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So I have a friend that works for a company that owns a Cessna Citation. His company is looking to comply with the ADS-B regulations. He has been given the task of making a business case for actually doing this, but so far the only thing he's turning up is companies that want to sell the Garmin solution (GTX-345).

The specific questions:

  • Are there other manufacturers of ADS-B equipment that are recommended (by AOPA, FAA, or any other respectable group)?
  • What companies (again, respectable) would do installations? Maybe towards the Northeast since that's where he is located.
  • What sort of considerations do you have to look out for in upgrading to ADS-B? I am assuming it's a transponder replacement that you end up doing, but it also has to tie into a bunch of other equipment. What are the gotchas?
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    $\begingroup$ Cessna surely has a solution for this, has he contacted them? Usually the "firmware" of the Mode-S transponder can be updated to the latest ADS-B version (version 2, ED-102A/DO-260B). Then the GPS receiver has to be compliant with the ADS-B rule you want to fly under and connected to the transponder. I assume you are from the USA, so the GPS receiver needs to be WAAS compatible. $\endgroup$ – DeltaLima Jul 7 '16 at 14:58
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    $\begingroup$ Do you know what Citation model it is? And what age? $\endgroup$ – DeltaLima Jul 7 '16 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ Does this link to Freeflight help? freeflightsystems.com/products/ads-b $\endgroup$ – TesterMen Tester Jul 7 '16 at 15:08
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    $\begingroup$ I find it suspicious your friend would have to make a case at all. If the upgrade is not done by the mandate date the aircraft will sit (or fly outside Class A/B/C). They own a Citation, a jet and they should have their local Cessna service center do the work (these are certified by Cessna, which makes them reputable, I can't imagine they don't have a preferred service shop). The service center will have equipment that will integrate with existing WAAS equipment and can recommend the cheapest upgrade route. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jul 7 '16 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ The level of questions being asked indicate that your friend's employers fundamentally misunderstand the ADS-B issue. The cheapest way to resolve this is to contact the nearest Textron/Cessna service center and take their advice. Concocting a compliance strategy from where he sits now is not a wise move. There are very specific combinations of equipment approved for installation. He can't slam together a 1090 solution by stuffing any Mode S and WAAS unit into the panel. $\endgroup$ – acpilot Aug 8 '16 at 6:59
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It depends on what kind of Citation you are talking about.

I found a presentation by Textron(ppt) that discusses ADS-B installation for various models. Textron is focussing on creating Service Bulletins (SB) for installation of ADS-B on recent models (up to 15-20 years old).

For the Cessna Citation a SB is available for the following models:

  • Pro Line 21
    • CJ1+: SB525A-34-90
    • CJ2+: SB525A-34-41
    • CJ3: SB525B-34-26
    • CJ4: SB525C-34-09 R1
    • Encore+: SB560-34-163
    • XLS+: SB560XL-34-76
  • Sovereign
    • Primus EPIC: SB680-34-33 R1
  • Citation X
    • Primus 2000: SB750-34-58

For the following Cessna Citation SB's are under development (when the presentation was given)

  • Ultra, Encore, XL, XLS
    • Primus 1000; expected Q2 2016; Prerequisite: Universal FMS with SBAS LPV
  • Mustang
    • G1000; expected Q2 2016

It is possible to install another transponder than advised by Cessna. However if it hasn't been done already, you have to go through a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) process for that which makes it rather expensive. It also wouldn't be supported by Cessna, which will impact the resale value of the aircraft. You may offset the cost of the STC by offering it to other Citation operators, but then you are suddenly in a whole different kind of business.

Other considerations to take into account are support of future operations, mainly LPV approaches using the same GPS receiver.


Since all offers seem to prefer the Garmin GTX, I assume the aircraft is a Cessna Citation CJ1 or CJ2 with a non-Collins FMS. Cessna has a STC for this aircraft that is based on the Garmin GTX.

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Are there other manufacturers of ADS-B equipment that are recommended (by AOPA, FAA, or any other respectable group)?

There are other makers out there making transponders but Garmin is a very highly respected avionics maker.

What companies (again, respectable) would do installations? Maybe towards the Northeast since that's where he is located.

Any decent avionics shop should be able to do the install. I presume someone does the maintenance on the plane currently, they should be more than capable of an install like this or have a go to avionics shop that can help out. As mentioned in the comments Cessna may have someone or be able to point you to someone.

What sort of considerations do you have to look out for in upgrading to ADS-B? I am assuming it's a transponder replacement that you end up doing, but it also has to tie into a bunch of other equipment. What are the gotchas?

ADS-B may be able to play well with your other equipment but that cant be answered unless you tell us what the plane is currently outfitted with. If it is an older cockpit with steam gauges and traditional radios there is not much to wire it into. However if its a new glass cockpit there may be more options for wiring it in.

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From my understanding, there's a difference between updating the CJ2 and CJ2+. The straight 2 can get Garmin ES transponders and a GTN-750. But the 2+ has more integrated avionics, and must have a Collins solution that is more expensive and complicated. Ironically, the older the jet, the easier it is to update to ADS-B. The early 500/550 series Citations had a ADS-B solution 2 years ago. I've heard the Beech Premier is a real problem, because it requires new antennas, and the composite construction makes retrofitting difficult. Also, not jets, but the G series Bonanza and Baron owners are getting the runaround with updating the G1000.

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When looking for potential ADS-B Out installations, one might consider first looking at the FAA's website of approved installations. After doing a search there, contact a vendor who may offer that solution. In cooperation with avionics manufacturers, the FAA maintains a list of approved installations: List of certified ADS-B Out installations. They also maintain a searchable database by aircraft: Searchable database This information is directly from the manufacturers and provided by the FAA.

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