Thales: Sikorsky S-76D Flight Deck ‘Game Changing’
Avionics specialist Thales is claiming the Top Deck cockpit of the in-development Sikorsky S-76D medium-twin helicopter will be a “game changer.” It is designed to be “interactive, intuitive, integrated and safe,” Thales told AIN. The avionics system will have new navigation displays with menus and accompanying cursor control devices (CCDs), he said, adding that it will surpass in interactivity current-generation flight decks such as the Honeywell Primus Epic suite. Top Deck is based on four 6- by 8-inch displays and two CCDs. It is said to be easily upgradable–Thales recently incorporated LPV, XM weather, ADS-B Out and fleet-tracking functionality without adding any extra weight. Regarding the recently announced S-76D program delay, Thales denied any responsibility. Certification is now slated for the first quarter of 2012. The Thales expert also would not answer a question on whether the fatal crash of a PHI S-76C++ in Louisiana in 2009 had any effect on the cockpit design. Meanwhile, Sikorsky subsidiary Associated Aircraft Group announced it is accepting deposits for the S-76D in the Sikorsky Shares fractional ownership program.