EAA Sun 'n Fun Avionics Update - Part 2
Think light, BeLite ...
By Dave Higdon, EAA 465009
April 19, 2010 — Part 2 of our avionics update from the annual Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In and Expo at Lakeland, Florida, which concluded Sunday. Sun ’n Fun vendors certainly had new gadgets to introduce - for certificated aircraft, experimentals, as well as FAR 103 fliers. So here goes…
BeLite’s new “feather-light” instrument selection.
SkyView Integrated Glass Cockpit from Dynon Avionics
The Gemini line from TruTrak
Icom’s IC-A210 VHF Comm
The PMA 5000EX stereo audio panel from PS Engineering
NavWorx SkyVision Xtreme Vision system
Zaon Flight Systems XRX Portable Traffic sensors
Flight Guides EFB for the Apple iPad
Motocam360’s four-camera system
BatteryMINDer from VDC Electronics
The new “feather-light” instrument selection from BeLite includes standard-need items like an airspeed indicator, CHT and EGT gauges, fuel indicators, turn-rate and skid/slip indicators – all micro-sized thanks to the Light Emitting Diodes (LED) used to show parameters. The line-up includes a G-meter and more.
A full collection mounted in an aircraft-grade aluminum plate costs as little as $1,000 – and weighs barely 12 ounces. Low current draw means low power demand on the electrical system. The company has more information at www.beliteaircraft.com.
Letting “George” do it…
Dynon Avionics offers an autopilot upgrade for its SkyView Integrated Glass Cockpit series of panel-mounted hardware. Using the sensors integral to the SkyView system, the autopilot upgrade involves only adding the servos required for a two-axis system.
The full software upgrade for the Dynon MFD goes for $500; servos are extra. Check out the details at www.dynonavionics.com.
From the TruTrak folks in Arkansas comes a new line of panel-mounted products dubbed Gemini and designed specifically for light-sport and experimental aircraft.
The Gemini line includes two autopilots – the AP 780 and AP 880 – an ADI and PFD, and the Gemini EMS for engine data; the PFD, ADI and EMS all employ touch-screen control to manage the parameters displayed.
The Gemini family all share a format that fits into a 3.125-inch panel cut-out, short depth, low power and clear, sharp LCD screens. The autopilots go for about $4,500 and $5,500 – and provide all the same functions as the Gemini PFD, which sells for $1,300. The ADI goes for about $1,000, while the Gemini EMS sells for about $1,500 – plus probes for the specific installation.
Also in the product-introduction pipeline from TruTrak is the EFIS GP, a full-size PFD that can display a three-dimensional view of a DG function, provide engine-management data and autopilot function – and in a building-block form that allows a pilot to start with the basic $2,200 EFIS GP and add the $600 EMS option (plus probes), the $2,000 two-axis autopilot option, and a push-button-activated auto-leveling feature for another $50 – yeah, that’s correct…five-zero dollars.
More information is available at www.trutrakap.com.
Flightline Systems new Auracle CRM 2120 brings an approved large-screen, full-color engine-power-management solution to the twin-engine field - one not only TSO’d as a legal replacement for virtually all engine, oil and fuel monitoring needs, but STC’d as well for primary use.
The 2120 takes all the data parameters from each engine, feeds them to a firewall-mounted processor and on to the display – which is available in both horizontal and vertical orientations.
Flightline Systems offers the 2120 at the discounted price of $12,500 until the fall, when the price will return to about $14,000, plus installation. Learn more at www.ultra-fei.com/auracle.
Comm to the People…
Long-time avionics player Icom showed off its new IC-A210 panel-mounted VHF Comm solution, its first panel-mount and one with a few new tricks with pilot appeal – and designed to plug into the mounting tray of a variety of Comm units popular within the fleet.
The slickest feature of the Icom A210 allows it to connect to a GPS equipped with an airport-frequency database so that the radio can download to the stand-by position new frequencies as the airport crosses the country. From there the pilot need only push the flip-flop button to make the frequency active.
The A210 also allows monitoring of two frequencies simultaneously, provides 200-frequency memory storage space – and can recall the prior 10 frequencies used.
The Organic LED display, or OLED, is self-illuminating, variable in brightness and even includes an integral voice-actuated intercom. Prices are about $1,300 to $1,400 – and with the box’s compatibility with a variety of other installation trays, installation costs should be minimal. Learn more at www.iconamerica.com.
Speak clearly and carry a big (light) audio panel…
While we’re speaking of sound, perennial innovator PS Engineering drew crowds interested in seeing a couple of its latest offerings, a couple of them tailored to the experimental-aircraft set, another geared toward the certificated-aircraft owner – but useable, of course, in experimental craft.
The PMA 5000EX stereo audio panel for experimental aircraft comes in at $895 and offers most of the company’s most-popular features.
The company offers the PMA 6000B as the “world’s lowest cost certified” audio panel, at only $1,095 – including a three-channel market-beacon receiver and antenna. Weighing but a svelte 12 ounces, the PMA 6000B delivers a four-place intercom with the company’s IntelliVox control, two music inputs, split-mode capability and more.
But newest feature of all is the Bluetooth option for the PS Engineering PMA 8000BT, which allows the wireless input of cell phones and music players to the host of other innovations the company has pioneered in its 25 years. Learn more at www.ps-engineering.com.
For the future-of-flight oriented operators, we found a couple of cost-effective ADS-B solutions, one portable – the SkyVision Xtreme Vision system – and another one for permanent installation, the NavWorx ADS-600B, which doesn’t require a stand-alone WAAS GPS navigator.
The SkyVision Xtreme portable system provides the ADS-B Out/In Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) with its own 4.3-inch color display and shows traffic in both an out-the-window three-dimensional format on a PFD-type screen, as well as an inset showing traffic in from a look-down perspective.
With its UAT, the system also delivers free in-cockpit weather. And the display can also be purchased separately to work with other UAT units. With the UAT and screen, power cables and all you need to start using it, the Xtreme Vision system goes for $3,295; the display alone sells for $695.
From NavWorx comes the other ADS-B solution, the ADS600-B UAT for remote mounting. The ADS600-B features an integral WAAS GPS as well as inputs for other GPS sensors to support its ADS-B Out/In functions. This product also provides FIS-B weather and TIS-B traffic and can display on a variety of MFD and GPS navigator displays. The buyer supplies the antennae; the box, minus those antennae, sells for $2,495.
Eyes on the Skies…
The folks at Zaon Flight Systems showed of their range of interface options for the XRX traffic sensor to allow its use with the full range of popular portable GPS navigators and EFB/Navigators, ranging from the smaller Garmins – the 396 and 496 – to the 696, from the smallest Honeywell AV8OR and AV8OR Ace, and a host of other portable and panel-mounted displays.
Options include cable-connected and Bluetooth. Prices are down to $1,495. Check out the options at www.zaon.aero.
Take a tablet and fly me in the morning…
And for aficionados of tablet computers – Kindles and other digital-reader devices – the folks at Flight Guides showed off new products tailored to the capabilities of the new Apple iPad – among them an iEFB package of charts and plates to join its other eBook Flight Guides packages.
The company offers three iEFB options to the iPad-equipped pilot: the $9.95-per-month VFR package which includes weekly updates for the lower 48 states; the $14.95-per-month IFR package which includes all the VFR items plus approach plates and geo-referenced low-altitude en route IFR charts; and the $19.95-per-month Pro package, with expanded chart coverage for Alaska, Hawaii and the Caribbean, as well as High En Route charts – also geo-referenced. These products are available through the Apple App Store.
Options for the Kindle and Sony readers are also available. Learn more at them at www.flightguide.com.
Smile for the camera…
To meet the growing popularity of on-line video and the expanding appeal of in-cockpit cameras, Motocam360 offers compact packages ranging from a single-camera unit to a four-camera system.
These diminutive systems include a recorder/viewer in a waterproof case capable of recording several hours of the MPEG 4 DVR on SD memory cards of up to 8 Megs. The integral lithium-poly battery provides power for up to eight hours of use.
And the multiple-camera packages allow split-screen display of all the image inputs at once. Simple editing software comes in the package, with prices starting at $899.99 for the single-camera unit. Find additional details at www.motocam360.com.
Mind those batteries…
To keep the heart of the electrical-power system at its healthiest VDC Electronics showed off the new plug-and-run feature for its BatteryMINDer, an aviation-specific battery-maintenainer, charger and conditioner available for both 12- and 24-volt systems. The conditioning works to dissolve sulfates that build up between battery plates and shorten battery life.
The system’s at-the-battery-temperature sensor also allows the BatteryMINDer to maintain a temperature-correct charging level to keep the battery from being under-charged in cold weather or over-charged in hot. Models to match up with the most-common aviation battery brands are available.
The system carries a normal price of $189.00; the company offers a $70 discount for the trade-in of any other charger with the order for the BatteryMINDer. You can find more information at www.batteryminder.com.