The amount of Rockwell Collins avionics products in helicopters continues to grow and the company is a significant supplier for AgustaWestland, Airbus Helicopters, Aviacopter, HAL, Russian Helicopters and Sikorsky. To leverage its rotorcraft capabilities, Rockwell Collins developed the HeliSure family of products, designed to help improve pilots’ situational awareness, especially in “congested and hazard-filled airspace,” according to the company.
For a close-up look at what tomorrow’s helicopter cockpits might look like, stop by the Thales booth (No. 1202) to see the company’s Avionics 2020 cockpit of the future. This version is Thales’s third iteration of its Avionics 2020 concept; earlier helicopter versions were unveiled at last year’s Paris Air Show and at the NBAA Convention.
Prompted by industry demand, the FAA is considering approving the installation and use of TCAS II aboard helicopters but is concerned about certification challenges. Major operators have been successfully using TCAS II for several years in regions such as the North Sea.
Helicopter manufacturers aren’t immune to the pressure to update their machines with modern avionics, and last year MD Helicopters and Universal Avionics Systems unveiled a new NextGen flight deck mockup for the MD 902 Explorer. The new avionics replace aging Bendix/King EFIS 40 cathode-ray-tube displays with high-resolution 10.4-inch Universal LCDs in landscape orientation.
Garmin announced an updated version of its Garmin Pilot iOS app that includes synthetic vision as an option for premium subscribers. Dubbed SVX, the new feature displays GPS-derived airspeed, altitude and vertical speed overlaid on a 3-D topographic landscape. When paired with Garmin’s GDL 39 3D Bluetooth ADS-B receiver, back-up aircraft attitude information can also be displayed on top of the synthetic display in Garmin Pilot. The Garmin Pilot app is free, but an annual subscription (starting at $74.99 per year) is required.
Sandel Avionics released its latest upgrades to the SG102 (MOD2) AHRS, a solid-state, three-axis instrument certified for primary heading reference and standby attitude. Enhancements include a three-times-faster initialization time of one minute, and added selectable low- and high-speed Arinc 429 output, which allows for additional interface options with radar systems, satcom antennas and other avionics. The SG102 (MOD2) AHRS is being shipped now.
Epic Aircraft said it remains on schedule to certify its E1000 all-composite turboprop single by the middle of next year. Deliveries of the $2.75 million airplane are slated to begin in the second half of next year.
The E1000 will be a certified version of the kit-built Epic LT with a 1,200-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-67A engine and Garmin G1000 glass cockpit. Preliminary performance and specifications include a 325-knot top cruise speed, 1,600-nm range and a 34,000-foot ceiling.
Garmin commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Garmin GPS 155 receiving FAA TSO authorization late last week. The GPS 155 was the industry’s first FAA TSO-C129 approach-approved IFR GPS receiver. The device received FAA TSO approval on Feb. 16, 1994, and “laid the groundwork for future aviation milestones and set the standard for product development, eventually ushering in the foundational technology for what is now referred to as NextGen,” said Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing Carl Wolf.
Robinson will display a new avionics suite for its helicopters at Heli-Expo, which will be held February 25 to 27 in Anaheim, Calif. Most options for the new panels meet ADS-B in and out requirements and include Aspen Avionics primary flight and multifunction displays, and Garmin GTN 600/700 touchscreen navigators, GTR 225B com radio, GMA 350H audio panel, GDL 88 universal access transceiver and GTX 330ES transponder. The FAA has already granted approval for most of these new equipment installations.
Bell Helicopter has announced that it has delivered the first 407GX aircraft into India. The customer is SpanAir, a leading air charter company that has operated the Bell 407 since 1996, and later added a Model 429. The company provides customized travel options and offers a modern, well-equipped fleet.