TCW Technologies has obtained an FAA supplemental type certificate to install its backup batteries designed to power critical avionics in about 100 Beechcraft, Cessna, Grumman, Mooney, and Piper aircraft. The firm already has about 8,000 of its backup batteries in experimental category aircraft.
“The experimental world is a great proving ground,” said Bob Newman, a TCW founder. “The FAA was very interested in the fact that so many of our backup batteries have been in use so widely since we started making them in 2010.”
TCW backup batteries are available for both 12- and 24-volt electrical systems, and they provide about one hour of emergency power for avionics such as a GPS nav/com and primary flight display. Retail prices range from about $600 to $1,100.
The lithium-iron-phosphate backup batteries are connected to the aircraft electrical system and selected avionics. If the aircraft electrical system fails, the backup battery automatically provides power.
TCW units are fully self-contained, and can be mounted almost anywhere in an aircraft.
The company plans to rapidly increase the kinds of aircraft eligible for its backup batteries. The list currently contains single- and multiengine pressurized and unpressurized airplanes with a maximum operating weight of 6,000 pounds or less.
TCW has been working to gain FAA approval via STC for about six years.
“It’s been quite a journey,” Newman said. “I didn’t want to talk about the product until it was approved, and now we’re there. We’ve got it in writing from the FAA, and we’ve got backup batteries in stock right now.”