Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019: Breakfast With Innovators

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019 provided many opportunities for leading aerospace companies to promote their current products and services to attendees of the nation's largest annual aviation event. As part of The Aero Experience year-round coverage of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019, sponsored by Elite Aviation, we feature the Monday morning Breakfast with Innovators session held at the EAA Aviation Gateway Park Forums tent. The speaker for the event was Dan Schwinn, Founder and CEO of Avidyne, the general aviation avionics company based in Melbourne, FL. Avidyne produces what it calls the "integrated flight deck" using flat-screen presentations of flight and navigation instruments along with communications and ADS-B in and out capability. WiFi, Bluetooth and iPad compatibility is also designed into the digital cockpit suite of products.

As seen above, the attendees gathered in the EAA Aviation Gateway Park Forums tent prior to the 7:30 A.M. start time to partake of the breakfast buffet. Dick Knapinski, EAA Director of Communications, introduced Dan Schwinn.

"Leading the way in world-class avionics and systems design is Avidyne," Knapinski said in his introductory remarks. "It was founded by Dan Schwinn in 1994, and was created with the mission of modernizing general aviation avionics by applying advanced technologies in order to improve safety and increase aircraft utility. So to tell us a little a little bit more about what's going on, not only at Avidyne, but to share his perspective on the state of aviation innovation, is Dan Schwinn, President, CEO and Founder of Avidyne"   

Schwinn began his presentation by illustrating the aircraft cockpit display units, digital flight controls and communication/navigation equipment currently offered by Avidyne. He emphasized the range of ADS-B and interfacing products available, especially in light of the year-end deadline for installing ADS-B equipment in most general aviation aircraft. The natural evolution of the advances in digital electronics is leading to their application in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), artificial intelligence (AI) or a combination of the two in one system. Here is where the future is being developed today.

After asking how many in the room were pilots, and seeing a majority of the audience raise their hands, he posed this question: "How many of you like it when somebody says, 'I could make some electronics that can outperform a pilot in every single respect?' It's like, OK?!" He continued in this line of conversation by mentioning his discovery of Daedalean, a Swiss-based company developing AI for autonomous flight aircraft. Schwinn sees the development of this technology as a next step for Avidyne product integration, though not to full autonomy in one stroke.

"There are two major things not related to the vehicle's specifics that have to come into place," Schwinn continued. "One is autonomy and AI, and the other is absolutely full-time, mission-critical data communications between the aircraft and the ground all the time." The vehicle design is of course also critical, with new materials and propulsion systems under development along with the flight control technology. In the not too distant future, both the vehicle and autonomous flight control systems will have to merge into a successful design and be integrated into the airspace system occupied by conventional aircraft. Avidyne is taking steps to be part of that development process.  

Programs like this were presented daily throughout EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019 at various locations throughout the grounds. The Aero Experience will regularly report on other special events from EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019 in the coming months.  

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