October 10, 2012
By Alton K. Marsh
MGL Avionics is a name you probably haven’t heard before, but will soon get to know it better if you are in the light sport, kitbuilt, or Experimental market. The company, selling in the United States through an exclusive dealer in Torrance, Calif., has added the Sandia Aerospace STX-165R remote Mode-C transponder to its four engine flight instrument systems. Its cost is $1,550.
The MGL company, based at the same office as the Sling light sport aircraft—also built in South Africa—offers electronic flight instrument systems: XTreme, Odyssey, Voyager, and iEFIS. Glass cockpit systems that do not have to be fully certified, such as those for Experimental and light sport aircraft, are generally far less expensive.
The transponder uses just two data wires to hook up with the electronic flight instrument systems, allowing control of the mode, display of transponder status, transmission of altitude, and display of squawk code and ident status.
The transponder is mounted closer to its antenna and further away from other avionics in the aircraft so that homebuilders can lay out a clean, interference-free panel. The transponder weighs 1.16 pounds and is four inches by two inches, and seven inches long.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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