Dynon Avionics Acquires Advanced Flight Systems


Dynon LogoAFS_LOGO_smallAs of today (July 22nd, 2013), Dynon Avionics and Advanced Flight Systems (AFS) have joined forces, with the acquisition of AFS by Dynon.

Advanced Flight Systems is an innovator in avionics for experimental aircraft. Started in 1999 by founder and President Rob Hickman, AFS first offered one of the most popular engine monitoring systems available for homebuilts. This soon grew into an “aircraft monitoring system” featuring other airframe monitoring and notification systems, a full featured fuel computer, and an engine data acquisition instrument. AFS holds patents on Angle of Attack (AoA) technology and has long been a leader with AoA products.

Dynon Avionics is a leading manufacturer of avionics for experimental and light sport aircraft, with worldwide sales and distribution in over forty countries. Started in 2000 and located with design and manufacturing facilities near Seattle, Washington, Dynon has been at the center of research and development for modern avionics products. Their mission is to offer advanced products at affordable prices.

Rob Hickman commented on the acquisition, saying “I am pleased to be working with a company so committed to experimental aircraft. We have long been friendly competitors; their resources, infrastructure, and financial stability allow me to focus on the product development that I love to do. If Dynon had not been in this market, glass panel systems would still cost $20,000 to $30,000, and they will be again if the people truly dedicated to homebuilders aren’t working together.”

Robert Hamilton, President of Dynon agrees, saying “We look forward to working with AFS as collaborators. The homebuilder market has always been the incubator for advanced technologies. Keeping the true innovators working in this industry is important to us, and we have the financial resources, market presence, and company growth to be able to keep AFS going strong in this market for years to come.”

Rob Hickman and his staff will stay where they are currently located, in Canby, Oregon, and both companies will continue to operate their design, sales, marketing, and support functions separately. Dynon will use its financial leverage and extensive manufacturing and supply chain resources to lower the cost structure for AFS. Mr. Hamilton mentions “With our strong US manufacturing, we can help bring economies of scale to the development and production of Rob’s products.”

Dynon provided answers to questions the company expects many customers will have:

Q: Why is Dynon acquiring AFS?

A: To use Dynon’s financial strength to keep AFS strong and vibrant in the experimental community.

Q: Are AFS and Dynon merging?
A: No. Both AFS and Dynon will continue to operate as separate companies.

Q: Will AFS be moving or consolidating with Dynon?
A: No. There are no changes in location in either company. AFS is located in Canby, Oregon, and Dynon is located in Woodinville, Washington.

Q: Will AFS be winding down their company over time?
A: No. In fact, this acquisition is explicitly designed to keep AFS products thriving in the market.

Q: Will Dynon technical support be supporting AFS products, or vice versa?
A: No.  Each company continues with their own tech support staff. Dynon staff will not provide technical support on AFS products, and vice-versa.

Q: Are there going to be changes in personnel, especially at AFS? Is Rob leaving?
A: No. There are no changes in personnel. Rob will continue to run AFS and will be busier than ever.

Q: Will Dynon Sales and Marketing be promoting AFS products, or vice versa?
A: No.  Each company will continue their own sales and marketing programs.

Q: Will Dynon manufacture AFS products?
A: Dynon intends to help manufacture some of the AFS products, although the details of which products and when are not yet decided.  Regardless, AFS products will still be theirs, and their delivery, support, and warranty policies will continue as before.

Q: Will AFS and Dynon products be combined?
A:  No.  AFS will continue their product line and Dynon will continue theirs for the foreseeable future. The two companies will be sharing their respective technology expertise, so that both product lines continue to improve. AFS will continue to source some product modules from Dynon, like the transponder, with more to follow.

Q: What about the previously-announced collaboration between AFS and TruTrak?
A: AFS will continue to support TruTrak autopilots. However, a joint ATS venture will not be moving forward.

Q: Which product should I buy, AFS or Dynon?
A: What is important is you still have a choice of the two best product lines on the market, from companies that are truly dedicated to the experimental market.


For more information about Dynon products please contact Dynon at 425.402.0433 or [email protected]. Visit Dynon Avionics on the Web at www.DynonAvionics.com.

For more information about Advanced Flight Systems products please contact AFS at 503.263.0037 or [email protected].

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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