G1000 NXi upgrade for DA42 TDI survey

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ememic99
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G1000 NXi upgrade for DA42 TDI survey

Post by ememic99 »

Analyzing mismatch between expected airframe lifetime (50+ years) and current avionics (practically already expired) in DA42 TDI fleet, several DA42 TDI owners have concluded that avionics upgrade path has to be developed. Although for some owners WAAS upgrade (keeping KAP140 and legacy G1000) may be sufficient for some time, we strongly believe that on the long run more serious upgrade has to be available in order to maintain both aircraft airworthiness and its resale value. In addition, technical limitation of legacy G1000 (memory and processing power) in future could seriously limit capability of storing navigational database, especially in case of wider geographical coverage.

We are aware of the cost of development to ensure support for TDI engines on current G1000 NXi platform as well as the cost of parts and labor involved in bringing DA42 TDI to NXi hardware level. In order to check if there's sufficient interest among DA42 TDI owners to invest in development, certification and upgrade itself, we're planning to contact as many owners as possible and get their support. We'll start by contacting directly our friends and fellow owners who we have in our phonebooks. However, any help in contacting the owners or suggestion how to collect as many replies as possible is highly appreciated.

The question are simple (the first two the most important ones):
1. Are you interested in upgrading your DA42 TDI to G1000 NXi with GFC700?
2. If you're interested, what is the maximum amount you're ready to invest in such upgrade?
3. If you're ready to invest in upgrade, what is the maximum downpayment you're ready to commit to?
4. What autopilot do you currently have?
5. Is your aircraft already WAAS enabled?
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hkavasch
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Re: G1000 NXi upgrade for DA42 TDI survey

Post by hkavasch »

Hi Emir, thanks so much for opening this survey... Although there are no major issues today.. they will show up in a few years.. I know that a group of DAN members (I think including yourself) has pushed this topic two years ago to Diamond Aircraft.. but Diamond Aircraft really did not do anything in the last 2 years.. I am still waiting for a possibility to upgrade to WAAS with a GIA63W .01 or .20.. Diamond wanted to create an STC.. but have not seen any movement.
What we need is list of all DA42 TDI airframes.. many of the owners will not be aware of Diamondaviators... so likley we have to do country specific research (as there is no Database in Europe, that one could access).
Is the list of DA42 TDI owners that was collected two years ago, still somewhere available?

happy to help .. put in time.. keep the list.. and do research to find owners...
Hans Kavasch
Flying Club MDG (http://www.edmq.de), Germany
DA40TDI 2.0s CD155, G1000, D4.325, D-EDKY
DA42 2.0 CD135, 42.059, D-GDON
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hkavasch
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Re: G1000 NXi upgrade for DA42 TDI survey

Post by hkavasch »

and to answer your questions
1. Are you interested in upgrading your DA42 TDI to G1000 NXi with GFC700? -> YES, as it seems to be the only viable upgrade path
2. If you're interested, what is the maximum amount you're ready to invest in such upgrade? -> 100.000€
3. If you're ready to invest in upgrade, what is the maximum downpayment you're ready to commit to? -> if this is backed up by a serious company 20-30%
4. What autopilot do you currently have? -> KAP140
5. Is your aircraft already WAAS enabled? -> unfortunatly not.. desperatly waiting for the Diamond STC, so that also GIA63W.20 could be used..
Hans Kavasch
Flying Club MDG (http://www.edmq.de), Germany
DA40TDI 2.0s CD155, G1000, D4.325, D-EDKY
DA42 2.0 CD135, 42.059, D-GDON
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Re: G1000 NXi upgrade for DA42 TDI survey

Post by TimS »

If you are thinking longer term, you want to consider if there is an avenue to work directly with Garmin on the STC instead of through Diamond.
To make it a viable model you likely will have to trim the number of options/variables. e.g. Require GCF700 A/P installation...
Second, either a monthly or annual fee structure where you get all software updates/upgrades. Work with Garmin on a limited number of supported HW versions/parts. A constant revenue stream and captive audience will capture the attention of Garmin much better. By also making the software upgrades as part of the maintenance fee, you would likely significantly lower the hardware upgrade costs. Currently all the "free" software upgrade costs are rolled into the acquisition price of the HW upgrades.

Consider doing this as a legal entity with owners required to "buy in". The cost of the "buy in" is the upgrade to meet the required HW specs, plus commitment on the annual fees. If the entity happens to pull a profit because more people joined, then the MX fees and go down the following year (do not forget some reserve). If you go this route, you can actually "build it up" via bootstrap with the fees. Let me know if you want more details.

Tim
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Re: G1000 NXi upgrade for DA42 TDI survey

Post by ememic99 »

@Hans, thanks for support and honest replies. If we have 20-30 direct replies like yours we'll be able to present our case to Garmin (and DAI) as a feasible business opportunity.

@Tim, thanks for good advices. The first problem we're faced with is that current NXi software (used in DA42-VI) is legally owned by DAI. Garmin is software development company in this case and I'm not sure which portion of intellectual property is owned by one and the other company. That complicates our idea - either we cooperate with both or DAI waives their rights on TDI NXi software and we deal with Garmin only. Understanding that G1000 is part of TC, the second option doesn't seem likely. Moreover, I believe the easiest way to develop and certify NXi is to start from current DA42-VI version and adapt it to engines differences. Which means that DAI would hardly waive their rights. Anyhow, I'm pretty sure nobody wants to exclude DAI from process because we need their expertise in certification and we have at least two legal frameworks to operate within EASA and FAA.

So, first step first - let's check whether interest exists. If yes, then we'll develop business model acceptable to all involved parties.
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Re: G1000 NXi upgrade for DA42 TDI survey

Post by TimS »

A while back I looked, there are a number of patents related to the Cirrus Perspective. All are held by Garmin.
I never did find any patents or public IP related to avionics owned by Cirrus. Based on that research, Garmin actually owns the IP and controls it via contracts with the airframe owners. Also, Garmin owning the IP is pretty much the only way the same software can be used by more than one manufacturer for the same feature (there are contractual ways to handle it otherwise, but I doubt Garmin went that way since it adds a lot of headaches for them, or at least I hope the realized it!)

This aspect also was shown in the information we received from the DAN6. The basic approach you are taking now, is pretty much the same direction the DAN6 took. So far, it has been very informative, and has some proposed answers....
So I would suggest coming at the problem from a new direction.

Tim
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Re: G1000 NXi upgrade for DA42 TDI survey

Post by ememic99 »

TimS wrote:
Thu Nov 11, 2021 8:09 pm
So I would suggest coming at the problem from a new direction.
You're right. Let's see if we can onboard sufficient number of owners to build the business case for Garmin.
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ememic99
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Re: G1000 NXi upgrade for DA42 TDI survey

Post by ememic99 »

There's analysis of how much this could cost (without overinflated parts prices and labor rates) and I guess it's good baseline to discuss business case when the time comes.
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ememic99
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Re: G1000 NXi upgrade for DA42 TDI survey

Post by ememic99 »

As the only way to build viable business case is to come out with numbers, I sent e-mails to some 20+ DA42 TDI owners with whom I was in contact when original petition was launched. Unfortunately I don't have contacts of all DA42 TDI owners who provided aircraft data for petition and I don't have contacts of people who participated in Diamond's survey because these contacts have never been shared with survey supporters (DAN6).

However, based on correspondence with several owners, I believe that we're able to get critical mass in building this case and financing STC as well as getting upgrade at competitive pricing. I also believe it would be big benefit for DAI delivering picture of improved customer relationship rather than orphaning pretty big fleet of perfectly capable aircrafts because of outdated avionics.

If you're DA42 TDI owner and you haven't already received e-mail from me on this topic, please send me PM, we'll exchange contact data and proceed with this initiative.

If you are not DA42 TDI owner but you know one, please get his attention to this thread.
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