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I think that ADSB is overkill for most recreational aircraft. A better solution to the problem would be for every recreational and light aircraft to be equipped with the FLARM system.


As I understand it, in its simplest form, the display consists of 12 LED's arranged in a circle . The top ones indicate a threat from above and the bottom ones below, either to the left or right to the front. If a collision is imminent an alarm sounds and the light in the appropriate sector lights. The PIC then takes the appropriate action presumably after having a look in the threatening sector. I am not too sure what happens if the threat is from the rear, presumably the other pilot gets the appropriate message.


That strikes me as being a much more user friendly and effective system which doesn't require eyes in the cockpit unless an alarm is triggered. The glider pilots in Europe have been using it for a couple of years now. It is not too dear, about A$1000 and I believe it runs on about 12 volts and draws 52 milliamps. They have sold 9000 units.


A good picture of the unit is at







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They are giving good results here and some are being fitted to tugs and other powered aircraft as well.




I have one in my Sailplane and it appears to work well ............ but they are only of use if everyone has one.




In Europe they are fitted to rescue helicopters because the Flarm contains the location of lift cables etc in the Alps.




The LED's around the circle indicate location of the other flarm around your aircraft and there are other LED's for above/level/below, so you know where to concentrate your scan.




In OZ they use a different frequency and are made and supplied as OzFlarm by www.rf-developments.com.




I also understand that RF Developments have a 57 mm instrument with a screen that is on the way. It is shown on their website.




Also, have you seen the demo video titled Flarm in Action at www.flarm.com/product/index_en.html ?




Regards Geoff



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The FLARM is probably the way to go for most of us - I don't fly into many airports that have RPT (2 in the last two years), but I do fly to strips that have gliders in operation.


So ADSB for me would be over kill (I don't have a transponder either). :yuk:


Here's a plan - RAA design and test a suitable unit (or buy of the shelf (FLARM)) or whatever. ;)




instead of waiting and being told what to do (by government/CASA/DOTARS whoever) :;)1: we take positive action and beat then to the punch using equipment that works and is affordable and install it NOW. ;)


That way we have a system that is in place and working. 011_clap.gif.c796ec930025ef6b94efb6b089d30b16.gif


YES - we would have to get the GA guys on board as well. :big_grin:


COST - $499 must be possible - surely. :)





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Back in the early 90's Mike Borgelt (manufacturer of sailplane instruments) stated he could make a GPS based traffic alerting system for about $500.


We will probably see basic PCAS systems for around $500 soon if popularity increases.


From what I understand FLARM is superior to PCAS as it doesn't require radar interrogation to work. But then it does, as Geoff stated rely on both conflicting aircraft having one.


As for ADS-B probably won't be of much use in many parts of regional Oz particularly for low level traffic, a bit like the present VHF centre frequencies down low. Even when you are within line of sight of an ADS-B receiver/transmitter unless the aircraft is equipped with a very expensive (at present) ADS-B in display you've got nothing.


It would be great if the sport aircraft movement could move quickly to adopt FLARM, but I suspect it might go the same way as the old Beta v VHS video, Beta was apparently superior but was pushed out by the market force of VHS.


I can't see ADS-B in being mandated into sport aircraft any time soon, it would be worth more than the average RAAus aircraft. And TCAS in its present form will never happen.


But no doubt something will happen in time, technology just gets better and better.





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There's much talk of the "expensive" ADSB-in displays but I'm yet to see any discussion about actual unit's being proposed or their potential cost. I have seen a few demonstrations of ADBS-in displays, the primary "low cost" option being a PDA / Pocket PC. Bit of a blurb and a picture in this Airservices article http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/pilotcentre/projects/adsb/news/CDTI_testing.pdf



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The Flarm appears to be well accepted in the Gliding community worldwide and as David said, over 9000 are claimed to have been sold.




In Oz the GFA started some evaluation process (apparently they may have thought that about 8000 users in Europe had got it wrong), but in the meantime many glider pilots here (including me) appear to have voted with their cheque books and adopted the technology before the controlling body did.




I think OzFlarm has now been mandated for all or most Gliding contests and many competition Glider pilots in Oz have reported occasions when, even with a competent normal outside scan, they have received a signal from their Flarm before they saw the other aircraft.




Now Sailplanes are extremely difficult to see when head or tail on and they tend to congregate in thermals or along cloud streets where closing speeds of 250 knots might be common under an isolated street .... but Sailplanes also have one other key & unique requirement and that is that they need instruments that have relatively low power consumption.




The Techman is well aware of all activities in Gliding to date re Flarm, but I have considerable sympathy for our controlling body when considering this issue as there are a couple of other competing devices either on or about to come onto the market and there are the various GA devices + the need or desirability for devices in our aircraft to talk to RPTs and other GA.




But if you operate now into a strip where Gliders are common, or if you fly through the Riverina regularly (for example) where 40 or so cross-country Sailplanes are flying 500 - 1000 kms on an almost daily basis between the Murray & the Lachlan between November & March, an OZFlarm would be either valuable or invaluable.




One extra related point is that with the impending Unicom trials at Wagga & Dubbo I have detected an undercurrent to consider making Transponders compulsory when operating into busy CTAF RPT airports. If so it would be CTAF®(T).




Hope this adds to the discussion.







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Now Sailplanes are extremely difficult to see when head or tail on and they tend to congregate in thermals or along cloud streets where closing speeds of 250 knots might be common under an isolated street ....

Hmmm, in a few decades of flying I have never seen a glider in the air other than around an airfield. Having read the above, I now wonder how many I may have been dangerously close to without ever knowing it, not a nice feeling.



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Guest High Plains Drifter

Mick (Youngmic),


What did you mean by the comment, "TCAS in its present form will never happen" - were you meaning in RAAus aircraft ?





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