Avionics Report

July 2015 Issue

Transponder Upgrades: Driven By ADS-B

Before installing ADS-B, check the transponder. For entry-level replacements, we favor Sandia. For 1090ES, Appareo’s all-in-one Stratus ESG may be worth the wait.

For some owners, an ADS-B upgrade could seriously blow the budget since it might also include buying a new transponder system. That’s because the requirements in FAR 91.215 still apply, even when the ADS-B mandate takes effect in 2020. The good news is our recent market sweep uncovered a number of next-generation multifunction transponders that handle all ADS-B and transponder functions in one box, even serving as nifty weather and traffic displays. Better yet, a one-box solution eases concerns about long term cross-brand compatibility. Still, the buying decision is muddied by rapidly changing ADS-B solutions. In this article, we’ll put a fresh eye on new models and interfaces, plus offer tips on evaluating an existing vintage model.

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