Avionics News November 2015 - 55
ABOVE: A John Deere Gator is converted to an avionics demonstrator. Solar panels keep the batteries charged.
RIGHT: The avionics suite on the Gator is fully functional.
website with a searchable capabilities list, credit forms,
inventory search tools, and directions for both driving
and taxiing. Prominently displayed on its home page is a
phone number that is answered 24/7.
The second and biggest item working for Fieldtech
is a knack for forward thinking, certainly a requirement
to expand a business from a small Fort Worth shop into
multiple repair centers in Asia. It also takes a bit of
nerve to dive into building your own test equipment.
Often, work on in-house equipment can be put on a
permanent back burner as a company strives to serve
customers whom it can quickly invoice. Fieldtech was
able to look ahead to the future return on investment for
two significant in-house projects.
The first project came from the difficulty the
company encountered working with radar altimeters.
Fieldtech designed a special radar altimeter tester now
known as the RAT-2000. The test set simulates altitudes
and is a significant improvement over using hundreds of
feet of delay line. The RAT-2000 is used by Rockwell
Collins as test equipment required for its radar altimeter
bench testing, alignment and calibration. Honeywell
uses it, as well. Fieldtech has sold more than two dozen
units at more than $40,000 each. Clearly, the work on
this in-house project is continuing to provide big returns
for the time and money originally invested.
Fieldtech had another project, an idea belonging to
Nelms, which turned out well. In Manila, Fieldtech
built an avionics package into a Jeep since the company
has a lot of customers at the Manila repair station. The
Jeep worked well as a demonstrator, and the company
decided to duplicate the effort in Fort Worth using a
John Deere Gator purchased specifically for the project.
Completed late last summer, the Gator is equipped
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