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Thu, Nov 09, 2023

CubCrafters Unveils Forward-Looking Infrared Camera Package

Pricey Military Aircraft Aren’t the Only Ones With All-Weather Vision These Days

CubCrafters unveiled a nifty little gadget for backcountry bounding Cubs in the form of an infrared, forward facing camera to provide impressive day/night visibility.

The system interfaces directly to the standard G3X avionics package, providing a clear, detailed picture ahead of the plane for greatly enhanced situational awareness during low altitude operations. The resulting image has been carefully calibrated to match the same size, perspective, and dimensions as the G3X synthetic vision panel, minimizing confusion at a glance. A simple knob turn brings up a side-by-side presentation of both, retaining navigation and performance information while providing all the details available from the Long Wave Infrared camera. The system could prove invaluable for operators in a jam, providing an immense level of situational awareness rarely seen in light aircraft, regardless of weather conditions. Even in smoke, haze, shadow, or moonless nights a Cub can see terrain, roads, bridges, wires, antennas, runways, and obstacles.

The camera mounts to the wing, and has been packaged into a small, light footprint according to CubCrafters workmate Hood Tech Aero. Brian Prange said the team was very proud of the results, adding that it’s “only adding a few ounces to the aircraft and only  using a very small amount of power, yet it’s a huge new capability that is always there and  ready to go whenever the pilot needs it.”

“The camera system was originally developed as part of a government contract for USDA  predator control aircraft, but should have wide appeal to consumers,” says Brad Damm, CubCrafters’ Vice President.

“Nearly every backcountry pilot has experienced the scenario of a  late afternoon flight with the sun low on the horizon, haze in the air, and a remote mountain airstrip nearly impossible to see down in a valley and deep in shadow. With this system you just  quickly flip over to the IR camera, and you can see everything that’s going on.”

“Our company has always been an innovative leader in flight safety,” continues Patrick Horgan, President of CubCrafters. “From toe brakes to whole aircraft parachutes, we’ve often adapted big aircraft technology to be smaller, lighter, and better for the backcountry. This system is yet another example of our ongoing commitment to give consumers the safest aircraft and best-performing aircraft in our class.” 

The new system is available for new experimental category CubCrafters aircraft, with retrofit kits ready by year’s end. Approvals for certified aircraft are expected in a similar timeframe.



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