AEA: New Stuff From Trans-Cal, PS Engineering and Airtext


AVweb’s final sweep of the Aircraft Electronics Association in Last Vegas turned up a new altitude digitizer from Trans-Cal, a specialized audio control from PS Engineering and a new Iridium satellite-based texting system from Airtext.

Trans-Cal announced, new for 2018, its “Charlie” unit altitude digitizer. The company says the unit has the same quality, reliability and ruggedness as previous models but comes in a smaller box and is less expensive. The box is 0.9 inches tall for use where space is critical. It comes with a 42-month warranty, which the company says is the longest in the industry. Shops give Trans-Cal high marks, according to our sister publication, Aviation Consumer.

PS Engineering was spreading the word about its PAC 45 Digital Audio Control with MultiTalker designed with special-missions helicopter use in mind. The PAC 45 uses patented technology developed at Wright Patterson and licensed to PS Engineering. The newproduct makes it available for use in general aviation, as well.

The PAC 45 allows the pilot to place six individual com radio sources and up to nine unique positions, within a stereo headset, according to the company. PS Engineering is predicting deliveries to begin in the third quarter of 2018.

You may have already read about Airtext’s product that allows 16 simultaneous users to send and receive text (SMS) messages anywhere in the world.

The product uses the Iridium satellite network, which has 40 satellites now and is expected to have 70 by the end of the year. This system allows connectivity through a cellphone while on the airplane. The company hopes the device will address concerns about internet expense and usage fees. Airtext says its product is perfect for smaller aircraft or as supplemental connectivity for large airplanes. At the AEA show, Airtext also introduced new pilot functionality and capabilities such as the ability to get D-ATIS, ASOS, international METAR and TAFs. FBOlink is also available, allowing pilots to send messages to FBOs. There is also a new small, lightweight cockpit annunciator that uses e-ink technology similar to that employed in Kindle e-readers, making it easy to read, says the company. President David Gray stressed at the show that the unit is small, just under a pound. List price is $14,950 with messages costing five cents and phone calls running $1.60/minute.