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Landing Height System for Mooney


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We would like to thank Craig for this opportunity to show you guys this system.   We just received FAA approval for installation on Certified Airplanes.

We have units installed on many experimental airplanes for the past three years and finally after two years certification process with the FAA, received the approval under NORSEE (Non-Required Safety Enhancement Equipment) which basically allows this unit to be installed on FAA certified airplanes as minor modification by any A&P.

The Landing Height system announces the height above ground starting 70ft (or 100 ft).

Some actual feedback we get from customers:

  • Perfect aid when most of the landings are done on a certain width runway then visiting a different runway that is much wider.

  • Huge situational awareness at night landings.

  • Transitioning to a faster airplane from a slow trainer airplane.

  • Helps with eye strain and fatigue at the end of a very long trip.

Here are some videos of the system installed on a Piper Warrior.  We also have a photo on the site of the unit installed on a Mooney.

More videos on the site with experimental airplanes (Lancair 360, RV7, Lancair IV-PT).

Thanks for watching.

Visit https://LandingHeight.com for the Certified unit page.   or https://www.enginebridge.com/product/landing-height-controller-copy/ for experimental airplane videos

 

Nidal

 

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I thought I had it all.  Then this.  I just ordered one.  

Thanks. The sensor used is an eye-safe Class 1 Laser, commonly referred to as LIDAR.  Installation is really straightforward, unlike the experimental edition which comes in two parts (Sensor only

We would like to thank Craig for this opportunity to show you guys this system.   We just received FAA approval for installation on Certified Airplanes. We have units installed on many experiment

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Welcome aboard Nidal!

Looks like you did your homework.  Sponsorship organized with Craig.  :)

Can you describe the type of sensor being used and a bit about the installation?

Looks like it is neatly placed in an inspection panel...

Best regards,

-a-

 

Pic of Nidal’s sensor on a Mooney... (something has made seeing this pic challenging...)

Click the link, then click view...   no need to download...

7877DF41-ED50-4B38-B804-CE506CE90A81.webp

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Thanks.

The sensor used is an eye-safe Class 1 Laser, commonly referred to as LIDAR.  Installation is really straightforward, unlike the experimental edition which comes in two parts (Sensor only and a control unit), the certified edition is a fully enclosed unit with everything in one case.  

The unit is approved to be installed above any access panel or inspection plate and comes with a quick-disconnect so it is removed along with the panel.

There are 4 wires needed. Two for power (+12/28V and GND), and two for audio (Hi/Lo).  

Depending on the Audio channel that will be used, most audio panels take single wire audio input for some channels.   An unused channel on the Audio panel can be used (such as ADF, NAV2, COM3, etc..).  Keep the channel selected so it mixes with the main COM being used.   The audio announcements are heard through the headset.   

A built-in Wi-Fi interface allows for setup of the unit installed height above ground so basically the number you hear is the height of the bottom of the landing gear from ground (rather than the height of the unit itself from ground).  The Wi-Fi interface also allows seeing the reported height, changing the audio or accent for those who like a different language or accent, testing audio, and firmware update.

Some customers uses AUX or music input, which will work, but some audio panels automute this channel if the main channel activates, this can be seen on the Lancair video as it is not mixing the announcements towards the end.   Here is a very short video showing the proper mixing in action.   

Many airplanes had the ADF input which is now free to be used.  The video on the Piper uses the ADF audio input always selected.

Regards

Nidal

 

M20-2.jpg

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Thank you, Don for your interest.  On the site, we mentioned delivery in January.  Though we do have some units and are going to ship them directly once ready in December.   The next day after receiving our approval which was just a few days ago (11/17), we got a huge demand from some schools who wanted to equip part of their fleet with the system, so they train new students to correlate between the actual height and the eyesight, and also to be used for first solo.  They are taking advantage of the pre-order offer.   

So we are trying now to separate orders from these schools from standard personal orders and will try to squeeze in some personal orders between these bulk orders on first come, first served.   We appreciate everyone's support, and understanding.  We preferred to mention Jan/Feb in general just to be fully transparent.

Regards

Nidal

 

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3 minutes ago, Bob - S50 said:

I see from your website that on certified aircraft, it is not allowed to make announcements below 5 feet.  The calls at 2' and 1' would seem to be most useful.

 

Would be as useful in our Certified Mooneys as in the Certified Piper from the videos!

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@Bob, @Hank.  Yes. I totally agree.  The experimental airplanes go all the way down to 0 (touch down) and the 0 callout happens exactly at tire squeak based on all the feedback from the RV guys on VAF's.  Part of the long period for the certification (2 years) was having the FAA accept low value, initially they only wanted us to go down to 20 ft similar to most of the commercial airliners.    We eventually managed to get it down to 5 ft as part of the installation steps and not part of the approval letter itself.   In fact, there are more than 3000 landings confirmed and reported by many of our customers on experimental airplanes that the unit is spot-on for years. 

So the limitation is not mentioned in the actual certification approval but only in the installation steps.   The installer needs to select this option in the Wi-Fi.  It's the same software as the experiential edition but limited to 1 and not 0 (zero).  

The Piper airplane was converted to experimental as part of the certification process so it uses the SAME software that will be shipped.  We know of some users who go into the software and enable the lower limits (2 & 1), but it's something "of course" we don't normally suggest or mention, it's up to the user.   

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@Don, I think I missed one question from your post; wiring harness that goes all the way to the Audio panel going to be different for each airplane and if panel is upgraded that was made. Hooking up a pin or two to the back of the Audio panel or using already unused wire (ADF wire if it an ADF unit was removed) is simple enough for most if not all installations.

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Microkit said:

 

@Bob, @Hank.  Yes. I totally agree.  The experimental airplanes go all the way down to 0 (touch down) and the 0 callout happens exactly at tire squeak based on all the feedback from the RV guys on VAF's.  Part of the long period for the certification (2 years) was having the FAA accept low value, initially they only wanted us to go down to 20 ft similar to most of the commercial airliners.    We eventually managed to get it down to 5 ft as part of the installation steps and not part of the approval letter itself.   In fact, there are more than 3000 landings confirmed and reported by many of our customers on experimental airplanes that the unit is spot-on for years. 

So the limitation is not mentioned in the actual certification approval but only in the installation steps.   The installer needs to select this option in the Wi-Fi.  It's the same software as the experiential edition but limited to 1 and not 0 (zero).  

The Piper airplane was converted to experimental as part of the certification process so it uses the SAME software that will be shipped.  We know of some users who go into the software and enable the lower limits (2 & 1), but it's something "of course" we don't normally suggest or mention, it's up to the user.   

I thought I had it all.  Then this.  I just ordered one.

 

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The difference between the 100ft and 70ft editions is each uses a different Laser element and of course the 100ft starts announcements at 100ft.  In fact, the 100ft edition is capable of 300ft AGL surface detection but FAA won't have it! :).  We may plan in a year time to go back to them to ask for a higher range which would be only a firmware update.  Also, the 100ft as it's a different laser element, needs a different cut-out for the access panel.  The photo of the Mooney above uses the 70ft.  The photo below for a 182RG uses the 100ft unit.

 

 

Cessna 182RG Skylane.jpg

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7 hours ago, Microkit said:

 

The difference between the 100ft and 70ft editions is each uses a different Laser element and of course the 100ft starts announcements at 100ft.  In fact, the 100ft edition is capable of 300ft AGL surface detection but FAA won't have it! :).  We may plan in a year time to go back to them to ask for a higher range which would be only a firmware update.  Also, the 100ft as it's a different laser element, needs a different cut-out for the access panel.  The photo of the Mooney above uses the 70ft.  The photo below for a 182RG uses the 100ft unit.

Do you really want an announcement above 70 feet?  I could have had either, but chose the 70 foot one due to possible annoyance. ( Edit:  After reading some of the comments, I changed to the 100' unit).

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Most do select the 70'.  The 100ft been requested by airline pilots for their small airplanes and by IFR pilots who wants to know the 100' mark.  Something to note here, the unit may skip the first announcement if it sees the airplane is going to reach the 2nd mark before the end of the first audio message as it takes about 1.5 seconds to complete the callout.  

Generally, at 50', most are on top of the numbers.  I say most, as if you guys check this video of an RV7 customer, that's a very shallow approach, he is hearing 20 still way out!   Probably due to the condition of the runway.

Another note, the unit can detect erratic sudden changes and adjust accordingly (like going over a tree, and a fraction of a second later, it's not there), but if there are tree formation or a thick forest type, the unit will report the top of the trees.  So 100' will be heard if you pass over a thick line of 30' trees with no break at 130' AGL then once cleared, you will hear 100ft again or the unit may skip it depending on the approach angle.

Regards

Nidal

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Microkit said:

 

The difference between the 100ft and 70ft editions is each uses a different Laser element and of course the 100ft starts announcements at 100ft.  In fact, the 100ft edition is capable of 300ft AGL surface detection but FAA won't have it! :).  We may plan in a year time to go back to them to ask for a higher range which would be only a firmware update.  Also, the 100ft as it's a different laser element, needs a different cut-out for the access panel.  The photo of the Mooney above uses the 70ft.  The photo below for a 182RG uses the 100ft unit.

 

 

Cessna 182RG Skylane.jpg

I will be ordering one, a couple of questions through:

I see an installation that may be helpful with the 100' version:

Say you are landing a in an area (perhaps at night) with some adjacent hills.  I expect you will see a more rapid drop in altitude over terrain, then an increase in ground clearance when over the "bump."  

This might be good to confirm.

Will the 100' version potentially have more capability when the new software is sorted out, in which case it might be beneficial to choose that option at this time.

Is the laser in the 100' foot version more robust and different from a standpoint of longevity?

John Breda

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Say you are landing a in an area (perhaps at night) with some adjacent hills.  I expect you will see a more rapid drop in altitude over terrain, then an increase in ground clearance when over the "bump."  

I make this comment in reference to the 300' capability you might program in the future.   

In essence, could there be more versatility in the future if choosing the 100' version now?

John Breda

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 To be honest John, I think the only addition we will be trying to get with the 100' unit is probably 200' (or 250) mainly for the LPV/IFR that have the minimum at that mark as an extra aid.  

We have a custom firmware for experimental airplanes (only a handful) that are high-performance airplanes such as Pressurized Lancair IV who do hard-core IFR and keep asking us to go higher and higher on that unit.    

The FAA really did not want to discuss anything above 100' and kept reminding us to choose, either discuss lower limits or higher but not both.  Main concern (even to us); pilots abusing the system in IMC saying they did not hear 200' so it means they can go lower!  

I also want to make it clear that going higher is a low-chance.  As many mentioned, the real value is the lower.   I would not recommend anyone to get the 100' just for the possibility of higher limit, that may or may not happen.   I tell you what, if you got the 70', and within 2 years, the 100' got approval to go higher, we will replace the 70 for free.

Even though we can add extra features, the software/firmware change process for certified airplanes is really tough and needs to go back for approval.  We were asked to add a "Check Landing Gear" reminder audio message when the 20 mark is hit, so this is something that can be done with either units using just a file sent via email.     Though again, that's back to the FAA and the more we get certified units in the field with proper service history, the more we can show the FAA the advantages of adding software features. 

Regards

Nidal

 

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The announcements are based on the "solid" surface below you.  Once you are in the "zone", the unit will say any mark is seen with consistent readings.  

The zone is 130' and below. (for 70' unit) and 200' and below for 100' units.   So the unit uses the "unannounced" buffer to build a landing profile of the airplane.  Based on this landing profile, it callout the predetermined marks, even if the airplane goes higher.  This is why it works in go-arounds (as seen in the Low Approach segment of the night video above).  

So if you are passing 70' then 50' above a hill, you will hear 70 then 50, then the unit sees a higher range after passing the hill, it will start re-building the profile and it only takes a few feet of descent to know you are still landing, and will give you the 70' again.  

Regards

Nidal

 

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