Avionics News September 2016 - 18

UPGRADING PANELS
Continued from page 17

the upgraded panel. That may incur higher total costs, but by
breaking down the process into stages, the aircraft owner faces
a less-daunting task for funding the work piecemeal.
Lots of options to fit pilots' needs
Does the owner merely want better navigation options? An
IFR-approved GPS can be a VFR pilot's ticket to direct routings under the watchful eye of VFR flight following.
How about a more-reliable array of flight instruments?
Maybe a helping hand for those long cross-country flights?
The options available for upgrading a panel are vast and
varied.
Navigation/communications upgrades
Love it or hate it, navigation by ground-based reference
systems is on a decline. Nondirectional beacons are fading
from the system, VOR stations are shrinking in numbers,
and don't expect any new instrument-landing systems in the
future.
Conversely, instrument approaches using WAAS-enhanced
GPS continue to increase in numbers. According to the FAA,
there are now 3,678 WAAS/LPV approach procedures serving
1,790 airports, of which 1,041 runway ends lack an instrument
landing system approach.
Few other areas show this shift as well as the rapid pace of
new precision-approach options based on WAAS-enhanced
GPS. Among active IFR general aviation aircraft, according to a March 2016 AOPA estimate, about 80 percent were
equipped with WAAS-enabled, IFR-approved GPS - making
them capable of using LPV and other WAAS GPS approaches.
The only options currently available to take advantage of
precision LPV approaches come in the form of all-in-one
systems - single-box avionics packaging a 760-channel (or
more) VHF communications radio, the precision WAAS GPS
receiver (and its approach database), and a VHF navigation receiver able to use VORs for navigation, and with localizer and
glideslope receivers for approaches - the old VHF navigation
system slowly fading in use.
A one-box upgrade not only could add the new form of precision-approach capability to an aircraft, it would also give the
aircraft new navigate-direct capability - with no other system
necessary - while adding a multifunction display to the panel
to host live weather and traffic data from an attractive-but-notmandated option to ADS-B Out: ADS-B In.
ADS-B spinoff benefits
Jan. 1, 2020. By then, aircraft owners must comply to fly
in rule airspace. ADS-B Out does more for the FAA than for
the pilot and aircraft owner - unless you count more direct-to
18

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september

2016

options, closer spacing and higher runway-acceptance rates as
beneficial. Many do.
But ADS-B Out in the U.S. brings another option to the
panel: ADS-B In, the carrot the FAA developed to provide incockpit benefits to those savvy enough to so equip.
Benefits include access to a nationwide digital Doppler
weather radar feed - not real time, but plenty useful at 8 to
15 minutes old - through the Flight Information ServicesBroadcast. Also available with ADS-B In: real-time traffic
- what controllers see, either via a rebroadcast of the FAA's
air-traffic-display screen data or directly from other ADS-B
Out-compliant aircraft.
Any discussion of work to comply with the ADS-B Out
mandate should include consideration of ADS-B In. Before In
became available, the pilots' options for live traffic and nearlive weather images required two pieces of equipment costing
upward of $10,000 once installed - and a monthly subscription to the weather-data provider.
ADS-B In products are free - but they do require an ADS-B
In transponder, either 1090 MHz extended squitter or the 978
MHz of the universal access transceiver. Ideally, In systems
sport both for the fullest traffic picture.
To take advantage of the In products, however, the aircraft
must either be equipped with a display - installed or portable
- capable of showing the weather and traffic on a compatible
Wi-Fi or Bluetooth link screen, which turns us to the prevailing desired equipment on the lists of thousands of pilots and
aircraft owners.
Displays: What's your pleasure?
Electronic flight instrument system? Navigation and mapping? For weather and traffic?
The most-frequent answer I hear expressed is in the "all the
above" category. Cockpit moving maps started showing decades ago - in polar opposite ends of general aviation aircraft.
Experimental aircraft builders started embracing cockpitdisplay technologies in the early 1990s, not long after
business-turbine and airline-aircraft cockpits started deploying
cathode ray tube technology for the first EFIS- and MFDbased cockpits.
Highly adaptable, general aviation innovators now embrace
the smaller, lighter, efficiency of the solid-state light-emitting
diode-based display - the LED screen.
Today, few new aircraft emerge from their factories with
a six pack of analog flight instruments. The primary flight
display is the dominant system, with an MFD or navigationsystem screen providing moving maps, weather and traffic
displays. And the options are numerous.
Better still, they've become far more affordable and come
in a variety of planforms. Some can plug into the empty holes
left by removing an attitude indicator and the directional gyro
below the AI. Others are all-at-once replacements for all six



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News September 2016

No label
Avionics News September 2016 - Intro
Avionics News September 2016 - No label
Avionics News September 2016 - Cover2
Avionics News September 2016 - 1
Avionics News September 2016 - 2
Avionics News September 2016 - 3
Avionics News September 2016 - 4
Avionics News September 2016 - 5
Avionics News September 2016 - 6
Avionics News September 2016 - 7
Avionics News September 2016 - 8
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Avionics News September 2016 - Cover3
Avionics News September 2016 - Cover4
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