June 25, 2020

uAvionix Seeks TSO for tailBeaconX


In a much-anticipated development, Montana, U.S.-based avionics manufacturer uAvionix has applied for a Technical Standard Order (TSO) for its combination Mode S transponder and 1090ES ADS-B OUT device, which would make it eligible for installation and use on certified aircraft. A version of the device is currently available for non-certified aircraft.

The tiny device, which includes antennae diversity (i.e. upward- and downward-facing), a WAAS GPS source and a rear LED position light, weighs in at only 90 grams (3.17 ounces) and uses only three watts of electrical power. It has been evaluated by both Nav Canada and Aireon, the global space-based ADS-B monitoring organization of which Nav Canada is a co-founder and major shareholder.

COPA played a role in the development of the tailBeaconX when some members were approached by uAvionix to test prototypes of the device in a field trial coordinated with Nav Canada.

“A solution like tailBeaconX will expand the proven safety and operational benefits of ADS-B through a space-based service to the general aviation community,” said Aireon vice-president Cyriel Kronenburg. “We’re pleased to collaborate on these types of innovative avionics solutions with uAvionix as various global ADS-B mandates take effect in the coming months and years,” he added.

The tailBeaconX is the most cost-effective solution for compliance with both the requirements in the U.S. for flight above 18,000 feet and with existing and future ADS-B OUT mandates elsewhere in the world, including Canada, where 1090ES technology is the only approved one.

The AV-30 EPIS offered by uAvionix

With the TSO and STC approval expected sometime this summer, uAvionix is now accepting pre-orders for the tailBeaconX unit itself with a retail price of U$2,999. However, additional equipment is required to remotely operate the device’s transponder. uAvionix is offering their AV-30-C EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System) which, in addition to transponder control, incorporates a primary attitude indicator, primary directional gyro, primary slip indicator and other features. The price for the tailBeaconX together with the AV-30-C is U$4,694.

Images courtesy of uAvionix