FreeFlight Systems ADS-B approved for Cessnas

December 19, 2012

FreeFlight Systems has gained FAA approval to install its Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) system in most Cessna single-engine aircraft including 152s, 172s, and 182s, the company announced Dec. 18.

It’s the first approved model list (AML) the FAA has granted for the avionics at the heart of the future satellite-based air traffic control system.

FreeFlight’s RANGR is a Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) that broadcasts on the 978 MHz band. It shows the aircraft’s position with extremely high accuracy and typically doesn’t require upgrades to the aircraft transponder or other avionics, company officials said.

The FAA will require the vast majority of aircraft flying in U.S. airspace to transmit ADS-B Out signals on Jan. 1, 2020, and beyond. Only a small minority of the U.S. general aviation fleet currently has ADS-B, partly because relatively few FAA-certified solutions are available.

“This first-ever STC for a fully compliant ADS-B Out system is a watershed event for our company and for light general aviation in the United States,” said Tim Taylor, FreeFlight CEO. “Equipping for ADS-B now is a reality for thousands of aircraft owners.”

Complying with the FAA requirement for ADS-B Out equipment enables pilots to receive traffic information from both transponder- and ADS-B-equipped aircraft as well as subscription-free weather from a growing number of avionics sources, and to display that information on a wide range of avionics as well as tablet computers.

FreeFlight’s RANGR system has a retail price of $3,495. FreeFlight also recently announced that the FAA has granted an STC to the University of North Dakota for an 1090 MHz Extended Squitter ADS-B Out solution for Hawker Beechcraft King Air C90A aircraft.

Dave Hirschman

Dave Hirschman | AOPA Pilot Senior Editor , AOPA

AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.