The lines between aircraft systems, avionics and cabin electronics are blurring; modern aircraft are an amalgamation of interconnected and mostly electronic systems, and the manufacturers that make these electronic elements have taken on a role as critical facilitators of the product-support effort. At the same time and especially in older aircraft, there remain plenty of so-called federated avionics products, standalone devices that do their jobs without a lot of interaction or integration with other avionics or aircraft systems.
No matter what types of product are installed, however, the fact remains that any failure of the electronics often renders the aircraft unairworthy, and keeping aircraft in the air or available to fly is crucial. To underscore the importance of product support offered by avionics and cabin electronics manufacturers, AIN conducts an annual survey to see what readers think about the support they are receiving. Here are this year’s results.
Garmin is holding steady at the top of the AIN Avionics Product Support Survey with the same overall average as last year (8.3). Rockwell Collins and Universal Avionics, in a tight race last year for second place, both scored the same second-place rating of 8.0 this year. To reach that rating, Rockwell Collins saw a 0.3-point bump this year, while Universal’s rating jumped 0.2. Third place this year was taken by Honeywell’s BendixKing division, which tallied the highest change in overall average, up 0.6 from last year.
Avidyne improved its standing from last year, moving up to fourth place and a 7.6 overall average, up from fifth place and a 7.2 rating. Honeywell traded places with Avidyne this year but also saw a 0.1-point improvement in its overall average. Showing up for the first time in the survey results is Thales, which means that more AINreaders are flying with the company’s equipment.
In the individual category ratings, both Garmin and Rockwell Collins scored the top rating (8.7) for overall product reliability. Garmin’s first place overall average was also aided by top scores in technical reps (tied with Rockwell Collins and Universal Avionics at 8.1), warranty fulfillment (8.8), AOG response (also tied with Rockwell Collins at 8.1), cost of parts (7.5) and parts availability (8.7). Universal Avionics’s top category ratings also included an 8.0 for technical manuals.
AIN received enough responses from readers this year to include five cabin electronics manufacturers, including new addition Lufthansa Technik. The rankings for the first four companies this year changed from last year, with Satcom Direct adding 0.1 to tie for first place with Gogo Business Aviation at an overall average of 8.2. Honeywell, with a 0.2 bump to 7.5, moved up to a second-place tie with Rockwell Collins, the company with the highest jump in the overall average rating this year, up 0.8 to 7.5. Newly listed Lufthansa Technik came in a close third at 7.4.
Gogo Business Aviation dominated the individual category ratings, with a 7.4 for cost of parts, 8.3 for AOGresponse, 8.7 for warranty fulfillment, 7.7 for technical manuals and 8.3 for overall product reliability. Satcom Direct was recognized for parts availability (8.5) and technical reps (9.0).
By Matt Thurber, as reported on ainonline.com