Flarm® is “an affordable traffic and collision-warning system,” created by Swiss glider pilots in 2004 to reduce the risk of collisions. It is used by a lot of sailplane pilots, and also in some powered aircraft who fly in close proximity to sailplanes. It warns the user visually and acoustically of approaching aircraft (who are flying with a compatible device) or fixed obstacles such as cables and antennae (its database covers Italian, Swiss, Austrian, French and German obstacles, with free updates).
Flarm have now made a small, ‘passive’ version of the device that can be fitted into small instruments for paragliders and hang gliders who have no cockpit to mount the full device onto. Swiss flight instrument manufacturer Flytec are offering it as an option on their two most popular GPS-varios, the 6020 and 6030 (Brauniger Compeo+ and Competino+). The instrument’s ‘passive’ Flarm will send out signals to warn other craft of their presence, but will not themselves be equipped to receive notification of aircraft or antannae etc.
The price to have the Flarm option on a new Flytec instrument is 98 CHF (around 65 Euros); to have it retrofitted to an old unit will cost 148 CHF (around 100 Euros) – you can send your instrument back to Flytec to have this done.
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