Originally Posted by TruTrakAndrew
I want you all to know that I remain VERY committed to supporting the experimental (and certified) markets. We know that this market is very price conscious and don't expect you to pay $$$$$ for a $$$$ product. I also know that TruTrak has a good reputation for support (yes, we are slower now than we used to be, due to growth issues. but we are working to better that.)
Okay, some feedback from a customer which speaks to that.
We've been waiting for software for the Vizion to do Garmin G5 integration for ... quite a while. TruTrak first suggested that it was in play more than a year ago, some of us were expecting some more info about it at OSH'18.
At OSH'19, the word is that it's now with the FAA waiting for approval, which could take three to six months. If that's accurate, then the time elapsed from initial announcement of the feature to its actual delivery will be almost two years, which seems a lot like the lead-time on certified products which E/AB folks thought we were avoiding!
The Experimental market doesn't need FAA approval for any aspect whatsoever of an autopilot. It's unclear why the FAA would be presented as something on the critical path at an EXPERIMENTAL Aircraft Association
convention. Hearing that from your booth last week was very jarring, it wasn't great messaging in the context of where it was being delivered and the kind of people it was being delivered to.
I have noticed a change from TruTrak since the autopilot STC was made available: It's very clear that you're prioritizing the certified market now. That's perhaps not surprising, given that you can sell essentially the same product into that market at twice the price, which probably increases your gross profit percentage by several hundred per cent. Hard to criticize you for doing that.
But you're also expressing an intention to be true to your roots, so to speak: "VERY committed to supporting the experimental market." In that spirit, can you tell us when Garmin G5 integration will be made available for non-STC'ed Vizion 385 autopilot systems on a timeframe that doesn't depend on the FAA, just like all
your products were produced two years ago?
(A GMC 307 with a couple of Garmin servos isn't that much different cost-wise and functionality-wise from a Vizion 385, except that the integration problem is already solved to the extent that the G5 can be used as a full-on flight director; And it's been available as a package for almost as long as the G5 has been on the market. You have a competitor in your patch, but from this distance it feels like you've been playing dead? Should your customers who have subsequently installed G5's sell their TruTrak systems on the second hand market and buy Garmin?)