Continuing its success of aggressively bringing smartly designed ADS-B products to the competitive market, uAvionix now has bragging rights to the first tail-mounted miniature ADS-B Out transponder for GA aircraft, with the tailBeaconX.
A follow-on to the successful skyBeacon and tailBeacon position and strobe light/ADS-B Out systems, the tailBeaconX is the company’s answer to an Aireon-compatible, space-based ADS-B infrastructure proposed for Canada and other countries, which is a different tech than the ground-based network that’s in place in the U.S. Many of the most popular ADS-B Out transponders currently in service won’t even work in a space-based system because they lack Diversity circuitry and dual L-Band antennas.
The fully compatible tail-mounted transponder from uAvionix, which is pending TSO and STC approval for certified aircraft (expected in Q2 of 2020), is limited to experimentals for now and starts at $2499. The device is a 1090ES Mode S/ADS-B Out transponder and is completely remote controlled by the company’s AV-20E and AV-30E EFIS displays, sold separately. Unlike the previous tailBeacon/skyBeacon products, which use the existing lighting wiring for power and ground (which the tailBeaconX also does), the tailBeaconX will require installers to run a set of wires from the tail to the AV-20 or AV-30 control head on the instrument panel.
The tailBeaconX product packs a hefty punch in a small frame. In addition to its transponder and ADS-B duties, it’s an LED rear position light, and has built-in SBAS GPS position sourcing, dual L-Band antennas with Diversity and a pressure altitude encoder for Mode C. It weighs 90 grams and draws minuscule amount of current.
tailBeaconX experimental bundle packages that include the 2-inch AV-20E EFIS/control head are priced at $3194 and the 3-inch AV-30E at $3794. Certified systems will have an approximate $600 additional price delta. In many cases, a tailBeaconX ADS-B transponder/position light installation can yield an easier and less expensive installation than competitors’ panel and remote-mounted transponders. Visit www.uavionix.com.