Safe Flight’s AOA for Part 23 Airplanes Hits the Market

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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