Sandia Aerospace’s solid-state SAI 340 Quattro four-in-one attitude, altitude, airspeed, and slip standby instrument has received FAA technical standard order approval, the company announced Oct. 22. It can augment traditional six-pack steam-gauge instrument panels as a primary attitude indicator and can be used as a backup attitude indicator in glass-cockpit aircraft.
Additionally, Sandia founder Dennis Schmidt said the FAA sign-off allows the unit to replace an existing vacuum attitude indicator as a minor installation under the the FAA’s new policy statement for Part 23 aircraft.
“Basically, the SAI 340 has been certified as a primary attitude indicator but with the built in battery can also be the back-up instrument to today’s glass panels,” Schmidt said in an email to AOPA.
Quattro’s easy-to-read airspeed and altitude tape readouts, artificial horizon, and slip-skid ball are combined into one compact, lightweight package that fits into a common 3-inch instrument hole.
“We have delivered a tremendous number of features in the Quattro, especially considering it weighs just half a pound,” Schmidt said in a news release. “It’s an excellent safety-enhancing addition to a panel’s traditional six-pack.”
The improved safety for pilots flying behind steam gauges has been eagerly awaited since the unit’s March 2014 introduction at the annual Aircraft Electronics Association convention.
The $3,595 unit continually recharges its built-in lithium battery for additional safety.