NavWorx Resumes Shipping Its ADS600-B Systems

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Texas-based NavWorx has announced it is back to shipping its ADS600-B ADS-B transceiver system after the FAA slapped an unapproved parts notification and an airworthiness directive on earlier versions of the system. This was the first ADS-B product hit with an AD. The replacement system—the ADS600-B NexGen 2.0—has an FAR 91.227/91.225-compliant internal WAAS GPS, ADS-B In/Out capability, plus integral Wi-Fi.

The issue with old versions of the ADS600-B centered around the WAAS GPS engine, which according to the FAA weren't certified per the governing TSO C-154c specifications. The FAA also said the earlier ADS600-B/EXP systems (with part numbers 200-0012, 200-0013 and 200-8013) had an unapproved software revision that rendered them non-compliant with the ADS-B TSO and could communicate unreliable position data to other aircraft and ADS-B ground stations. Last November, sources estimated that close to 800 U.S.-registered aircraft might have been affected. Despite the situation, NavWorx said its customers have been patient—and vocal—in their support.

"This is a significant step in our progress with certification of the ADS600-B and we have found a viable solution to the long-delayed actions with the FAA," said company President Bill Moffitt in a press release earlier this week. While this is a significant achievment, the latest ADS600-B 2.0 can only be installed in experimental aircraft because NavWorx hasn't been awarded final FAA approval of the system for certified aircraft.

The company said the new 2.0 system—which is intended as an upgrade path for the older prohibited systems and for new installs—is being installed in a variety of experimental aircraft including Van's RV, Kitfox, Lancair and Searey models, to name a few. Moreover, while the company waits for final approval, NavWorx said in the brief that it recommends customers apply for the FAA's $500 installation rebate for the ADS600-B 2.0 system on Sept. 16, 2017, as the rebate reservation deadline is Sept.18, 2017. Older systems can be upgraded to the 2.0 version, and new systems have an introductory list price of $2020.

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Comments (3)

(/rant on)
Ok, riddle me this: Why is it that ADS-B Out solutions for Experimentals can be legal in the National Airspace System (NAS), but the same box in a Certified aircraft cannot? This is not a simple matter of "Experimentals can do what they want because they only affect the individual aircraft." With ADS-B Out, EVERYONE has to report exact, 'perfect' (aka 'certified') position data in order for everyone ELSE to avoid that particular aircraft.

If Experimentals are allowed to deliver 'uncertified' position data, how is that safe, legal, and/or reasonable? (rhetorical question - don't answer it)

Conversely, if Certified aircraft and ATC are depending upon 'Experimental' position reports to know where the blips are, and the FAA says "that's OK!", then that begs the question of why 'Cerfitifed' aircraft have to deliver *certified* position data?

I'd like to read the FAA ruling that allows for such a logical inconsistency.

(/rant off)

Posted by: Kirk Wennerstrom | September 8, 2017 1:22 AM    Report this comment


It's for the children. Would you want to hurt children?

Seriously Experimentals are required to meet the performance standards of the regulation, i.e., the parts that affect other aircraft. But certificated equipment guarantees you it won't start a fire, short out your electrical system, overwhelm your radio reception with electrical noise, etc., etc., etc.
All of which are good ideas - in fact, the market ensures that no-one can be competitive without meeting those standards, at least not for long.
But proving these things to the satisfaction of the regulator, that's expensive, and that expense then has to be amortized. And, of course, once it's proven, you can't improve the product because the improved product has not been certificated - and that's how we wind up with antiquated, unreliable technology in certificated airplanes (but not Experimentals).

I propose a new approach in aviation. If something is allowed in Experimental use, and the experience there is properly documented, let that experience establish safety for certification purposes. Experimental ought to be a certification path. After all, isn't that kind of the point of "experimental"?

Posted by: Thomas Boyle | September 8, 2017 9:28 AM    Report this comment

Ooh, careful Tom. You are making way to much sense there.

Posted by: John McNamee | September 8, 2017 10:16 AM    Report this comment

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