Safe Flight Instrument Corp. received FAA approval for its SCc angle of attack system, launched at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh this week. The product, which is a follow-on to a similar AOA indicator introduced for the Experimental market last year, is available now for installation in Part 23 certified aircraft.
The product includes a lift transducer mounted in the wing leading edge and a display that fits on the glareshield and presents AOA fast-slow indications using red, yellow and green LED lights. The unit also ties into the audio panel to provide a distinct clicking sound in the pilot’s headset that increases in urgency as the airplane approaches critical angle of attack.
In addition to low-airspeed awareness, the SCc provides the pilot with AOA-based guidance for a variety of high-lift conditions such as normal and short-field takeoff, climb and wind-adjusted AOA cruise speed for maximum range and endurance.
I flew with the system in Safe Flight’s test airplane, a Cessna 172, with Safe Flight director of sales Ken Bannon just before Oshkosh. I found the LED display on the glareshield easy to interpret as I performed slow flight, power-on and -off stalls, slips, and normal and short-field landings. The clicking audio alerts, which sound like a Geiger counter in your ear, provide additional stall awareness that makes the system a worthwhile safety addition at the SCc’s price of $1,895.
Here’s how SafeFlight’s AOA product works: The SCc lift transducer precisely measures the wing’s leading edge stagnation point and flow field. This provides a precise measurement of AOA regardless of aircraft weight, wing loading or center of gravity. The indexer computer uses an LED-lit display with a pilot-selectable reference marker for setting AOA targets in flight.
SafeFlight estimates installation times of five to six hours. Pilots can then perform a short flight with the SCc to calibrate it and start using it immediately to gain maximum performance from their airplanes.
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