UAVIONIX GETS TSO FOR WINGTIP ADS-B
INNOVATIVE DESIGN SHOULD SIMPLIFY INSTALLATION
“ skyBeacon” has already become popular in the experimental and Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) categories, and is expected to be hugely popular in the certified aircraft market, too,” said Ryan Braun, uAvionix chief operating officer. “Its speedy plug-and-play installation provides the lowest total installed cost of ownership ADS-B Out solution on the market.”
The addition of an altimeter—and the resulting fifth TSO—late in the certification process delayed the company’s original certification timeline, Braun explained. “The additional component makes the skyBeacon able to address a larger range of aircraft—specifically those with an existing Mode S transponder,” he said, adding that it “allows skyBeacon to provide pressure altitude to surrounding traffic and ATC regardless of the radar coverage.”
Braun said the company was driven to innovate new solutions by skyBeacon’s unique form factor. “This was especially true for the WAAS GPS, where no existing receiver could meet our size, cost, and performance needs. This meant both designing our own GPS and working with the FAA to develop a new process for certification of complex COTS solutions. This will change the way avionics are developed and certified in the future, increasing technology and lowering cost.”
“This was a magnificent effort by our entire team,” said Paul Beard, uAvionix CEO. “I have never seen a more dedicated, sustained, and high-intensity effort. The patience and guidance of the Chicago ACO and FAA headquarters staff, and feedback from our customers has kept us pressing forward. Not only has a special product been created, but a roadmap for bringing similarly innovative and cost-effective technology to aircraft has been drawn.”
Garmin International filed suit against uAvionix in June, claiming that uAvionix is infringing on a Garmin patent with technology in the skyBeacon and other ADS-B hardware, AOPA learned in August. uAvionix disputes the allegation and said in a statement that the suit will not affect its certification or delivery of ADS-B hardware.
uAvionix expects to receive supplemental type certificate (STC) approval for multiple Cessna and Piper aircraft within a few weeks, at which point the company will begin shipping pre-orders. STC paperwork has been submitted, Braun said, and the company is waiting for the go-ahead to perform a test flight using a Cessna 150; following some data analysis after the flight, the STC should be quickly approved.
A tech paper issued by the FAA last year and the referenced Installation Approval for ADS-B Out Systems memorandum explains how certified ADS-B hardware can be approved as a follow-on installation, based on a previously approved STC. After the initial STC, uAvionix said, subsequent skyBeacon installations can be performed on any “suitable aircraft”—any aircraft allowing installation without airframe modification—as a minor alteration, without an additional or airframe-specific STC.
The company also said it would move forward with TSO certification of its tailBeacon product, very similar to the wingtip-mounted skyBeacon but intended for installation on the aircraft’s tail.
ADS-B Available for More Avidyne Avionics
by Matt Thurber
Avidyne is now offering software that facilitates ADS-B upgrades for aircraft equipped with its EX5000 and EX500/600 multifunction displays and Entegra R9 flight decks, including display of ADS-B In traffic on Entegra-equipped aircraft.
The software update includes R8.2 for the EX5000 and R4.2 for the EX500/EX600. With this software upgrade, those MFDs can display ADS-B In FIS-B weather when coupled with Avidyne’s SkyTrax 100 ADS-B In receiver and TIS-B traffic with data delivered via Arinc 429/735. The software also allows installation of third-party ADS-B In receivers, including L3’s Lynx NGT-9000, Garmin’s GTX 345, FreeFlight’s Rangr-RX, and other Capstone/735-compatible receivers, according to Avidyne.
For aircraft equipped with an Entegra R9 flight deck, Avidyne’s AXP remote transponder and SkyTrax 100 receiver provide ADS-B Out and In. The R9.4 software upgrade is required to display FIS-B weather and TIS-B traffic on the R9 displays with the SkyTrax 100.
The software upgrades retail for $999, but Avidyne noted, “Some Entegra units may have to be returned to a service facility to have the software upgrade installed.”
FAA Certified Equipment List (as of 05-Sep-2018)
Click here for the current list of FAA-Approved V2 ADS-B Avionics to the best of the FAA’s knowledge. For detailed information on specific pairings, please consult the equipment manufacturers. You can also search for equipment specifically for your aircraft make and model in the FAA’s database.