NBAA Convention News

Will pilots flip for the Flipper?

 - November 6, 2006, 12:41 PM

It’s called the Flipper, and for good reason. The new product is a retrofit item that flips into position on the aircraft glare shield to give the pilot a supplemental five-inch LCD screen. Flight Display Systems of Alpharetta, Ga. (Booth No. 1643), has come up with it as a way to make newer technology, such as XM weather data and enhanced-vision systems, accessible to owners of older aircraft. “An advisory information display, if you will,” said Flight Display founder David Gray.

The device is bracket-mounted to the glareshield and, with the press of a button, unfolds from a half-inch thick packet to reveal its five-inch display screen. “Now you see it, now you don’t,” said Gray, pointing out that when not deployed, the Flipper is barely noticeable, and even when it is in use  itdoes not obstruct the pilots’ view of the panel instruments. For completion, refurbishment and mod companies hard-pressed to find panel room for EVS, satellite weather, flight camera images and moving-map panel-mount displays, “It’s an easy, low-cost solution,” Gray said.

The system, uninstalled, is priced at “just under $5,000” and requires only a 15-foot connecting cable. It can be mounted virtually anywhere on the glare shield. The blacklit flat screen assures that it can be placed so it can be seen easily from either side of the cockpit by both pilots.

Flight Display has a supplemental type certificate approval on the device and has it installed on a light single-engine Stallion belonging to Sierra Industries mod center of Uvalde, Texas. Gray said FAA certification is expected before the end of the year.

Phoenix Air of Cartersville, Ga., a special-mission charter operator, is also a customer. “The Flipper gives us a compact, crystal-clear LCD monitor,” noted Rickey Smith, a Phoenix Air pilot.