uAvionix announced in early April it received the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) and initial Approved Model List (AML) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the revolutionary tailBeaconX 1090 MHz ADS-B transponder.

TailBeaconX is a highly integrated 1090 MHz ADS-B transponder that replaces a rear navigation light by combining it with ADS-B OUT / Mode S transponder, SBAS GPS, antennas, and rear LED position light. The initial STC-AML utilizes the uAvionix AV-30-C multi-function display to be installed as the control head. In this configuration, the AV-30-C is able to leverage the tailBeaconX SBAS GPS for its GPS track display. In the future, uAvionix anticipates adding additional means of control through uAvionix and third-party devices.

tailBeaconX is uniquely designed to meet the challenge of worldwide adoption of both ground and space-based ADS-B for Air Traffic Surveillance, including Canada’s upcoming mandate over the next few years. NAV CANADA’s performance requirements “can be met either through antenna diversity (the use of a top and bottom antenna) or with a single antenna that is capable of transmitting both towards the ground and up towards satellites.” tailBeaconX is the only non-diversity solution, saving aircraft owners thousands of dollars for equipment and installation as compared to a full diversity system.

The Approved Model List (AML) for tailBeaconX contains over 550 aircraft make and models for which this STC is valid, including most major models from Cessna, Piper, Mooney, Beechcraft, and others. Additional models, including light twins, are expected to be approved in the next months.

For the Canadian market, tailBeaconX will initially be available for 336 models on the FAA AML, whose type certificates were accepted in Canada without the issuance of an equivalent TCCA type certificate (See the TCCA U.S. Eligible Aircraft List). STC validation for an additional 56 models has been filed with Transport Canada and is expected to be approved shortly.

uAvionix will immediately begin shipping pre-orders in the US, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand soon to be followed by STC validation for European, UK markets and Brazil. Interested buyers or resellers in other markets can contact to inquire on possible sales channels and requirements in their country.

Owners of uAvionix UAT tailBeacon, skyBeacon, or echoUAT can save up to $1200 by taking advantage of the uAvionix Trade-Up program for credit against a tailBeaconX purchase by visiting the tailBeaconX Trade-Up page.

Below is the initial press release when the TSO Authorization is issued. A TSO does not allow the company to sell the product; it only establishes the standards for that product.

Press Release

January 26,2021 – uAvionix announced it has received FAA Technical Standard Order Authorization (TSOA) for its tailBeaconX 1090MHz ADS-B OUT transponder.

The highly integrated device, which replaces a rear navigation light, includes and combines transponder, ADS-B OUT, SBAS GPS, and rear LED position light. The TSOA includes the following:

  • TSO-C112e Level 2els, Class 1 (Mode S Transponder)
  • TSO-C166b Class B1S (ADS-B OUT Extended Squitter)
  • TSO-C145e Class Beta-1 (SBAS GPS Position Source)
  • TSO-C30c Type III (Rear LED Position Light)

tailBeaconX is Aireon Compatible and designed as a globally compliant, easily installed ADS-B OUT solution for General Aviation (GA) and Urban Air Mobility (UAM), meeting current and future 1090MHz ADS-B mandates. Specifically built to offer maximum compatibility with both ground and space-based ADS-B receivers used by over 18 Air Navigation Services Providers (ANSP) world-wide, tailBeaconX was extensively tested with Aireon and Nav Canada. Significantly increased performance levels were observed over traditional bottom-mount antenna installations, including at lower altitudes and during surface movements.

“Combining a LED rear position light replacement, a 1090MHz Mode S ES ADS-B OUT transponder, SBAS GPS position source, and a dipole antenna into a single package was a major feat for our team – resulting in major cost reduction to our customers”, said Ryan Braun, COO of uAvionix. “Weighing only 140 grams, taking no critical panel space, while incorporating its own antennas, the path to ADS-B compliance is significantly simplified for a large group of aircraft”.

Improved Safety Benefits with Space-Based ADS-B and tailBeaconX

Safety benefits for Search and Rescue (SAR) operations are magnified with tailBeaconX.  As described in an AOPA article, the U.S. Civil Air Patrol uses Aireon data to pinpoint an aircraft’s last known location, thus reducing search areas, shaving minutes or hours off of rescue efforts.

A traditional transponder and ADS-B system share a single, bottom-mounted antenna, which requires line of sight to ground-based receivers.  This presents a problem, however, for space-based receivers, since the aircraft itself can block the signal to the satellite.

Not so with tailBeaconX.  Its dipole antenna pattern, unobstructed by the aircraft fuselage, resembles what a top and bottom monopole antenna would yield, at significantly reduced equipment and installation cost as compared to a diversity transponder.

Enhanced User Experience with AV-30-C Transponder Control

Cockpit panel real-estate is limited, so it’s a shame to dedicate precious space to only 4 digits.  tailBeaconX integrates with AV-30-C for transponder control and GPS input.  AV-30-C offers primary attitude, slip, and Directional Gyro (DG), but also AoA, Air Data, G Meter, Bus Voltage, and GPS navigation display.

Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) efforts for a large Approved Model List (AML) are in work and completion is expected in Q1 2021.  Additionally, a $500 reduction from the previously announced pricing has been implemented.  Preorder tailBeaconX TSO for $2499, and bundle it with the AV-30-C to save an additional $300.

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