uAvionix has introduced a new ADS-B transponder to its General Aviation (GA) and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) lineup.
tailBeaconX, the new Mode S Extended Squitter (ES) ADS-B OUT transponder, is intended to address global air traffic surveillance system requirements for ADS-B mandates.
Following the skyBeacon and tailBeacon formula, tailBeaconX’s installation takes advantage of the existing aircraft lighting locations for mounting and access to aircraft power. tailBeaconX is a LED rear position light replacement that incorporates a 1090MHz Mode S ES ADS-B OUT transponder, Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) Global Positioning System (GPS) position source, and dipole antenna.
uAvionix has implemented transponder control functionality into the uAvionix AV-30-E Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) and AV-20-E Multi-Function Displays, offering a cockpit retro-fit upgrade which maximizes cockpit panel real estate and includes additional functionality such as Attitude Indicator (AI), Directional Gyro (DG), Angle of Attack (AoA), bus voltage, and others.
tailBeaconX is also available as a remotely controlled unit compatible with many existing EFIS displays which implement a serial transponder control function such as MGL and GRT displays, as well as UAM autopilot control.
In addition to being a fully functional ADS-B OUT transponder, tailBeaconX is designed specifically to meet the performance requirements of Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) leveraging the Aireon space-based ADS-B global air traffic surveillance system.
In late 2019, uAvionix initiated a beta test program in coordination with NAV CANADA, Aireon, and the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA), as well as sponsorship of the Caribbean Air Rally to equip and collect performance data during the 11-day GA tour through multiple Caribbean Islands.
tailBeaconX is the first transponder to be evaluated by Aireon and NAV CANADA, according to company officials, who say that early tests are showing promise toward meeting performance requirements for ATC-quality surveillance data for GA aircraft.
tailBeaconX also is the first commercially available avionics solution developed with the needs of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) in mind. Electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, powered by batteries and alternative fuels, require different solutions than those that exist today, company officials note. tailBeaconX weighs only 90 grams, takes no critical volume from an internal avionics bay, incorporates its own antennas, and draws only 3 watts of power. This results in longer flight times and higher payload capacity for the next generation of airborne mobility.
tailBeaconX is immediately available to non-certified aircraft starting at $2,499 as a remotely controlled unit, with options to bundle with the AV-20-E or AV-30-E.
TSO/STC approval for tailBeaconX is expected in the second quarter of 2020. The AV-30-C (“Certified”) EFIS with transponder control functionality is planned for STC certification in the same timeframe.
Additionally, a skyBeaconX model for wingtip fitment is scheduled for introduction in mid-2020.