AEA has an amazing
session each year over which dozens of new products are introduced
in just a few short hours... with only a few short minutes allowed
per company. As a result, new product announcements come fast and
furious at the Aircraft Electronics Association convention in
Dallas, Texas. As "Back In The Saddle Again" plays in the
background, hundreds of interested attendees fill the room to see
what new gadgets, toys and tools were coming to the market.
The gadget freak in us is all a-giggle. This is the first of a
three-part series on some of what's new, hot and not at AEA. Strap
in, here we go...
Sandel has over 4000 Electronic Horizontal Situation Indicators
(EHSI) out in the market. The company has been taking note of
things to improve over the last few years. At this week's expo,
Sandel announced that the new SN 3500 EHSI is officially in
production. This new EHSI has incorporated features from other
EHSIs and transported them into a ruggedized platform.
Key to this product is a lamp with an estimated lifespan of more
than 2,000 hours. That's a major upgrade over previous EHSIs that
required bulb replacement much more often. It has a flat screen
which is easier to see even in sunlight -- even if you're wearing
your polarized shades. It has digital inputs, a simpler mounting
system, a datalink for weather radar, built in autopilot outputs
and it's TIS and TCAS ready. The company has added to its support
and sales staff and is opening a Charlotte, NC, office.
Syair Designs is offering a cabin lighting system that uses high
efficiency blue LEDs and a phosphor coating to produce a bright
white light. The modules save space and weight and have a rugged
aluminum housing that can mount end to end to provide continuous
The lights use are a non polarized design, and can operate on 18
to 32 volt systems with no external power supply. Kevin Hayes, VP
of Sales and Marketing, says that their superior technology will
enable the company to beat any competitive prices.
Sandia Aerospace introduced the New SAC 7-35 Airdata Computer
for targeted for the general aviation market. It interfaces with
the Garmin 430/530, and several other systems.
It can be baro corrected and provides the data needed for the
430/530 to provide wind direction and density altitude. It can
handle fuel flow data for singles and twins. It will be available
in August 2005 for $1,871.25.
Mark Scheur of PS Engineering introduced the PMA8000SR, a
capable audio panel with Sirius radio built in. Pilots can use a
remote control or the front panel to select the 100-percent
commercial free channels and to adjust the volume.
It's pin-compatible with the PMA8000, but needs a 1/4 inch
longer tray. The PMA8000-SR is FAA-TSO approved and is available
for $2,590 -- only $495 more than the PMA8000.
EMS Satcom Enfusion
EMS Satcom announced a total cabin network for high speed
access. Their solution provides a Multi channel router with
VPN/firewall, data compression, an eight-port ethernet switch and a
wireless access point all in one box.
It's certified for aircraft use and STCs exist for several
aircraft. It can be customized for customer needs and expand up to
eight wired, and up to 250 wireless access points.
Ron Barks announced a few new things for Honeywell. The Airsat
II is a completely new iridium based dual channel system. It
transmits and receives voice and data simultaneously.
The Airborne Cell Phone System ensures that a cell phones will
work just like it's still on the ground. The system can send and
receive calls on the same phone that they typically use. Honeywell
expects to ship systems in the third quarter, pending approval from
the FCC. Honeywell has achieved numerous Primus Epic Certifications
Can you live without it? That's what Mid-Continent President
Todd Winter asks about his company's three inch Lifesaver
electrical attitude indicator. It runs on 10-32 volts, and includes
a 60 minute battery backup which automatically recharges and
activates in case of an electrical failure. The MTBF is 7500 hours,
about 3 times as long as a typical attitude indicator.
Mid-Continent is also coming out with a two-inch mini gyro
(above) for use as emergency backup in case of a vacuum system
failure. It doesn't have a built in battery, but is priced the same
as the three-inch gyro -- much less than comparable models at a
list price of $3,839.
Comant sales reps at AEA talked about some of their combination
antennas which they say save time, space and money.
Communications/Data (Comdat) antennas are installed on many new
They simplify installation with built in filters and can do the
job of two or more conventional antennas. Less antennas means less
drag also. They have a great dealer support program with a
new website, new posters and CD catalogs available.
AirCell is used by 12 aircraft OEMs and the three largest
fractionals. The AirCell Axxess two channel Iridium SmartPhone
should be shipping to dealers in the fall, with a customer
introduction by NBAA.
The system creates an in cabin wi-fi hot spot that will work
with laptops, PDAs, onboard phones and carry on phones. It can use
up to four channels plus Inmarsat. They provide a single global
source for equipment and have a Dinosaur (old system) trade-in
program that expires in July.
To Be Continued