Avionics Test Equipment is a vital part of any FAA repair station that performs repairs of aircraft electronic equipment. The test equipment covers a wide spectrum of items from signal generators and digital voltmeters to autopilot servo test stands for clutch torque evaluation. This avionics test equipment is required to be calibrated on a yearly basis and for a shop of any  moderate size can be a large expense. There are of course different types of test equipment in each category as well and this includes bench type equipment primarily used for repair and alignment of the avionics equipment and normally is larger in size and then the smaller portable equipment used to service the aircraft on the ramp for troubleshooting.

One of the mainstays in the test equipment business for avionics is Aeroflex a Wichita based company that has been in the business for decades. The generators they have produced over the years such as IFR 750B Nav/Comm/Marker Receiver generator is a legacy piece of equipment and can be found in avionics repair facilities across this country and in Europe. The IFR 1200Y3 is another piece of Avionics test equipment for bench repair and its use is in the repair of transponders and Distance Measuring Equipment (DME). The transponder is a receiver and transmitter device that communicates with the ATC controllers and identifies each aircraft with the selected code assigned to it by ATC. The transponder must be checked on a bi-annual basis to insure its proper operation. If any function of the transponder fails be it the identification code or “squawk” code as it is called in the industry or the function that reports the aircraft altitude then it must get repaired before the next flight. The DME is also both a receiver and transmitter that interrogates a ground station for a reply and the time required for the aircraft to receive the reply equates to distance to that station. The avionics test equipment required to test and calibrate these aircraft radios is expensive and complex but a required asset for the Avionics Repair shops to service the customers.

Tech-Aid Products of Tulsa has been manufacturing Avionics and Instrument test equipment since 1990 and has a product line of over 45 different test panels and generators. The aviation instrument shops and certified FAA repair stations require specific test equipment interface panels to perform the required testing per their test procedures in order to return the product to airworthiness status with the FAA Form 8130-3. The generators manufactured by Tech-Aid Products are for example the TA-568 ARINC 568/561 Distance and Data Simulator, this unit primarily interfaces with the Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI). The HSI with a distance readout typically is seen in the corporate jets and can provide both a digital distance display as well as a digital bearing that reflects the pilot’s course to destination. All the aviation test equipment panels can be viewed at www.techaidproducts.com.