Situtational Awareness has always been a primary concern to Australian LightWing. 'Situational Awareness' is the local buzz word on which CASA is currently placing emmense importance and in our situtation, situational awareness equates to the ability to locate your position at a glance in relation to:
A) controlled airspace,
C) where you want to go, and
D) where you've come from;
and this is where our Computer Aided Navigation (CAN) System really shines.
With high tech navigation, the Australian LightWing SP Range integrates the latest in navigational systems used in the realm of passenger and commercial airliners, now available to the recreational pilot in the form of our own CAN.
"Situation Awareness (SA) involves being aware of what is happening around you to understand how information, events and your own actions will impact your goals and objectives, both now and in the near future". For more information, please view our CEO Blog (March, 2011).
Australian LightWing's CAN System represents one of the greatest advances in flight management this decade. Previously available only to the world's largest commercial jet airliners, Australian LightWing now presents computer-aided navigation to the recreational pilot at an affordable price.
The Hughes Group CAN help you custom design the perfect Glass Cockpit for your flying needs.
The CAN system is modular and consists of:
1 - An onboard12 volt compact PC,
2 - Digital E-Gyro,
3 - Daylight readable LCD touch screen,
4- Mountain Scope Software,
5- Fugawi or Pocket FMS Software.
NOTE: The E-Gyro also contains a built in GPS.
Our Australian LightWing CAN System is now available with both touch screen and track ball operation and also key stroke operation.
The software and hardware come in three packages.
Firstly, the digital E-Gyro software, secondly, 'Mountain Scope' which interprets data from the GPS and the digital gyro to provide both flat maps and a windshield view of the world outside the aircraft, and finally flat mapping navigation program ‘Fugawi’ which stores and provides the pilot with a full range of digital charts and maps.
These three packages, combined in the Australian LightWing aircraft, give you complete Situational Awareness in your aircraft at all times.
The CAN System runs in two modes, with a switch alternating between the two, and the touch screen enabling the software programs to operate.
It is not possible to operate both programs at the one time, although whilst running Mountain Scope and Fugawi map can be brought up on the screen using standard Windows format (both these programs are Windows based).
Our dashboard is designed with the use or fitting of a glass cockpit as the primary feature. There are optional systems available; from our CAN system to the recommended Odyssey system; and many other GPS systems and glass cockpit screens can be mounted directly in front of the pilot. The dash features a sunshade over the screen, which is once again essential for its practical operation and longevity.
Most importantly, there is a roof over the pilot's head. You're protected.
If you earn a living in the air, carrying out flight training, or just want to get from A to B in the most efficient manner possible, you owe yourself a safe trip.
Sure, sit in one of those glass bubble-type cockpits, but if you come unstuck nothing will protect you better than a fully triangulated, welded steel frame. You have seen Formula 1 racing cars hit the wall at 200 kilometres per hour and the driver gets out and walks away! Well, our fuselage is no different. In the past 25 years, unfortunately, we have had one accident in a LightWing aircraft - but that's not a bad record and we attribute it 95% to our safety frame.
Then there is real risk of skin cancer from the burning sun when sitting under a glass bubble, NO THANKS, give me a roof any day!
At a local social gathering in early 2009, I talked with a guy who had flipped his US Kit aircraft on its back crushing the canopy and trapping him and his wife inside. He got out ok using an axe I think, but his wife had broken her neck in the accident. Did he want to look at our aircraft ? No. He was happy with his ****! - some people will never learn!
Yes, you have probably worked out by now that we are passionate and also damn proud of our safety record. There are about a dozen people who have had mishaps but are still alive today because of our attention to active safety design in our aircraft. Fitting a glass bubble over a cockpit saves thousands of dollars - all you do is get a contractor to make it for you. Whereas to build and frame a roof structure, clad it with GRP, add sleek and neat gull wing doors etc., adds a good few thousand dollars to the cost, but how much is your life worth?
Like the old saying goes; there are cheap aircraft and there are good aircraft, but never both!