Bell Helicopter introduced several new model variants of legacy helicopters and is displaying them here at Heli-Expo.
Upgrading the panelware on its H-60 and S-70i helicopter platforms, Sikorsky Aircraft (Booth No. C5028) has selected a trio of L-3 Aviation Products (Booth No. C5901) as standard equipment: the GH-3001 electronic standby instrument system (ESIS), Stormscope WX-500 lightning detection system and PS-855 emergency power supply (EPS).
Garmin’s touchscreen GTN series GPS/navcoms have been optimized for helicopters, with new features that eliminate the need for operators to install the fixed-wing GTN version in helicopters. The new helicopter-optimized GTN comes in five configurations that meet vibration and temperature testing standards and offer optional NVG compatibility and optional H-Taws.
Sandel Avionics is demonstrating its HeliTaws WireWatch helicopter wire-strike avoidance full-color display at Booth No. 6008. The Vista, Calif. avionics manufacturer has expanded the portfolio of national and regional powerline databases to all of North America and New Zealand, and it is assembling transmission line obstruction databases for South Korea and Japan.
Mineral Wells, Texas-based Cobham Commercial Systems (Booth No. C715) recently received European and Chinese STC approvals for its HeliSAS, a helicopter stability augmentation system and autopilot. HeliSAS is a two-axis, attitude-hold/attitude-command flight control system that “significantly reduces pilot workload and allows pilots to perform many cockpit functions hands free,” according to Cobham.
Two preferred routes over the North Atlantic Organized Track System (NAT OTS) now require cockpit datalink capability. The ICAO requirement calls for two datalink capabilities, controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) and ADS-C (Contract). Flight departments planning to equip for datalink communications to meet this requirement will have to obtain a letter of authorization from their local FAA FSDO.
The Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (IG) announced on January 23 that it is initiating an audit of the FAA’s ADS-B “information security controls.” While some concerns about insecurity of ADS-B signals have surfaced, it is not known if these concerns drove the decision to require the audit. The audit itself stems from a requirement in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.
Rockwell Collins has sent its workhorse Sabreliner 50 business jet to what might be the world’s best retirement home, the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Ore. The Sabreliner, a 1964 model, was the flying testbed for many key Rockwell Collins avionics products and logged about 8,000 hours and more than 5,000 landings since the Collins division of Rockwell International bought the jet in 1976. The job of flight-testing new Rockwell Collins systems falls on the shoulders of the company’s Challenger 601.
Within Six Months
March 13, 2013:
Air Carrier Contract
West Coast Aircraft Maintenance has been appointed a JSSI-approved maintenance facility. JSSI provides hourly cost maintenance programs for turbine-powered aircraft.
Sales manager Alfredo Garcia told AIN, “We’ll be supporting any JSSI customer with major and minor maintenance, AOG support, interior work and avionics support.”