(Available in April 2014)
Ultrasonic Altimeter for the Searey Experimental Aircraft
What is FlareAssist, and why should I use this?
Barometric altimeters are very useful in flight, but they are not accurate enough to be helpful when nearing water or terrain. So pilots must learn to use visual clues to judge the aircraft’s altitude, to maintain terrain clearance; and to arrest the rate of descent for flare and landing. Unfortunately, visual clues are not always available or can be dangerously misleading.
FlareAssist uses rapid pulses of ultra-high frequency sound waves, then annunciates the computer-filtered results in the pilot’s headset. This allows the pilot to devote all his attention to flying the aircraft while knowing the actual height of the hull above the surface. Though radar altimeters could in some cases be useful in experimental aviation, their complexity and expense are prohibitive. FlareAssist offers a simple, accurate and economical ultrasonic solution.
- Transducer mounted outside the aircraft, typically on a wing strut or fuselage hard point. Custom stainless steel bracket provided for SeaRey aircraft
- Small electronics chassis mounted inside the aircraft by velcro, tie wraps, or screws
- Power cable to be plugged into DC port (cig lighter) or wired to a panel switch/breaker
- Audio mini plug to be connected to the aircraft intercom through a music jack, or hard wired using a Unswitched Audio inout on the intercom
- Self-test: Annunciated on power up
- Range: 15’ AGL to surface
- Accuracy: +/- 0.3"
- Annunciated altitudes: 15’, 10’, 8’, 6’, 4’, 3’, 2’, 1’
- Transducer size: 2” dia x 4.75” L
- Transducer & mounting weight : 24 oz.
- Electronics chassis size: 2.5” x 5.5” x 1.25”
- Electronics chassis weight: 15 oz.
- Waterproof: up to 1 meter immersion
- Limited 6 mo.warranty: from in-service date
- List Price (model FA-SR1): $2450.00
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1) Can FlareAssist be installed on a certified aircraft?
FlareAssist is not TSO'd and currently available for Ultralight and Experimental Aircraft.
2) How is the FlareAssist installed?
The FlareAssist unit consists of a transducer mounted to the outside of the aircraft which sends a ultrasonic pulse to the surface. The software measures the reflected wave which is then interpreted in the cockpit and annunciated through the headset.
3) Can the FlareAssist be installed on other aircraft?
Certainly! At this time we are completing the configuration for the Searey Classic & SeaRey LSX aircraft. FlareAssist will be available for other aircraft.
4) Is the FlareAssist portable?
Yes, FlareAssist can be removed from the aircraft. Both the Transducer (mounted to the outside of the aircraft) and the FlareAssist cockpit unit have programming applicable to the individual aircraft model. If the FlareAssist is to be moved to a different aircraft type, the unit will be need to be calibrated.
5) In the video, FlareAssist does not annunciate the 1' marker, why?
FlareAssist annunciates altitude from the surface starting at 15', then at 10', 8', 6', 4', 3', 2', and 1'. If the rate of descent is greater then the FlareAssist can annunciate the altitude number, it will 'clip' or even 'skip' to the next altitude number.
For instance, say we are at 10 ft. The next altitude is 8 feet, but we are descending too rapidly and the FlareAssist unit determines that the 6 foot marker is rapidly approaching and 'skips' the 8 ft mark. However in this video, there is no marker below 1 foot and the FlareAssist unit remains silent.