US company Avidyne claims to be the first to certificate an avionics system which uses Microsoft's Windows NT software. The firm has begun shipping its 130mm multi-function displays after hardware supplier Electronic Designs received approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration.

Avidyne had earlier gained Level-D "advisory-only" certification for its moving-map software, which displays aircraft position superimposed on an aeronautical chart. The Lexington, Maryland-based company is working on Level-C approval, which will allow the display to be used for instrument-flight-rules navigation.

Sales manager Mike Rouleau says that Avidyne already has its first supplemental type certificate (STC) for the flat-panel display, in a Mooney piston single. Further aircraft-installation STCs are pending, he says.

Upgrades to the system planned for early 1998 include interfaces for the BFGoodrich Stormscope and Insight Strikefinder lightning-detection systems, allowing the display of thunderstorm activity. Weather-radar interfaces will also be added, allowing the display to replace the radar indicator. "That's the real winner," Rouleau says, as it will give owners an opportunity to install a multi-function display.

Avidyne selected Windows NT as the core operating system for its product to provide an open-systems architecture which enables additional functions, such as three-dimensional terrain, to be added easily. An example is the plug-in engine data-monitoring card being developed by JP Instruments.

Source: Flight International