uAvionix announced on Friday that it has filed a TSO application for the tailBeaconX Mode S and ADS-B transponder.
The tailBeaconX “utilizes existing aircraft lighting locations for mounting and access to aircraft power for reduced installation complexity and cost” and is a lightweight, plug and play transponder that has allowed a large portion of the existing General Aviation industry to inexpensively retrofit their aircraft with ADS-B In/Out compliant solutions. Now, uAvionix seeks to do the same for aerial operations requiring TSO certification. tailBeaconX features an integrated Mode S transponder with 1090ES ADS-B Out for worldwide travel and flight above FL180 (18,000′).
The tailBeaconX transponder was evaluated by Aireon and NAV CANADA, showing promise toward meeting performance requirements for ATC-quality surveillance data for General Aviation aircraft. “A solution like tailBeaconX will expand the proven safety and operational benefits of ADS-B through a space-based service to the general aviation community,” said Cyriel Kronenburg, Vice President of Aviation Services for Aireon. “We’re pleased to collaborate on these types of innovative avionics solutions with uAvionix as various global ADS-B mandates take effect in the coming months and years.”
uAvionix stated in their press release that the tailBeaconX will be “the first commercially available certified avionics solution developed with the needs of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) in mind”. The extremely light weight of the tailBeaconX (90 gram), coupled with small size, integrated antenna, and low power draw (3 watts), will allow for longer flight times and higher payloads from aerial mobility aircraft since the requirements for integration of the transponder are small.
Upon approval, tailBeaconX will include (4) TSOs:
TSO-C112e Level 2els, Class 1 (Mode S Transponder)
TSO-C166b Class B1S (ADS-B OUT Extended Squitter)
TSO-C145e Beta 1 (WAAS GPS Position Source)
TSO-C30c Type III (Rear LED Position Light)
uAvionix projects that the tailBeaconX TSO and STC certification will be approved during Summer 2020, and carries a price of $2999 as a standalone unit (EFIS control). For roughly $1,500 more, the tailBeaconX can be purchased with AV-30-C EFIS providing transponder control, Primary Attitude Indicator, Primary Directional Gyro, and Primary Slip indicator, and other features as well. uAvionix also has stated that they’re working on an upgrade program for existing skyBecon/tailBeacon TSO owners. In order to compensate for the small size of the tailBeaconX, a large AML STC will follow.