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December 2021
We’re back, with a new format and lots of great avionics content to catch up on!
We’re back! It’s been a long time since we’ve communicated with you via the newsletter. As many of you have voiced your desire for us to continue with the efforts; going forward, we are committed to release the newsletter on a regular basis. So much has happened since our last edition, Maxcraft has grown in number of employees as well as the work scope. In this issue, we have a significant number of interesting stories to share regarding our projects, and we have some catching up to do on new products that we think are worthy of mentioning. It can be a quick read, skip the topics which don’t interest you, hit the “read more” on articles that pique your interest, and of course, don’t miss the most popular article – our featured employee!
New Products/Announcements
Maxcraft Supplemental Type Certificate (STCs) additions
Just because our newsletter has been absent doesn’t mean our Design Approval Organization hasn’t been busy. We have added many significant STCs to our approved database and here are some of the major ones:
  • Sikorsky S61
  • Astronautics EFIS Roadrunner, Garmin GWX Wx radar, GTX transponder, HTAWS
  •  Airbus SA365
  • Garmin GTN navigator, HTAWS, GTS traffic, Lattitude S200 Satcom, Whelen LED lights
  • Airbus AS350
  • Garmin GTS traffic
  • Bell 212/412
  • Astronautics EFIS Roadrunner, Trig TY92 com, TT22 ADS-B transponder
  • Airbus EC130
  • Outerlink IRIS satcom, flight data monitoring, tracking, Garmin GRA RadAlt
  • Sikorsky S76
  • Garmin GDL ADS-B, Trig TY92 VHF Comm
  • Airbus EC135
  • Technisonic TDFM-9100 FM Comm
See our full list of STCs here
Featured Products:
Garmin GI275 Replaces Analog Gauges with Electronic Displays 
This was announced last year and has proven to be a strong product in Garmin’s portfolio. Adaptable to a full range of instrument formats and functions, the GI 275 electronic display lets you keep the classic look of your panel while upgrading with modern, reliable glass touchscreen display technology.
  • It flush mounts in a standard 3-1/8” round cutout
  • From piston singles to jets, it’s STC’d for more than one thousand make/model of aircraft.
  • How do you see it? Attitude, altitude, airspeed, CDI, HSI, MFD or EIS.
  • It’s available with precise digital ADAHRS and interface to drive select autopilots.
  • Capable of serving as a 4-in-1 flight instrument with attitude, airspeed, altitude and heading information
  • Can also be installed as a standby to a number of glass flight displays
  • Connect your cockpit with built-in Wi-Fi® connectivity and BLUETOOTH® technology.
  • Know you’ll get home with up to 60 minutes of optional backup battery power
Garmin’s Smart Glide Safety Tool
This summer Garmin caught us all off guard by introducing Smart Glide. This is truly, a revolutionary safety tool that will save lives by helping the pilot in loss of engine power emergencies by automating tasks to reduce pilot workload.
Smart Glide joined the Collier Trophy winning Garmin Autoland as a part of the Autonomí™ family. In the event of the loss of engine power in a single-engine aircraft, a pilot faces the urgent, workload-intensive job of maneuvering the aircraft from its current position to a suitable airport. Through compatible avionics, such as GTN™ Xi series navigators, Smart Glide provides assistance to the pilot by recommending a suitable airport if estimated to be within glide range, as well as providing critical information to the pilot and adjusting select avionics settings. When paired with a compatible Garmin autopilot, Smart Glide can automatically engage the autopilot and pitch for the aircraft’s best glide speed while simultaneously navigating the aircraft within the vicinity of the recommended airport (if available) so the pilot can execute an approach and landing.
New Digital Autopilots Galore!
In the last few years numerous manufacturers have stepped up and introduced modern digital autopilots. These are a significant improvement from the old, and less reliable, analog predecessors. These new products offer features like envelope protection, emergency level buttons, better integration to the glass panel offerings and some have new servo motor offerings. These modern systems bring new levels of autopilot capability and reliability to your aircraft.
Garmin GFC™ 600 and 500 Digital Autopilots
 Garmin continues to expand the aircraft AML certification list of their new digital autopilot offerings on the GFC 500 and 600. This list is continually being updated by Garmin on their website but feel free to contact us for the latest.
  • Cost-effective, superior in-flight characteristics, built-in self-monitoring capabilities and minimal maintenance needs when compared to older generation autopilot systems
  • Designed for single- and twin-engine piston and turbine aircraft that have a wide range of aircraft speed and performance characteristics, GFC 600 is now available for a growing list of aircraft models
  • Stand-alone autopilot that boasts superior integration potential with G600/G500 and TXi series glass flight displays, Garmin navigators, as well as a variety of third-party equipment
  •  Robust feature set, including safety features such as underspeed and overspeed protection, a dedicated return-to-level (LVL) mode button, Garmin ESP™ (Electronic Stability and Protection), Smart Rudder Bias capability, Flight Director (FD), coupled approaches and missed approaches when paired with a compatible navigator and much more
  • Servos incorporate brushless DC motors and a design that results in enhanced system efficiency — while also reducing maintenance / inspection requirements
S-TEC 3100 Digital Flight Control System
The S-TEC 3100 has been a welcome addition to the STEC autopilot line. It also allows existing users to upgrade their system from a rate-based system to a higher performance attitude derived system while still maintaining their existing servos. The STEC 3100 has also found a niche in numerous higher performance airframes not currently supported by other vendors
  • Precise, digital flight control for every phase of flight
  • Under Speed and Over Speed Warnings
  • Roll Envelope Exceedance Warning
  • Voice Annunciations
  • Indicated Airspeed Control
Bendix King Aerocruze 230/330 Autopilot
As a form-fit replacement for KFC 150 and KFC 200 old analog systems this is a very compelling upgrade to those owners struggling to maintain their systems. You retain your old servos but BK puts them back under warranty for 2 years.
  • Full digital 3-axis autopilot
  • Automatic wing leveling corrects unusual attitudes
  • Only touchscreen autopilot available in the market
  • Mode annunciation so you know what the autopilot is doing
  • Dedicated knobs and buttons for frequently used functions
Gogo Avance Now Providing Inflight Connectivity Beginning At 3,000 Feet        
Gogo lowered the altitude at which passengers can begin using its connectivity services from 10,000 feet above ground level (AGL) to 3,000 feet AGL for its AVANCE L3 and L5 inflight internet and entertainment systems. The lower service altitude will enable aircraft that fly shorter flights and spend little to no time above 10,000 feet the opportunity to take advantage of in-flight connectivity for the majority of their flights. Available at most locations throughout the contiguous United States.
New options on USB Chargers
If there is one standard product we now install on every avionics upgrade, it would have to be the demanded USB charging ports (often numerous spread throughout the interior). New power hungry tablets and phones have forced the industry to come out with higher power solutions and new type ports to meet demand.
Garmin’s GSB 15 USB Chargers
Garmin upped their game by releasing newer models of their GSB™ 15 USB charger, featuring dual 27-watt USB Type-C charging ports — or a combination of USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports — for powering and charging various types of portable devices in the aircraft
  • Charge two full-size iPad® tablets or similar smart devices while using them
  • Halo lighting around each USB port makes connections easy in dark conditions
  • Easy installation in an existing instrument cutout with optional adapter plate
  • Two power input options available — rear or side wiring connections — to help simplify installation in tight spaces such as armrests or sidewalls
  • Provides data transfer capabilities for the GI 275 Flight Instrument
Mid Continent USB Charger options
Mid Continent’s True Blue Power division was one of the first aviation certified USB power sources and has recently upgraded their chargers to include higher power.
  •  MAX Power TA360 charging ports feature the latest USB Power Delivery (PD) Technology to deliver 60 watts of power per port — 4X more power than traditional chargers.
  •  Simultaneously charge smartphones, iPads, tablets, EFBs and laptops at MAX power
  • Short circuit, power surges, overload and over temperature protection
  • Single or dual port, Type A or C, with an optional Digital Clock model.
SPOT Gen4 Satellite GPS Messenger
The SPOT Gen4 is the latest addition to the SPOT family.
Offering :
  •  Enhanced Design – SPOT Gen4 has a sleek new look with improved grip and security design features that offer ease of use.
  • Upgraded IP68 Rating – Offers increased water resistance, up to 30 minutes at two meters in water.
  • Motion Activated Tracking – SPOT Gen4 sends tracks at a chosen rate for as long as the device is turned on and moving, conserving battery life. Alerts can be set to auto send notifications to others when movement is detected or upon entry and exit of specific geographic areas in SPOT Mapping.
  • Battery Life – SPOT Gen4 offers the longest battery life in the product category far surpassing performance of alternative battery powered GPS messengers.
  • SPOT Mapping – Live and historical map views to view or share your SPOT locations for a minimum of three years. Optional upgrades available to meet user-defined mapping needs.
Astronautics AFI4700 Roadrunner EFI Retrofit
Astronautics AFI 4700 RoadRunner Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) receives numerous STCs on multiple platforms. Maxcraft’s own DAO has certification for the Sikorsky S-61 and the Bell 212/412, with others supporting the Bell 412, Sikorsky HH-60L, and the Leonardo A109/119.
The intuitive AFI4700 RoadRunner was designed to reduce installation time, power consumption, instrument panel space, and cooling requirements. The EFI is NVIS compatible, and displays HTAWS, TCAS, and Weather with readability in all lighting conditions. SVS will be available as a future field-loadable upgrade. The unit increases operational capability by enabling LPV approaches and is approved for single pilot IFR. With no mechanical components, this feature increases reliability and a significant weight savings of 20lbs over the legacy displays.
Universal Avionics Sees Strong Year for InSight™ Integrated Flight Deck Upgrades
Universal Avionics (UA) sees increased interest in its InSight Integrated Flight Deck Solution among business jet operators. In 2021, the system was certified or set on a path to certification on five different aircraft platforms for a total of nine different STC solutions to date, a testament to the technology’s adaptability.
The InSight Display System is UA’s proven flight deck solution, a fully integrated display system with a rich feature set for enhanced situational awareness and improved safety. It features an embedded 2nd Next Generation 3D Synthetic Vision System (SVS), interactive digital map, embedded charting, map support, advanced radio control with embedded radio tuning, and more. InSight is complemented with the latest in Human Machine Interface (HMI) design including touch control interactions with the flight plan, etc., for reduced crew workload.
Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion® avionics upgrade path adds additional airframes
Collins Aerospace announced its Pro Line Fusion® integrated avionics system for Cessna Citation CJ2+ and CJ1+ light business jets have been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. This is in addition to the already approved upgrade path for the Cessna Citation CJ3 and the Beechcraft King Air. Owners now have a new aftermarket option for taking advantage of NextGen® airspace enhancements while adding the many other benefits of Pro Line Fusion when upgrading from Pro Line 21.
In the Hangar:
State-of-art 1973 Skylane Cessna 182P
Maxcraft is proud to highlight this pristine and now state-of-art 1973 Skylane Cessna 182P. With a plethora of electronics and digital displays, it’s easy to see why Garmin chose to display this marvel of technology at their booth at EAA AirVenture OshkoshRead more
“There were no shocking surprises, no shortcomings, no squawks. Everything worked exactly as promised from the very first flight”
In the Hangar:
AS365N2 Dauphin Transformed into a Multi Mission Capable Aircraft
Maxcraft  transformed this newly purchased and imported helicopter into a high-tech workhorse capable of sight-seeing tours or search and rescue missions in the harshest environments, and everything in between…. Read more..
In the Hangar:
Cessna 208 Caravan, G600 TXi Upgrade
Owned by a small family-owned air carrier based in Manitoba, this Caravan received the most comprehensive avionics upgrade possible, including glass electronic flight displays and a new instrument panel.. Read more
In the Hangar:
First Astronautics RoadRunner EFIS Installation in Sikorsky S61 
Maxcraft is proud to be the first to release a supplemental type certificate to install the advanced Astronautics RoadRunner electronic flight information system in the Sikorsky S61. Requiring four separate supplemental type certificates, this S61 features many world firsts.Read more
“We anticipate significant benefit with this retrofit and are pleased to partner with Maxcraft on this initiative.”
In the Hangar:
Groundbreaking Astronautics RoadRunner EFIS Installation in Bell 212
Maxcraft utilized it’s in house design services department to release a supplemental type certificate to install the Astronautics RoadRunner electronic flight information system in the Bell 212 helicopter for the very first timeRead more
In the Hangar:
Foreign Aircraft Import and Registration
Maxcraft orchestrated the import and registration of this 2009 Cessna T182T Skylane from the USA, along with upgrading the existing G1000 avionics suite bringing even more advanced features. ….Read more
“Thankfully a pilot friend recommended Maxcraft Avionics and to my delight they were able to step in and quarterback the whole process”
The Technical Side
Glass cockpits in Helicopters?
Maxcraft specializes in glass cockpit upgrades, and despite half of our work is in the rotary marketplace, we have installed far more in fixed wing aircraft. Why is that? As you climb the ladder in more sophisticated helicopter airframes there is less choice in glass cockpit offerings. The challenges in this market are two-fold; finding a certified hardware solution that meets the criteria for helicopter’s harsh environment, and having the required Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) to install the selected hardware in the specific airframe. Let’s explore this in further detail:
Glass offerings in different categories:
o   The offerings are typically broken down into the certification basis of the helicopter and the type operations (VFR/IFR)
o   Helicopter categories:
o   Part 27 (Light Helicopters) – VFR
  • Examples would be:
  • Robinson R22/44/66
  • Airbus AS350/355, EC120/130,
  • Bell 206, 407
  • There are numerous manufacturers that offer hardware solutions in this segment
  • Many of these manufacturers include a broad based approved model list (AML) STC.
  • Maxcraft, and other companies, have also developed airframe specific STCs
  • We in turn offer to license our STCs to other shops wanting to do the same
  • Some examples of hardware solutions
  • Aspen EFD1000H
  • Garmin G500H TXi Touchscreen Flight Displays
  • Genesys IDU-450 EFIS
o   Part 29 (Medium/Heavy Helicopters) – VFR
  • Examples would be:
  • Bell B205/212/214/412
  • Airbus AS332 / AS365
  • Once you get into this category the certification requirements go up significantly
  • The qualification standards for the hardware and software are much more stringent
  • The level of effort to obtain STC approvals from the certification organization is much more onerous due to the numerous additional requirements
  • For example, the impact of failure modes is assessed much more critically
  • Some examples of hardware solutions
  • Garmin G500H TXi Touchscreen Flight Displays
  • Genesys IDU-680 EFIS
  • Astronautics EFI-4700 Roadrunner EFIS
o   Part 29 (Medium/Heavy Helicopters) – IFR
  • Examples would be:
  • Sikorsky S61, S76,
  • Bell 212/412
  • Augusta A109/119
  • Airbus AS365, AS332
  • Certification is very onerous
  • We already spoke of the higher certification requirements for Part 29 – VFR and the IFR requirements raise the level of complexity that much more
  • Maxcraft specializes in this market and has numerous STCs
  • The majority of our STCs, when coupled with a WAAS GPS, include full LPV approaches
  • Some examples of hardware solutions
  • Astronautics EFI-4700 Roadrunner EFIS
  • Astronautics Badger Pro+ Integrated Flight Display System
  • Universal Insight Flight Deck
  • Genesys IDU-680 EFIS
Reasons you might want to consider a Glass cockpit upgrade:
o   Glass is the only reasonable solution for integrating multiple approach capable GPS’s
  • Trying to integrate to old mechanical instruments is costly, typically requires remote annunciation and relay switching, and of course is failure prone
o   A new modern cockpit is much safer due to better situational awareness and reduced pilot workload
  • The instrument scan is greatly reduced, typically reduced down to one instrument
  • Many of these systems now include 3D Synthetic Vision
  • Helicopter Terrain Awareness Warning System (HTAWS) are often accompanied with a glass cockpit upgrade.
o   A significant reduction in maintenance is always seen when performing this type of upgrade
  • Helicopters are a high vibration environment and removing the mechanical instrumentation eliminates that constant requirement to overhaul these instruments
o   When we upgrade an instrument panel to glass we most often upgrade the avionics as well
  • WAAS GPS navigators provide:
  • LPV approaches
  • Integrated moving map displays
  • Far better ergonomics for ease of use
  • GPS aiding to AHRS in glass panel attitude indicators
  • Connectivity to tablets for flight plan transfers and flight logging
  • ADS-B compliant solutions
  • Modern audio distribution systems
  • Traffic advisory systems
It is an exciting time for helicopter operators as there are numerous great glass solutions for almost any airframe and the cost continues to come down. As a leader in glass panel upgrade solutions to the rotorcraft market, Maxcraft continues to work with all the major manufacturers to help shape future product’s features we think are needed. We cannot tell you what is coming but suffice to say this market is being addressed with new products. Come have a chat with us, working out custom panel solutions to meet individual needs is what we love to do!
Vender Profile: Astronautics
Astronautics Corporation of America is a global leader in the design, development, and manufacture of secure avionics equipment and connectivity solutions for commercial and military aircraft.
Astronautics was established in 1959 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by a brother and sister leadership team. Nathaniel Zelazo and Norma Paige founded the company over 60 years ago with the desire to push the boundaries of technology and innovation.
When Nate founded Astronautics, he was pursuing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the university and made lifelong relationships with several key faculty members. Many of the company’s early ‘space’ contracts stemmed from these connections.
In the picture, Professor Robert Parent (left) and Astronautics Founder and Chairman Emeritus Nate Zelazo are examining a miniaturized tape drive that Astronautics designed and manufactured. Powered by solar energy, the tape drive recorded infrared sensor data aboard NASA’s TIROS weather satellites in the early 1960s.
Since founded, Astronautics has grown from a small aerospace business in Milwaukee to a global enterprise, including its wholly owned subsidiary Kearfott Corporation, located in New Jersey. The founders had the creativity to envision what the company could become and the business drive to achieve this goal .
Astronautics has grown to a mid-sized aerospace company, listed as one of the top software product and manufacturing companies in the Greater Milwaukee region, and a one of the largest privately-held organizations in Wisconsin.
One of its leading products is the RoadRunner® electronic flight instrument (EFI). The company’s AFI4700 RoadRunner (EFI) is a 4×7-inch ‘two-in-one’ next-generation primary flight display for rotary and fixed-wing applications. Designed to replace aging 5-inch ATI electromechanical ADI and HSI instruments, or obsolete legacy CRT EFI systems (EFIS), with a value-added retrofit solution available for multiple platforms.
The RoadRunner provides operators an easy-to-install, affordable, and reliable upgrade that provides modern EFIS functionality with the added benefits of enhanced operational capabilities (e.g. LPV approach) and safety features (e.g. decision height alerting and a full HSI with moving map and pointers). The RoadRunner EFI is certified for the Leonardo A109/119 and Bell 412/212 aircraft.
For more information on our vendor Astronautics, check out their website here:
Who’s Who at Maxcraft? Who is Charles
Charles is our featured employee this month. He joined our team June 2017 as a shipper/receiver and prior to that he worked doing hardware and software testing at a company that produced video lottery terminals in Nova Scotia.
After doing a great job in the stores department, he was promoted to work as a Technical Records and Administrative Support Specialist. Charles does a great job in this role which includes everything from creating new aircraft work orders to managing outside repairs and OEM avionics support contracts, managing our tool and equipment calibration records, and supporting our used part sales.
His favorite thing about working in aviation….he says it’s the variety in all things involved with aviation. So many avenues and directions that aviation can take you.
Charles did not plan to work in aviation….nor go to school for aviation. He has an Electronic Engineering Technician diploma that he received at a two-year program at the Nova Scotia Community College – Marconi Campus.
Charles hobbies include computers, electronic, reading and NOT talking about himself. On the weekdays, he loves to spend time with his friends around the lower mainland playing “Magic The Gathering” (a very popular card game….who knew?).
Things we didn’t know about him, he earned a Governor General’s Medal during his diploma program!
Lightspeed is offering a great promotion for that perfect gift for the pilot in your family. This is the time for family, traveling and gift giving!
Purchase a brand new Zulu3 ANR headset and receive an instant discount of $75 CDN! This offer is only valid from November 19, 2021 until December 31, 2021.
Click here for Lightspeed
Place your order between November 15, 2021 and December 31, 2021 and receive rebates from $200 USD to $1200 USD on the following and more!.
MVP-50P Engine Monitor
CGR-30 Combo
CGR-30P Basic Engine Monitor
Click here for Electronic International rebates
Garmin logo
Save $100 USD on GDL 39 ADS-B receivers until December 25th, 2021
Click here for Garmin
Save $250 USD on GI 275 EIS systems until December 31st, 2021
Click here for Garmin
Upcoming Events
Feb. 26 – 27, 2022
Northwest Aviation Conference & Tradeshow
Mar. 7 – 10, 2022
HAI Heli Expo
Mar. 28-31, 2022
Aircraft Electronics Association
New Orleans
Avionic Humour
Several planes were running up and waiting to take off, many Cessnas including a 337. With all the students and several similar call signs, the controllers were getting a tad confused. The controller finally asked: “Cessna 123YZ, are you the Skymaster?”
A slightly confused voice with an indeterminate accent replied, after a moment: “Well, my instructor says that I am very good, but I do not think that I would yet be considered the ‘Skymaster’.
Max Webstore
If you would like more information or to pre-order please contact our sales department at or 604-465-3080.
Maxcraft Avionics offers specials too! Go to our Max Webstore for specials and check the website for our used/reconditioned avionics list – updated monthly on items we have.
Contact Us
Maxcraft Avionics Ltd. | 604-465-3080 | |
250 – 18799 Airport Way, Pitt Meadows Airport (CYPK), Pitt Meadows, BC V3Y 2B4
YVR Office – 4360 Agar Drive, Richmond BC V7B 1A4