New Panel, with FLIR, Could Be Cirrus’ Big Announcement

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Persistent rumors that Cirrus Design and L-3 Avionics Systems were collaborating on a new flat-panel display, called SmartDeck, that includes forward-looking infrared (FLIR) are actually old news to those who live in Grand Rapids, Mich. Last June 6, Cirrus taxied an SR22 down one of Cascade Township’s main streets to an L-3 plant where the new display was developed. From the newspaper and television reports we’ve seen, it looks like a next-generation cockpit display that integrates all the stuff you’d expect: weather, collision avoidance, terrain, navigation, communication and aircraft systems monitoring in a touch-pad-accessible system. But it does include one you wouldn’t expect — a system that lets pilots see in the dark.

The local TV broadcast, which is now on YouTube, shows a remarkably clear FLIR display called IRIS that should make things a lot easier in marginal conditions. We’re still hoping for the Cirrus jet to fly into EAA AirVenture on Monday morning, but the new panel may rate the hype of Cirrus’ “surprise announcement.” We’ll have all the details in AVweb‘s Tuesday summary of news from EAA AirVenture.

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