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The Soul of a New GPS: Avidyne’s IFD540

The Soul of a New GPS: Avidyne’s IFD540

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In 1982, journalist Tracy Kidder won a Pulitzer Prize for “The Soul of a New Machine,” a book that described the development of a next-generation computer by Data General Corp. and its competitor Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). For engineers in the story, the time-to-market pressure was constant. As Wikipedia notes, “The ‘soul’ of the new machine comes from the dedicated engineers who bring it to life with their endless hours of attention and toil. The soul is theirs, stored in silicon and microcode.”

February 2015-

Thirty-three years later, a similar narrative is playing out just 30 miles from the site of that original drama. Avidyne Corp. of Lincoln, Mass., has introduced the IFD540, a plug-and-play GPS Nav/Com. Pilots are already embracing this exciting new choice in the avionics market. Avidyne’s next product, the IFD440, should be available this spring.

Meet Richard Sears
Richard Sears was an early developer of data centers that served thousands of customers, including Oprah Winfrey’s e-commerce division. In 2008, Sears and his partners sold American Internet Services for tens of millions of dollars.
Sears had made more than enough money to retire at age 46, but didn’t. He’d fallen in love with aviation while serving as a military police officer with the United States Marines. He learned to fly with the Armed Services Aero Club in Okinawa, Japan. After returning to San Diego in 1988, he joined some partners to buy a Cessna 152 and 172XP.
That led to the purchase of faster planes, then a high performance aircraft, and then to Piper’s M-Class. The turbine powered Meridian that Sears purchased was ideal for shuttling clients of his internet company to different locations in
California and Arizona.

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