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What are Avionics?

The merging of the words aviation and electronics, Avionics are all of the electronic devices and systems which perform individualized functions, used on any aircraft.

Modern avionics is a substantial portion of military aircraft spending, accounting for anywhere between 20-60% of the total cost of an individual aircraft. As technology continues to improve, so does the weight of avionics upon the civilian aircraft industry as well.

Instrument Panels

The cockpit of an aircraft, which hosts the instrument panel, is the home for a significant amount of an aircraft’s avionic equipment. Some of the avionics housed in the cockpit of aircraft include:

Communications Systems – connect the flight deck to the ground, and the flight deck to the passengers. On‑board communications are provided by public-address systems and aircraft intercoms.

Navigation Systems – determine the location and direction of an aircraft and automatically calculate its position utilizing Satellite-based or ground-based systems.

Glass Cockpits – the use of computer monitors instead of gauges and other analog displays, which was first found in the Gulfstream G IV private jet in 1985.

Aircraft Flight Control Systems – automated flight controls used to reduce pilot workload and error during landing or takeoff.

Collision Avoidance Systems – traffic alert and collision avoidance systems (TCAS) detect the location of nearby aircraft, and provide instructions for avoiding a midair collision.

Cockpit Data Recorders (black box) – store flight information and audio from the cockpit and can be recovered should an aircraft crash, to determine control settings and other parameters during the incident.

Weather Systems (weather radar or Arinc 708) – provide important weather information, such as impending lightning, should visibility become impaired

Aircraft Management Systems – a centralized control and monitoring system, such as Health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS), which are integrated with aircraft management computers to provide early warnings for part maintenance or replacement.

Next Generation Air Transportation System

The Federal Aviation Administration, in collaboration with its international partners, has developed a modernization roadmap for the future of avionics in the following areas:

  • Published Routes and Procedures – Improved navigation and routing
  • Negotiated Trajectories – Adding data communications to create preferred routes dynamically
  • Delegated Separation – Enhanced situational awareness in the air and on the ground
  • Low Visibility/Ceiling Approach/Departure – Allowing operations with weather constraints with less ground infrastructure
  • Surface Operations – To increase safety in approach and departure

Ø  ATM Efficiencies – Improving the ATM process


Avionics Vendors

There are several major vendors of flight avionics, including Panasonic Avionics Corporation, Honeywell (which now owns Bendix/King), Rockwell Collins, Thales Group, GE Aviation Systems, Garmin, Parker Hannifin, UTC Aerospace Systems, and Avidyne Corporation.

MSP Aviation is proud to provide a wide range of precision sheet metal and machined components for the Aerospace industry. Our core competencies are Avionics Mounting and Cooling Systems. MSP is historically known throughout the global avionics market as the premier Instrument Clamp provider. Today MSP Aviation has evolved into more than just a clamp manufacturer. Our capabilities now include manufacturing aerospace grade sheet metal Cases, Boxes, Enclosures, Wiring Harnesses, Avionics Cooling Ducts, Switch Guards, and precision machined components.

MSP Aviation’s avionic mounts can be found on practically every commercial and military aircraft!