FULLY INTEGRATED WITH POPULAR GARMIN G3X AVIONICS PACKAGES, THE NEW IR CAMERA OPTION ALLOWS PILOTS TO SEE IN LOW LIGHT AND LOW VISIBILITY
YAKIMA, WA — NOVEMBER 7, 2023 — CubCrafters, a leading manufacturer of FAA certified, ASTM certified, and experimental category aircraft that are designed to be operated in remote backcountry areas, is today releasing a new thermal infrared imaging system option for Garmin G3X equipped aircraft that dramatically improves flight crew situational awareness during both air and ground operations in reduced visibility or low light situations.
Developed in collaboration with Hood Tech Aero for CubCrafters aircraft, the new camera system is fully integrated with the Garmin G3X Avionics package that is extremely popular with a wide spectrum of backcountry pilots.
The camera features the smallest pixel pitch Long Wave Infrared (LWIR) sensor available and is intended to augment the safety enhancing features of Garmin’s synthetic vision display. It displays enhanced infrared imagery for the pilot on the G3X screen at the same scale, with the same field of view, and with the same horizon as Garmin’s built-in synthetic vision system. With the simple turn of a knob, both the synthetic and the enhanced vision systems are displayed side-by-side, giving the pilot a previously unheard-of level of situational awareness in low light or low visibility situations. The camera easily penetrates smoke, haze, shadow, or even full darkness to show terrain, roads, buildings, bridges, antennas, runways, and similar objects.
The wing-mounted camera itself is designed to be as small, lightweight, automated, and maintenance free as possible. “We’re really proud of what we’ve developed,” explains Brian Prange, the Project Manager for Hood Tech Aero. “We have an amazing amount of technology designed into a very small package. We’re only adding a few ounces to the aircraft and only using a very small amount of power, yet it’s a huge new capability that is always there and ready to go whenever the pilot needs it.”
“The camera system was originally developed as part of a government contract for USDA predator control aircraft, but should have wide appeal to consumers,” says Brad Damm, CubCrafters’ Vice President. “Nearly every backcountry pilot has experienced the scenario of a late afternoon flight with the sun low on the horizon, haze in the air, and a remote mountain airstrip nearly impossible to see down in a valley and deep in shadow. With this system you just quickly flip over to the IR camera, and you can see everything that’s going on.”
“Our company has always been an innovative leader in flight safety,” continues Patrick Horgan, President of CubCrafters. “From toe brakes to whole aircraft parachutes, we’ve often adapted big aircraft technology to be smaller, lighter, and better for the backcountry. This system is yet another example of our ongoing commitment to give consumers the safest aircraft and best performing aircraft in our class.”
Immediately available for new experimental category CubCrafters aircraft, the company also expects to have retrofit kits and certified aircraft approvals completed by the end of 2023.
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