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FreeFlight, UND Achieve ADS-B Transceiver Certification

By Staff Writer | February 25, 2014

Texas-based FreeFlight Systems and the University of North Dakota (UND) have received an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) for the first rule-compliant 978 MHz ADS-B In/Out Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) for rotorcraft.

Certified in the Bell 206B Jet Ranger, the FreeFlight System RANGR FDL-978-XVR automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS‐B) integrates ADS-B In and Out capabilities with a high-integrity WAAS/GPS and Mode A/C transponder integration in a single, compact unit. The RANGR FDL-978-XVR is ideal for helicopters and other aircraft where airframe space, system weight and antenna placement are key considerations.

The Technical Standard Order (TSO)-approved system provides full ADS-B Out rule compliance while interfacing to existing Mode A/C or Mode S transponders. The system also receives ADS-B In TIS-B and FIS-B traffic, graphical weather and other data for display on MFDs supporting the industry-standard Capstone Data Interface Protocol. This includes ADS-B traffic displayed on Garmin GNS 430 displays for the first time in helicopters. For added flexibility, the RANGR FDL-978-XVR also supports weather and traffic display on an Apple iPad via an optional WiFi module.

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FreeFlight Systems and UND’s Avionics Department jointly developed the Bell 206B STC with in-kind contributions from the FAA’s Center for General Aviation Research (CGAR), as well as a consortium of universities collaborating to advance the safety and efficiency of general aviation air transportation.

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