FAA Authorizes Tail Beacon ADS-B Out Transponder

Credit: uAvionix

Avionics manufacturer uAvionix on Jan. 26 announced FAA technical standard order (TSO) authorization of its tailBeaconX 1090 MHz automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast Out (ADS-B Out) transponder, which replaces a rear navigation light on general aviation aircraft.

The tailBeacon X combines a transponder, 1090 MHz ADS-B Out signaling, satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) GPS position source, and rear LED position light. It integrates with the uAvionix AV-30-C primary flight display for transponder control and GPS input.

The transponder antenna is compatible with both terrestrial ADS-B ground stations and the Aireon space-based ADS-B network, which uses receivers on Iridium Next satellites.

A traditional transponder and ADS-B system share a single, bottom-mounted antenna, which requires line of sight access to ground-based receivers. The dipole antenna pattern of the tailBeacon X resembles what a top- and bottom-mounted monopole antenna would yield, and is unobstructed by the aircraft fuselage.

Supplemental type certification programs “are in work” for a large Approved Model List of aircraft, with completion expected in the first quarter, said uAvionix, which has a manufacturing base in Bigfork, Montana.

The company is offering the tailBeaconX for preorder for $2,499, with a $300 discount to bundle it with the AV-30-C display.

“Combining a LED rear position light replacement, a 1090MHz Mode S Extended Squitter ADS-B Out transponder, SBAS GPS position source, and a dipole antenna into a single package was a major feat for our team, resulting in major cost reduction to our customers,” said Ryan Braun, uAvionix COO. “The path to ADS-B compliance is significantly simplified for a large group of aircraft.”

The system authorization includes TSO-C112e Mode S transponder; TSO-C166b ADS-B Out Extended Squitter; TSO-C145e SBAS GPS position source; and TSO-C30c rear LED position light.

Bill Carey

Based in Washington, DC, Bill covers avionics, air traffic management and aviation safety for Aviation Week. A former daily newspaper reporter, he has covered the commercial, business and military aviation segments as well as unmanned aircraft systems. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2017, he worked for Aviation International News and Avionics and Rotor & Wing magazines.