent rates.

In other words, the AP74 will work great for climb, enroute and and letdown but may be handy capped when trying to fly a coupled approach. (Have we gotten spoiled or what?!)

In my last aircraft with a TruTrack coupled autopilot, I often found I got a BETTER approach by using this approach. When coupled, the autopilot would keep changing pitch trying to remain "dead on" the glideslope, the result being rapid changes in airspeed requiring large power corrections.

I am looking forward to flying a coupled GPSS approach in the near future - but in the back of my mind I am already prepared to "revert" to a "rate of descent" mode rather than coupling to the GS.

bkc3921
01-30-2009, 01:41 PM
To Brian: I agree with you in spirit..I hate being taken down the primrose path, promised something, and then let down. Saying it was a business decision would offer little comfort..guess it's good that you are not in any deeper.

To: Dave Domeier (a guy I have met before..and a great pilot from all I have heard)..I REALLY agree with you on those comments..especially the one about the push button magic..

These are supposed to be sport planes, and I fully admit that I have fallen into the trap..when I bought my 7a kit, I wanted a fast, fun plane for around the patch, on good wx days, to keep the FUN in my hobby..but as I got closer to the end, everyone was buying EFIS, Ap's, Huge Gps's with WX, Satellite radio,etc..and I assumed if someone else was doing it, I should also..posts about resale value, etc did not help...and the next thing I knew I was so confused that it has stopped being fun. I hope to fly this summer, all I have to do is pull the trigger on the panel. I gotta tell you, I'm tempted to get a steam six pack, a compass, engine monitor, a good map and an extra pair of reading glasses..To the devil with all the rest. ..when I get fatigued, I'll land it and have a cup of coffee. I know at my age the fuel capacity is greater than my bladder capacity.

Sorry for the rant..but it felt good to get it off my chest..

P.S. To Joe Ferraro..You asked to keep it "adult"..and then I saw the Napoleon Dynamite avatar....laughed out loud and scared my dog...!
Great Picture..!

jferraro17
01-30-2009, 01:51 PM
I guess I need a Napoleon picture with a Moderator's hat for those types of posts...
;)



Joe

Brantel
01-30-2009, 02:04 PM
These are supposed to be sport planes, and I fully admit that I have fallen into the trap..when I bought my 7a kit, I wanted a fast, fun plane for around the patch, on good wx days, to keep the FUN in my hobby..but as I got closer to the end, everyone was buying EFIS, Ap's, Huge Gps's with WX, Satellite radio,etc..and I assumed if someone else was doing it, I should also..posts about resale value, etc did not help...and the next thing I knew I was so confused that it has stopped being fun. I hope to fly this summer, all I have to do is pull the trigger on the panel. I gotta tell you, I'm tempted to get a steam six pack, a compass, engine monitor, a good map and an extra pair of reading glasses..To the devil with all the rest. ..when I get fatigued, I'll land it and have a cup of coffee. I know at my age the fuel capacity is greater than my bladder capacity.



Some like sticks and rudders and open cockpits and no electrical system.

Some like full up IFR monsters with $90,000 worth of glass.

I like the most bang I can get for my $15K panel budget.

Interacting with the technology on a flight to me is just as much fun as the actual flying even on a CAVU day. Part of the fun to me is the challange of putting it all together and getting it to work as advertised.

Do you need it? Nope, but who even needs an airplane anyway?

Brantel
01-30-2009, 02:11 PM
All the push button magic in the world will never make an RV a decent IFR airplane.

Much good-time VFR flying is being missed stewing over what is and is not available for a panel. The basic airplane is what this is all about, not a vertical auto capture mode of an experimental electronic device that may or may not be advisable for IFR use anyhow.

Many post about this subject and the bottom line is everyone must decide for themselves if the RV is an IFR airplane or not.


Such equipment typically costs a huge amount of money in real airplanes designed for such flying, it is not realistic to expect such perfection and design excellence for relative nickels and dimes from a company like Dynon.

Dynon set their own standard for expectations by the customer when they announced the AP and made all the promises and claims of what they were going to deliver.

I like Dynon,

Me too, that is why I will still fill the panel with their solution even though I don't like this latest announcement.

flickroll
01-30-2009, 02:26 PM
A coupled VNAV WAAS approach is a thing of beauty. Left untouched by human hands the airplane will 'crash' in the touchdown zone every time. A coupled ILS will not do this. Close in to the airport the the autopilot will cause the airplane (at least GA autopilots - airline stuff a whole different story) to pitch wildly as the autopilot tries to maintain course in an increasingly narrow beam. Which is why I want an AP76 or equivalent in my airplane. If your radio stack has the capability, I consider the ability to perform a coupled WAAS VNAV approach a safety item for those that fly low IFR.

I wrote Dynon an email expressing my dissatisfaction with their decision to abandon, at least for now, the AP76. It will do no good - they have made their decision. But that does not lessen my dissatisfaction with a company that has been built on excellent customer service and one which has until now always followed through on their promises.

I'd suggest that others that have the same feelings do the same - write them. Keep it civil, but let them know that you feel let down by a company that up until now has had a reputation for stellar customer service. In my case, that reputation and follow through on promises is one of the major reasons that I went with Dynon in the first place.

jferraro17
01-30-2009, 02:34 PM
The other problem with the coupled ILS is, unless the WX is below 800/2, the critical area is not protected...wierd things happen to those beams when other planes taxi across the runway, a plane lands/is on approach in front of you, a truck or service vehicle crosses the runway, etc. Even the typical airliner auto pilot has this issue. Even with the WX below 800/2, you get a little chasing going on with another jet in front of you on final.

:eek:

Joe

the_other_dougreeves
01-30-2009, 02:41 PM
Do you need it? Nope, but who even needs an airplane anyway?
Reason not the need. -King Lear

TODR

Brantel
01-30-2009, 02:44 PM
Reason not the need.

Haha, I don't therefore I have an airplane in my garage! :rolleyes:

Geico266
01-30-2009, 03:04 PM
Brain, I feel your frustration man, I really do. But keep the big picture in mind here. This is just a small chuck hole on the road to having a flying machine.

This may be more of an ecomomic decision than a technical one. This is a good lesson for us all to keep in mind with the economy the way it is.

rjcthree
01-30-2009, 06:44 PM
GIVEN THE CONSTRAINTS, I'm thinking Dynon is doing the right thing, for them and for us.

Do one right (the next gen) or do both at best acceptably? You've got to be kidding. And I'm one 'stuck' with D180 and an AP74, sitting right here on the bench.

I can't believe I'm saying this, 'cause I thought I wasn't that old, but having made the SAME decisions for SW & HW for safety related stuff of the 80,000lb variety, I get it.

I sense outrage as if somebody did this with intent . . . and doubt that highly. Jimmy Buffett put it pretty well in this case: "breathe in, breathe out, move on".:rolleyes:

Rick 90432 fuse details/wire routing and panel

24Golf
01-30-2009, 06:58 PM
Just 2 weeks ago, I called Dynon to ask about the availability of the AP76. I was told it would still be a few months before it was released, but, if I purchased the AP74 now, they would allow me to trade in the AP74 at "full purchase price" for the AP76. Looks like we'll have to be happy with the AP74.

dynonsupport
01-30-2009, 07:46 PM
Thank you to everyone writing on the forum to express their concern about the AP76. Dynon has always attempted to be transparent with our customers. Our primary goal with our announcement was to communicate substantial delays to the AP76 development. Too often companies have left people hanging with ambiguity and we did not want to do that. If the demand is there when we are able to commit resources to it, we will produce an AP76. We feel that there is a good chance that the demand may diminish over time, and thus, may result in little demand for an AP76. We actually are not trying to answer that question at this point in time, we are merely communicating to all of you exactly what our thinking is so you can plan accordingly and trust Dynon. Ironically, we were trying to build trust, not lose it.

We will absolutely develop an autopilot with the advanced features we have advertised (and at a great price). We have the expertise, it is in our master plan, and it will be a great product.

Dynon hasn't changed. We have the same people, values and innovation we always have had. I am very excited about the products we will be adding to our product offering and am confident that customers will have many options available to them that they will be excited about too. I have been with the company since it started in 2000 as one of the first four employees. We built the company on the premise that we will make fantastic products at great prices and always take care of you, our customer. This philosophy has been successful, so to deviate from that now would be just plain stupid. But I ask that you allow us a chance to prove it through this difficult transition. We will prove that we continue to put the customer first. I will give away free stuff if I have to! Don't get any ideas :). The bottom line is as long as we keep providing great products at great prices you want Dynon to be a healthy thriving company in 5 years just like we are today. This decision to stall development on the AP76 helps that.

Do I wish we would have waited to announce the AP76? Yes. But we hope you consider our AP74 autopilot to be the best on the market given the features you get for the price, even without the AP76 in the picture. Another irony in all this is that the Dynon autopilot is a wonderful example of how well we supported existing customers/products. All you need to do is buy servos (and AP74 if you wish), and viola! You've got a great autopilot. Believe me, it wasn't easy putting it on our existing product line, but we wanted to support all the customers that have purchased our EFIS products over the last many years. It was better for them... it was better for Dynon.

So as the COO of the company I want you to know that we are pushing full steam ahead on some pretty great things. One of the great joys I have at Dynon is meeting ecstatic customers at air shows that tell us how happy they are with their Dynon product. Our (growing) team is working hard to make that continue.

So as I wind down this speech I want to say thank you for caring enough to express your frustration. I would be much more concerned if no one cared. That said, I would be happy to talk further with anyone who has questions, or needs a sounding board.

Nick Bogner
VP & COO
Dynon Avionics
425.527.1436

clam
01-30-2009, 08:02 PM
You guys are doing great, so keep the press on. You have a great product that many of us want. It would be nice to have some backwards compatibility built in with NextGen for existing customers, but such is technology. As a previous post hit the nail on the head, experimental drivers using non-certified boxes should really consider whether they should be shooting coupled approaches down to mins anyway. I'm NOT passing judgement here, just saying to think and fly responsibly. Dynon lost maybe a knot or two with this announcement, but I'm not losing confidence just because I can't have an inverted, coupled, auto-throttled AP for almost free.

P-Squared
01-30-2009, 10:15 PM
As someone who hasn't been following the experimental autopilots, real or promised, perhaps someone could post a summary of the main suppliers, their features, and what the AP76 was going to have that was so great and has apparently reduced grown men to 2-year-olds? :D

dynonsupport
01-30-2009, 10:35 PM
Oh neat, we get to turn this into an AP advertisement thread! ;)

Dynon had advertised two sets of AP functionality, one with the AP76 and one without. Most non-AP76 features are shipping today.

Without AP76 (ie AP+servos or just servos):
Hold Altitude
Change to new user set altitude at preset VS
All vertical modes have airspeed limits and G limits.
Magnetic Heading hold, including changes to new headings
GPS Ground Track Hold, including changes to new headings
GPS lateral navigation (fly a GPS flight plan)
GPS lateral steering (GPS anticipates turns, not released yet, but will be)
VOR/Localizer (not released yet, in testing)
180 degree emergency level turn function
All pitch servos have trim sensing built in (tells you when you are out of trim)

AP76 adds ($1500, $1050 more than AP74):
Vertical nav (fly an approach certified GPS or Glideslope vertically)
Pure VS hold
Sequencing ("hold heading 172 until intercepting the localizer")
Possibly IAS hold

Brantel
01-31-2009, 05:25 AM
As someone who hasn't been following the experimental autopilots, real or promised, perhaps someone could post a summary of the main suppliers, their features, and what the AP76 was going to have that was so great and has apparently reduced grown men to 2-year-olds? :D

Not sure where your getting the 2-year old analogy, seems the discussion here has been quite civil but...

The AP76 promised to deliver a vertical coupling feature for both WAAS enabled precision approaches with certified GPS's and Nav radio coupling to the GS of an ILS. Such features on the nearest competitor cost about $2225 more for GPSSV and $3900 more for the GS coupling.

Thats a ton of dough where I come from that can buy more goodies!

vlittle
01-31-2009, 08:58 AM
I think the decision to suspend the AP76 development has a lot to do with the 800 pound Gorilla "Garmin" who is rampaging in this market segment.

Focusing resources on the next gen in response to this threat is a pretty sound business decision. In fact, I expect that this whole market segment is going to have a shakeout in the next two years as the economic downturn weakens the marginal players and companies like Garmin introduce new competive products.

I expect Dynon to survive and perhaps consolidate its market position in this segment as weaker players withdraw.

Vern

Bryan Wood
01-31-2009, 10:58 AM
After reading all the posts in this thread there is something that is just about as clear as mud to me. I'm reading the original complaint to be an offering from Dynon that would work with existing systems in place was promised, but now cancelled or at least postponed by Dynon. Then Dynon Support comes on and responds by stating that there will be an offering at some point into this new market, but the magic words that would speak to the original posters complaint are missing. It seems obvious that any new product would talk to existing Dynon products but the words were not put down into the response.
Lacking clarification I'm with the OP, but if Dynon offers a future product that does do what seems obvious and talk to existing product lines I'll move to that camp. Good Lord, do you know what was on the market just 5 years ago? This is a neat time to be a homebuilder.

ncol
01-31-2009, 11:16 AM
Is an AP REALLY necessary?
We fitted one in our plane, but we just had Andy Hopper from Cambridge in the UK,(look him up on google)arrive in New Zealand from the UK, via S America / Easter Island etc in his Cessna 210 - see:
http://live.adventuretracking.com/andyhopper
His autopilot failed the day before he left the UK, and has hand flown the entire trip so far!

P-Squared
01-31-2009, 12:11 PM
Is an AP REALLY necessary?
Short answer: no.
Long answer: Define "necessary". If basic life consists of survival and reproduction, 99% of what we have and own in a post-industrial society is not necessary. So what?
I have a couple dozen hours logged years ago in a Cessna 182 with simple direction and altitude hold. Man that was great! I've flown hundreds of hours cross-country w/o AP and it's tedious. So my 9A will definitely have an AP and probably from Dynon. Now that I see what the AP76 was going to provide, I see why some are upset at its withdrawal from the market, but it doesn't bother me in the slightest. As an older (maybe not yet OLD) fogey, I get to marvel at the benefit/cost ratio of today's non-certificated aviation goodies. Indeed a great time to be building an experimental airplane!

lancef53
01-31-2009, 07:03 PM
You guys think it's bad timing-- I just recieved my EFIS, EMS, and AP stuff from Dynon on Monday, including the AP74. I saw that the 76 was supposed to have some neat features, and "in development"

I am happy with my purchase, and would do the same thing next week knowing what I know now.

I think the bottom line is the fact that most everyone buying Dynon is buying it because they can't get past the price, I know I did. They (Dynon) don't do anything that anyone else does, they just do it for less.

Lance

RV10inOz
02-01-2009, 02:24 AM
I think I started something of a civil war here ;)

Thanks Brian for bring this over from the Dynon forum.

I honestly believe they have the product demand, and I hope that as they develop the software and firmware for the next gen it will then be available in the AP76, just not sure when.

I would just like to know that Dynon are actually following this kind of course and that it will actually happen. Frankly I do not care if it is not released till the end of 2009, the AP74 will be fine until then.

Heck, if the AP76 went up $200 a unit to help cover the costs who would really care ...... well not that much anyway.

If need be I will jump on the Red Rat (its white these days) and do the trip accross the pacific to eyeball the folk in Washington and discuss it.

I think Dynon should really ask every Servo and every AP74 customer about their interest in the AP76 so they know what to expect, and then cost it accordingly. I am sure it will sell.

Keep the pressure on, Dynon do good things, just need them to find the delivery to market.

I do not think its been killed off, just more likely will be in parallel with the next gen panel.........would be nice for DS to comment on this.

Thanks!

DB:cool:

jferraro17
02-01-2009, 07:51 AM
If need be I will jump on the Red Rat

DB:cool:



THAT is hilarious!!!! :D:D:D

I saw the -380 at LAX last week while I was doing a walk around across the alley. WOW!


Joe

RV10inOz
02-01-2009, 02:48 PM
Ahhhh Joe you saw the big Dugong with the red rat on the tail! :eek:

http://www.cnsweb.org/digestvertebrates/Photos/Dugong%20CL25_1b.jpg

If you go back about 20 years the rat on the tail was red...... just to explain for the non locals :D

DB:cool:

Rivethead
02-01-2009, 03:24 PM
Personally I don't have a problem with all this. When I bought into Dynon an AP system wasn't even mentioned as a possibility. Last summer when it was announced that servos could be added, and easily at that, I decided that I'd go with it and put a set of servos in my 7 (I was in the middle of wiring and it was good timing) I also decided that I didn't need either the AP74 or the AP76 so I made no plans for that addition. I understand the feelings of people who were looking forward to using the AP76 but In the long run and in these economic times I feel that the old saying "You may not get what you want but you get what you need" applies. As a person that bought into the Dynon brand I would rather see broken promises than chasing bad money with good and eventually having Dynon go broke over bad business decisions. At the time they released news of the "Next generation EFIS" I was a bit disappointed since it foretold the eventual decline in development effort of the system I own. However, a person needs to look at the broad picture. We are participants in a live industry, the very products we all use are, in very many cases, cutting edge if not unique to experimental aviation as a whole. To take the narrow view that this industry has to act as if on tracks begins to miss the point.

RV10inOz
02-04-2009, 04:26 AM
Going to lob in a call tomorrow to Nick I think

Now how many of you are actually wanting to order the AP76?

DB:cool:

Brantel
02-04-2009, 05:20 AM
Going to lob in a call tomorrow to Nick I think

Now how many of you are actually wanting to order the AP76?

DB:cool:

I was 100% commited to purchasing one but then this notice came along. I have also found out on the Dynon forum that they still don't have the integration with the HS34 and the SL30 worked out. (RMI pointers both locked to active and no way to select the standby etc.) Others are continuing to struggle with getting the AP solid enough to feel comfortable.

I find it strange that Dynon does not have access to an SL30 for testing??????

Not sure what the heck I am going to do at this point. I hate to think that I may scrap the work and money invested in the panel to date but the issues are building up!

Rainier Lamers
02-04-2009, 06:12 AM
I find it strange that Dynon does not have access to an SL30 for testing??????


Should not be necessary.
You can just download our Enigma or Odyssey simulator, switch on the simulated NAV radio and then select that you want to emulate a SL30 on a RS232 port. You then connect that to your EFIS.
Now you can play with the various SL30 messages much better as you can do with a real SL30 standing on the bench. You can "fake" ILS, glideslope, VOR, play with OBS and the various flags, frequencies, just like the real thing...
I have not plugged this into a Dynon of course (I don't own one) but it should work (and it's free)...

Rainier
CEO MGL Avionics

Brantel
02-04-2009, 06:27 AM
Imagine that!

A direct competitor offering to allow another competitor to use his free simulator to help them debug their product!

Rainier, you are a first class person! Sez allot about MGL!

Rainier Lamers
02-04-2009, 08:26 AM
Imagine that!

A direct competitor offering to allow another competitor to use his free simulator to help them debug their product!


I don't really think we are competitors - we're certainly not enemies.
At least last time I checked...

Our respective product lines are very different and there is very little overlap.
Of course this may change in future, perhaps they will give us a hard time, perhaps we will give them a hard time, perhaps we will give each other a hard time. That is fine. Guess who wins: We all do - and that includes you !

Rainier
CEO MGL Avionics

RV10inOz
02-04-2009, 02:15 PM
Brian

I think you will find that the vast majority of units installed are working as advertised. Not sure what the SL30 issue is, but all I can say is buy a GNS430/530W and connect that. Keep ya SL30 as a back up COM and maybe NAV.

As for AP installations the problem you have in the EXP world is a lot of folk are a little out of their depth technically speaking. So you will get a bunch of questions for what are not really product issues just installer issues. Look at the percentage of Q&A's on the Dynon site. That says it all really.

I bet Rainer has the same kind of stats on his product/customers, and while I am sure he has, he may be not to keen to voice it as the customers out here do not want to hear that.

My advice is fit the AP74, which lets face it does just about everything you will ever want it to do, and wait for the AP76.....I am reasonably sure it will come, just be patient!...........something I am not always good at.
DB

GTWreck
02-04-2009, 03:17 PM
I have worked for a technology vendor (non-aerospace). I've also been a customer of technology companies.

If you make plans around a vendor's statements (whether they were made in public or private) about their future products, there is a good likelyhood that you will be disappointed in some way. Especially given the pace of development and changing landscape that is the avionics field today, it's no surprise they have changed their corporate development plans.

I prefer to wait until a product is released and someone has already gone through the "early adopter" phase before I buy into it.

Believing in a technology vendor's future products and making plans around it is just above believing a politician's campaign promises.

Disclaimer: I am a Dynon customer (D-10A) and really like their products. I would really like to use their next gen platform in my RV-10, but I can't count on it being there when I will need it.