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ADS-B options emerge for legacy jetsADS-B options emerge for legacy jets

Legacy Part 25 business jets have had few to no Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) options until recent months. However, two well-known avionics companies announced a variety of solutions for such airplanes at the National Business Aviation Association convention in early November.

Garmin has introduced a number of ADS-B solutions for legacy jets, giving the big iron the opportunity enjoy weather in the cockpit as well as ADS-B Out compliance.

A multitude of ADS-B solutions have emerged over the past two years for lighter general aviation airplanes, and at prices far more favorable than in 2014. However, legacy Part 25 business jets have had few to no ADS-B options until recent months. Complex and aging flight management systems make it difficult to incorporate new capabilities and upgraded technology, such as WAAS GPS, a requirement for ADS-B Out solutions.

Two well-known avionics companies announced a variety of solutions for such airplanes at the National Business Aviation Association convention in early November.

ACSS, a partnership between L-3 Communications and Thales Co., and Garmin, working with select dealers, unveiled multiple options for older jets, such as certain models of Hawkers, Falcons, Learjets, Gulfstreams, Westwinds, Challengers, and Citations.

ACSS provides a variety of solutions to bring older business jets into ADS-B Out compliance while making weather in the cockpit available, including through the NXT-700 transponder (right) and the NXG900 WAAS GPS.

Among the choices is the NXT-700 transponder-based solution from ACSS, which is compatible with many TCAS II systems. Company officials say they have an extensive approved model list to install the new transponder, which is a plug-and-play replacement for the Honeywell MST-67A transponder—a commonly installed transponder in such airplanes. For airplanes needing a WAAS-certified GPS to flesh out their ADS-B Out solutions, ACSS has introduced the NXG-900. The NXG-900 includes a Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) to capture FIS-B weather data, which can be displayed on compatible mobile devices in the cockpit. The NXG-900 has received TSO approval and will be supported by an AML early next year.

Southeast Aerospace, meanwhile, worked with Garmin, Gables Engineering, and Peregrine to earn an AML STC for many similar legacy jets. The Southeast Aerospace solution uses dual Garmin GTX 3X5R transponders. Combined with a Garmin Flight Stream system, pilots can enjoy weather data on an electronic flight bag. Southeast Aerospace officials say such installations can be completed for less than $50,000. At NBAA, Garmin itself was showing a variety of other transponder- and UAT-based ADS-B solutions, depending on whether the Part 25 airplanes have TCAS II as well as the need for WAAS as part of the ADS-B Out position reporting.

Thomas B. Haines

Thomas B Haines

Editor in Chief
AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.
Topics: Jet, Gear, National Business Aviation Association

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