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New features for wireless aircraft data module

BlueMax is a $995 Bluetooth transmitter with newly enabled on-board data recording capability that can be installed by an A&P mechanic in one to three hours, according to the company website. Other new features enabled by the latest update have automated the exchange of data with various maintenance providers, even if data was recorded without the presence of a mobile device in the aircraft that is running an app created by FlightData Solutions. (Data can now be stored on the device when the app is not running and collected later for upload.) The app also turns a tablet into a backup multifunction display and flight data recorder. For some, that capability effectively eliminates the need for costly repairs that might be required to return an installed, malfunctioning MFD to service, the company notes on its website.

Data harvested from a variety of sources is logged once per second, giving a more granular view than the six-second recording interval supported by the Avidyne Entegra integrated glass cockpit installed in many Cirrus Aircraft. BlueMax is also compatible with Arnav Systems engine monitors (another retrofit installed in various Cirrus models), as well as with engine data monitors from J. P. Instruments that can be installed as a retrofit in many aircraft makes and models.

The adapter is about 2 inches square, and connects to a range of wiring harnesses and outputs. Photo courtesy of FlightData Solutions.

The fruits of this powerplant and navigation system data harvest can be consumed during flight. When paired with the app, BlueMax can flag faulty probes; prompt fuel tank switchovers; alert the pilot to out-of-tolerance temperatures with custom parameters; and display all of this information—along with GPS, fuel, and other data—on a moving map. According to the company website, BlueMax was originally approved for installation in certified aircraft by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and the FAA has likewise deemed BlueMax installation a “minor change” that can be installed by an A&P and noted in the aircraft logbook.

After-landing utility extends to (newly automated) data sharing with third-party engine analysis and maintenance providers, including Savvy Aviation

“Automatic connection and upload have been the two most common requests that we’ve received from users,” FlightData Solutions co-founder Justin Beitler said in a June 7 news release. “With the emergence of predictive analytics, having data uploaded in real time allows BlueMAX users the opportunity to identify problems before they manifest, greatly enhancing safety of flight and decreasing operational costs.”

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