We Fly: Safe Flight’s SCx AOA Indicator

Flying Magazine was among the first to try out the new Safe Flight SCx angle-of-attack indicator designed for the kit-built and experimental markets, putting the unit to the test in the company's Cessna 172 right before Oshkosh. After our demo the only thing we disliked like about the system is that it's not available for certified aircraft. At least not yet.

The SCx consists of a lift transducer sensor tab installed on the leading edge of the wing and a small LED-lighted indicator in the cockpit that provides continuous readouts of available lift, warning of the imminent approach of a stall in any configuration or weight and providing information for best angle and rate of climb and maximum range and endurance.

As the stall approaches, lights on the cockpit indicator change from green to yellow to red. Through the headset the pilot hears a clicking sound just prior to the stall break that Safe Flight demo pilot Ken Bannon described as similar to a Geiger counter.

During our flight with the system we tried a variety of power-on and -off stalls, as well as steep banks with the wing loaded right to the ragged edge of the stall. The value of the safety system was readily apparent during our introduction to the SCx, which goes on sale this week at a retail price of $1,495, allowing for a max performance short-field takeoff and landing that was a cinch thanks to the unit's easy-to-read light bar cues.

Bannon said a version for certified aircraft is also in the works and will sell for a similar price.

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