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CubCrafters goes infrared

Aircraft designer and manufacturer CubCrafters announced the integration of a thermal infrared camera option for improved situational awareness in low light and reduced visibility.

A CubCrafters Carbon Cub with a G3X integrated thermal infrared camera system. Photo courtesy of CubCrafters.

Created in collaboration with aerial sensor technology company Hood Tech Aero, the new thermal infrared imaging system is designed to be fully integrated with the Garmin G3X avionics package to enhance pilot situational awareness in the backcountry or in reduced visibility situations.

The system is designed to work alongside Garmin’s synthetic vision display. Both the synthetic and the enhanced infrared systems are displayed side by side on the G3X screen at the same scale, with the same field of view and horizon.

According to the company, the wing-mounted “camera features the smallest pixel pitch Long Wave Infrared (LWIR) sensor available,” and gives pilots better visibility of terrain, runways, roads, buildings, antennas, and other obstacles through smoke, haze, shadow, and full darkness.

Infrared camera equipped Carbon Cub on final for Runway 27 at night in Yakima, Washington.  Photo courtesy of CubCrafters.

“The camera system was originally developed as part of a government contract for USDA predator control aircraft, but should have wide appeal to consumers,” Brad Damm, CubCrafters vice president, said. “Nearly every backcountry pilot has experienced the scenario of a late afternoon flight with the sun low on the horizon, haze in the air, and a remote mountain airstrip nearly impossible to see down in a valley and deep in shadow. With this system you just quickly flip over to the IR camera, and you can see everything that’s going on.”

The Infrared camera system is a $16,000 option for new experimental category CubCrafters aircraft. The company hopes to have retrofit kits and certified aircraft approvals completed by the end of 2023. The price for retrofit kits is being finalized.

Niki Britton
eMedia Content Producer
eMedia Content Producer Niki Britton joined AOPA in 2021. She is a private pilot who enjoys flying her 1969 Cessna 182 and taking aerial photographs.
Topics: Cameras, Situational Awareness

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