DAC dives into crowded EFB waters

 - December 8, 2006, 5:36 AM

DAC International has entered the EFB fray with the “Gen-X” electronic flight bag, a product that the company touts as unique because it is constructed to professional-grade avionics standards yet carries an uninstalled list price of less than $10,000.

What’s really interesting about the Gen-X device is that it uses electronic charts supplied by Jeppesen (no surprise there) or by Maptech, a name better known to boaters than pilots. DAC has formed an exclusive alliance with Maptech to create a full library of e-charts for airline and corporate aviation use, with the goal of selling chart subscriptions for “just a fraction of what the incumbent chart data supplier” charges. The unit can also run Lido database-driven charts, DAC said.

Certified to Class 2B EFB standards, the Gen-X product includes a 40-gigabyte hard drive in a rugged avionics box. The product also includes optional functionality for 802.11G wireless connectivity and links to Iridium or the Acars network. The computer unit has a 1.1-GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM. The separate color touchscreen can be mounted anywhere there is room in the cockpit.

DAC International, of Austin, Texas, is currently involved in three separate STC programs and expects FAA PMA approval for the device next month.