The ticking clock toward the FAA’s ADS-B Out compliance date hasn’t slowed one iota. Come January 1, 2020, aircraft that today require a Mode C transponder, but do not by that date have ADS-B Out installed are no longer legal to fly in that same airspace. The avionics industry is of course bracing for a flurry of activity from operators who waited until the last minute to make the update.
Just in time, uAvionix has released the first of its skyBeacon wing-tip ADS-B Out solutions to help pilots meet the compliance date. At $1,499, the unit is not just affordable, it’s also simple to install. Think a screwdriver, a pair of wire cutters and perhaps a few bits of electrical tape simple … and oh yes, maybe 10 minutes of installation time. The secret to the skyBeacon’s ease of installation is that it’s a direct replacement for the teardrop shaped red position light already attached to thousands of U.S. aircraft. The skyBeacon system only works here in the states.
The uAvionix skyBeacon’s wingtip unit is available now for experimental aircraft. The company says certified aircraft can expect the product by spring of next year through an STC uAvionix is finalizing with the FAA. The skyBeacon makes the aircraft not only UAT ADS-B Out compliant, but includes an integrated WAAS GPS, a wireless connection to any Mode C transponder, support for autonomous mode and of course, an LED nav-light replacement. A version of skyBeacon with an integrated strobe light is also planned.
SkyBeacon’s mobile application for a smartphone simplifies setting the unit up once it’s installed by automatically configuring the ICAO address, emitter type, aircraft length, width and GPS offsets, as well as accessing the aircraft registration information stored online.