Avionics Insight by Neill Fulbright

By Andrew Myers

June 24, 2019 Educational

Believe it or not you have 6-months left to comply with ADS-B and 2020 mandates. While many of you have already picked out solutions and had them installed, roughly 40% of the active fleet has not. So, if you are a procrastinator or just want to learn about ADS-B expenses then this article is for you! For those who have not met me, my name is Neill Fulbright and I have been teaching and developing avionics programs for technicians the last 18 years. I live in Daytona Beach, home of the Daytona 500, Bike Week, and literally tens of thousand spring breakers every year. I joined VREF in the late spring of 2019. My primary roles at VREF are to oversee the avionics database and make sure I keep all of you informed of things that you need to know and it goes without saying I am happy to take on any aircraft appraisal project. My passion for teaching and avionics is 100% devotion and I am hoping that if any of you require proper avionics guidance that you’ll reach out to me for help. My email is nfulbright@vref.com and if you are ever in the Daytona Beach area feel free to reach out to me and say hi. I was talking to a few of the major ADS-B installers today and I wanted to share what the average costs are, as well as the typical equipment for ADS-B solutions that are currently being installed across the country. As many of you know, the equipment has changed more than once since the inception of ADS-B. For mid-size aircraft such as the Gulfstream’s, the solutions vary depending on the aircraft, but the average cost remains around $100,000.00 even though the equipment can vary from manufacturer and complexity. For example, a Gulfstream G150 or G200 will run GDL 88s and two GTX 3000 (by the way, the GDL 88s are also a solutionfor piston aircraft and the replacement for the GDL 90). The GDL 88s typically run around $4,000.00 each and the GTX 3000s run around $20,000.00 a piece; however, the labor involved is extensive. In larger cabins like in the Gulfstream G450 and G550, the labor time is a lot less but now you are looking at replacing and upgrading transponders. The GIV’s and GV’s will be running two Collins TDR94Ds and may need an FMS upgrade but the cost will work out to about the same averaging around $100,000.00. Other aircraft, such as the Lear jet 60 and Hawker 800 (A-XP-850), they can run the same GDL and GTXs but the cost will be about 50% as the larger aircraft and run in the $50,000.00 + range. Of course, these are costs are plus or minus any additional upgrades needed, and dependent on who has the STC and if the STC has to be bought or is owned in house. Commuter aircraft and Regional Transport aircraft are similar in price to mid-size class aircraft One the piston side, the typical cost will be in the $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 range. This typical installation will be the Garmin GTX 335 for ADS-B Out only, or the GTX 345 which has In and Out running a 978MHz in addition to the 1090ES. The other common solution is by Appareo in their Stratus line with the ESG and ESGi. Again, coming in at a similar cost between $5,000.00 to $10,000.00. One last mention goes to L3s Lynx NGT 9000 which seems to do it all in a nice touch screen for around $5,500.00. The costs have come down quite a bit since the start of ADS-B and time is running out. If you haven’t booked that installation slot with and installer yet, you need to do it soon those slots are running out. Neill Fulbright, FAA A&P, FCC GROL, ETA-I Senior CET, SatCom Direct AeroIT, NCATT VREF Senior Aircraft Appraiser-Avionics Expert