Projects / Flight Watchman

Category: General Aviation Safety Product
Product Name: Flight Watchman
Availability: December 2015

Real World Electrical Failures

PA-28 Experiences Total Electrical Failure -

C172 In Flight Emergency -

C172 Electrical Failure at night -

Flight Watchman

PHire-1 Solutions latest product research is coming to its conclusion with the Flight Watchman approaching production readiness. Expect to see a Kickstarter or equivalent in late 2015 for this unique product.

Why Do I Need It?

Electrical Systems Availability

Having been a General Aviation Pilot for more than 30 years, I have watched as a plethora of additional electonic tools have been added into the cockpit of even the simplest aircraft. At the same time I have also been dismayed at the lack of progress in the area of tools to monitor the health of the electrical system and to assist in predicting its future availability.

Overstressed Airframe

We all know that light aircraft are incredibly resilient as a resuilt of rigorous manufacture.  Over time this degrades.  As a weekend pilot I have rented aircraft from many organisations and while I have turned down the odd one for various reasons, (Flat Tyres, Low Battery Charge, Broken Seatbelt to name a few) I have often wondered if the rental organisation has any real idea as to the real state of the aircraft and the level of abuse that previous pilot's may have inflicted upon it.

It would be nice to know that the aircraft you are going to fly has not been abused and that its multitude of systems are going to successfully get you to the end of the flight.

Until now there has been no tool to facilitate this.

What is the Flight Watchman?

The Flight Watchman is a safety improvement tool for owners and operators of light aircraft, in particular single engine, single alternator aircraft. It is designed to fit into the cigarette lighter of your aircraft and draws less than 400mA with nothing plugged in to it.

Features

The Flight Watchman provides the following functions:

Continuous Electrical System Monitoring:
  • Spike Monitor - Aircraft electrical systems are notoriously noisy but there is a limit. The Flight Watchman detects spikes up to 40 volts on the electrical bus with a resolution of 0.04 volts. It operates with a bandwidth of 50Hz. It can be used on aircraft with a bus voltage of up to 28 Volts. The parameters for normal operation are configurable.
  • Overflow Detection - When a spike of more than 40 volts is detected, the Electrical System Monitor will log the overflow so that you are not missing anything.
  • Data Logging - All data is logged to the MicroSD card for post mortem analysis after the flight.  At the end of the flight, the data is able to be downloaded to your PC or Mac to facilitate analysis of the electrical system of your aircraft.
Navigation and Performance Logging:
  • Navigation Data - The Flight Watchman contains a micro GPS that enables the post mortem analysis of you flight or,  if you are are an Instructor, your students flight.  The aircraft location is logged every second onto the MicroSD card.
  • Attitude Information - The Flight Watchman also contains a gyroscope and accelerometer which provide flight performance data whic is also logged to the MicroSD Card every second.
  • Flight Assessment - At the end of the flight, the pilots performance is able to be analysed by removing the MicroSD card from the Flight Watchman and inserting it into your PC or Mac to download the data it has captured.  By monitoring each flight, you are able to:
    1. improve your own performance;
    2. monitor the progress of students; or
    3. keep an eye on the pilot that has rented your aircraft.
  • Flight Mapping - Flight path details are able to be overlayed onto Google maps to facilitate analysis of:
    1. Circuit entry and departure;
    2. Altitude adherence;
    3. Proximity to restricted zones; and
    4. Identify poor landings and other unintended abuses.
Safe USB Device Charging:
  • USB Charger - Many pilots use the cigarette lighter to provide power to devices such as phones and tablets during flight.  The use of the Flight Watchman does not prevent you from charging your device in the cigarette, In fact it facilitates it.
  • Quality Components - Imaging using a charger of dubious quality. Most are gas station purchased. The At the same time, it reduces your risk by providing high quality USB charger support.  The Flight Watchman has been constructed using AEC certified components throughout the power supply  and it is capable of providing up to 3Amps continuously.  Each device is tested for  not less than 1 hour prior to shipment to confirm that performance.
  • Fast Charging - The Flightwatchman includes a 3Amp power supply and a 2Amp charger that supports the following standards:
    1. USB Battery Charging Specification BC1.2; and
    2. Chinese Telecommunications Industry Standard YD/T 1591-2009.