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FreeFlight Systems Begins Flight Testing for RA-6500 Radar Altimeter Ahead of Schedule


DALLAS, TX., June 22, 2021 – FreeFlight Systems, a leader in high-reliability NextGen solutions, announced today the highly anticipated RA6500 radar altimeter will begin flight testing ahead of schedule. The RA6500, part of the Terrain Series which also features the RA500 and RA7500, each designed for specific segments of aviation, will commence testing in a Cessna 182 aircraft.

The tests will take place over bodies of water, various terrain, near 5G towers known for interference, and will also include steep bank angle testing during the evaluation.

“This is a great advancement for FreeFlight, as the original testing timeline wasn’t expected to be met until September at the earliest,” mentions Behlul Poonawalla, Director of Engineering, FreeFlight Systems. “This is a revolutionary product, and we are eager to see the results from our first flight test.”

The new radar altimeter features redesigned RF circuitry built to withstand 5G interference. This adaptation will increase this critical sensor’s availability and reliability – the only sensor onboard an aircraft capable of detecting clearance height above terrain – in challenging RF interference environments.

The RA 6500 features comprehensive interface capabilities, including the ARINC 552 legacy interface, which allows integration with legacy analog indicators, greatly simplifying the retrofit of the system. As an additional display option, the

RA 6500 can be paired with the FreeFlight Systems RAD45 standalone indicator, which meets EASA AMC1 SPA.NVIS.110(b) guidelines.

The TSO’d, DAL-B rated RA 6500 meets the FAA’s most rigorous design standards, including TSO-C87a Class A, ETSO-2C87, DO-160G, and DO-178C, ensuring commercial transport and military-grade operability.

The RA 6500’s small footprint means that it can easily be installed in place of legacy altimeters from multiple manufacturers. The existing antennas can also be used in most installations, making the RA 6500 a very straightforward retrofit solution.

The Terrain Series altimeters feature dual-install capability making them suitable for installation in Part 29 rotorcraft and larger fixed-wing aircraft. The feature-rich radar altimeters have an update rate of 25 times per second (25 Hz), Frequency- Modulated Continuous-Wave (FMCW) at 4.3 GHz center frequency, an altitude range of -20 to 2,500 ft., antenna response angles of up to ±20° pitch and ±30° roll, and a service ceiling of 55,000 ft. This design allows for extraordinary robust operations and reliability, true to FreeFlight Systems’ long history of high integrity and dependable avionics.

For more information on the RA 6500, please visit FreeFlight during AEA 2021 (June 23-25) at Booth 609, visit, or contact

About FreeFlight Systems 

As a NextGen Aviation leader, FreeFlight Systems designs and manufactures high-performance avionics for flight safety. These solutions deliver substantial safety and unmatched reliability that is critical for modern flight operations. Founded in 2001and based in Texas, the company pioneered the first certified aviation WAAS/GPS receiver and their first rule-compliant UAT ADS-B system. FreeFlight Systems is now a global aerospace leader, specializing in SBAS/GNSS sensors, radar altimeters, flight management systems and other NextGen aerospace avionics. For more information, visit

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