Briefing: September 2019


uAvionix Developing Satellite ADS-B

uAvionix is working on a wingtip ADS-B Out device that will work with satellite-based ADS-B systems that will be used in several countries and the U.S. system, which relies on ground stations. The skyBeacon X will pack upward and downward pointing antennas into a compact integrated device that will also replace a wingtip position light. The development project was spurred by contact from Canadian pilots who could be required to install ADS-B Out as early as 2023. Nav Canada, the not-for-profit corporation that supplies air traffic services in Canada, will use the Aireon satellite system for ADS-B surveillance and that requires antennas pointed skyward. Most ADS-B systems now available for GA aircraft are designed for the U.S. terrestrial system and the few that do offer the so-called “antenna diversity” required in Canada are significantly more expensive. uAvionix hopes to have the system ready for sale in 2021.

Engine Problems Suspend Hemisphere

Textron has suspended development of its flagship Hemisphere business jet, largely because of delays in development of Safran’s Silvercrest engine. As it suspended the program, Textron also cancelled its contract with Safran for the trouble-plagued engine. The Silvercrest has no active orders now. The engine was announced in 2006 and was supposed to be ready by 2011 but persistent problems with airflow dynamics have delayed its entry into service. Safran redesigned the high pressure compressor to address the issues and is continuing development and testing the engine.

Dynon Certified Available On 600 Aircraft

Dynon’s certified SkyView HDX EFIS, has been approved for installation in almost 600 aircraft by the FAA. The system costs about $10,000, not including installation, and provides a full suite of avionics and navigation gear but it needs an IFR-approved GPS source to be used for IFR approaches. The integrated GPS is enough for the built-in ADS-B Out. There are a variety of optional add-ons for the system, including Mode S, engine monitors and an autopilot is available for Cessna 172s and V-Tail Bonanzas. “From the moment Dynon Certified introduced its groundbreaking STC for SkyView HDX, we’ve heard from thousands of aircraft owners wishing we’d add their aircraft to the approved model list next. Now, with FAA approval for nearly 600 aircraft models, we can deliver on those requests,” said Michael Schofield, Dynon director of marketing. Dynon retrofits can reduce weight by as much as 80 pounds by replacing old avionics systems, often including the vacuum pump.

More Powerful XCub Announced

CubCrafters has managed to pack even more power into its XCub with a firewall-forward package that includes a 390 cubic inch CC393i engine making 215 horsepower. The 390 is usually about 40 pounds heavier than the 180 horsepower CC363i used in XCubs to date. CubCrafters shaved 30 pounds from the 390 by using magnesium parts and a lightweight starter and alternator. The three-blade composite prop from Hartzell is also saving some weight and improving performance. It’s optimized for the kind of back-country flying where the CubCrafters designs are ideal.

MAX Return Likely In 2020

While Boeing remains steadfastly optimistic that its 737 MAX will be ready for revenue service before the end of the year, the consensus among industry observers and airlines is less rosy. While the basic software fix for the stall avoidance system at the center of the investigations into two catastrophic fatal accidents was developed months ago, new issues keep coming up as that coding is tested. January 2020 is now considered the earliest the type will be back in service. The FAA continues to say that there is no timeline for the return to service.


Garmin announced updates to the G5 and G3X, new IFR nav/com, USB charger…A class action suit accuses Southwest and Boeing of hiding MAX flaws…The Galileo satellite system was down for several days because of ground equipment problems…The French government is exploring military uses for a jet-powered hoverboard…Breaking news in general aviation can be found


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