FreeFlight Systems & UND Granted Certification For First Rule-Compliant ADS-B Transceiver

FreeFlight Systems & UND Granted Certification For First Rule-Compliant ADS-B Transceiver

25-Feb-2014 Source: FreeFlight Systems

FreeFlight Systems and the University of North Dakota (UND) announced today the FAA Supplemental Type Certificate approval (STC) for the first rule–compliant 978 MHz ADS-B In/Out Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) for rotorcraft.

Certified in the Bell 206B Jet Ranger helicopter, the FreeFlight System RANGR FDL-978-XVR ADS‐B integrates ADS-B In and Out capabilities with a high-integrity WAAS/GPS and Mode A/C transponder integration in a single, compact unit. The smallest, lightest, most affordable and easy to install system available, the RANGR FDL-978-XVR is ideal for helicopters and other aircraft where airframe space, system weight and antenna placement are key considerations.

The Technical Standard Order (TSO)-approved system provides full ADS-B Out rule compliance while interfacing to existing Mode A/C or Mode S transponders. The system also receives ADS-B In TIS-B and FIS-B traffic, graphical weather and other data for display on MFDs supporting the industry-standard Capstone Data Interface Protocol. This includes ADS-B traffic displayed on Garmin GNS 430 displays for the first time in helicopters. For added flexibility, the RANGR FDL-978-XVR also supports weather and traffic display on an Apple iPad via an optional WiFi module.

FreeFlight Systems and UND’s Avionics Department jointly developed the Bell 206B STC with in-kind contributions from the FAA’s Center for General Aviation Research (CGAR), as well as a consortium of universities collaborating to advance the safety and efficiency of general aviation air transportation. The Bell 206 is considered the most successful commercial helicopter with more than 7,500 produced, including 4,400 in civilian use worldwide. FreeFlight System and UND previously partnered on an STC for the first 1090MHz extended squitter (1090ES) ADS-B Out installation for King Air C90A airplanes.

“This is another important first for the RANGR product line and for GA aircraft owners who are planning ADS-B installations to meet the FAA’s Jan. 1, 2020 equipage deadline,” said Tim Taylor, CEO of FreeFlight Systems. “We are continuing to work with the UND avionics department and other world-class partners to develop a wide range of STCs that deliver the benefits of ADS-B with a strong combination of performance, value and compatibility with existing avionics.”

“This STC gives the large number of Jet Ranger operators a high-performance, high-value and full-featured ADS-B solution immediately,” said Kirk Peterson, Avionics Manager at UND. “We are actively partnering with innovation and technical leaders such as FreeFlight Systems to bring the benefits of ADS-B to more pilots as quickly as possible. Beyond meeting the 2020 equipage deadline, installing ADS-B delivers safety and practical benefits right away.”

The RANGR FDL-978-XVR also meets all DO‐160 (environmental) requirements for helicopter applications and is certified to DO-282B/TSO-C154c, TSO-C157a, TSO-C195a, and TSO-145c. FreeFlight Systems UAT radio technology has been proven in multiple rule-compliant airborne and ground applications. The FAA also selected the company after an industry-wide competition as the supplier for the the Rule-Compliant Equipage Program, under which earlier-generation ADS-B avionics installed in aircraft participating in the Capstone Project are being replaced with RANGR FDL-978-XVR systems.

About UND Aerospace
UND Aerospace, which includes the Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota and the UND Aerospace Foundation (UNDAF), is an international leader in collegiate and contract aviation education and training services flying over 115,000 hours per year in over 140 aircraft. UNDAF also has facilities in Phoenix, Arizona, in conjunction with Chandler-Gilbert Community College; and Crookston, Minnesota, with the University of Minnesota in addition to its home-base in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

With more than 1,500 students from throughout the world, the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences is the second largest college at the University of North Dakota. Undergraduate and graduate programs leading to a variety of rewarding careers in aerospace are offered through five different academic departments: aviation, atmospheric sciences, computer science, earth system science and policy, and space studies. The UND Aerospace training complex is the most technologically advanced environment for aerospace education, training and research in the world.

About FreeFlight Systems
FreeFlight Systems designs and manufactures high-performance avionics for flight safety and for delivering substantial safety, cost, environmental and other benefits from the NextGen airspace transformation. Founded in 2001 and based in Texas, the company pioneered the first certified aviation WAAS GPS receiver and the first rule-compliant UAT ADS-B system. FreeFlight Systems produces a range of high quality, American-made, competitively priced systems for installation in all aircraft types. For more information, please visit

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