Kitchener Avionics president Barry Aylward is attending Heli-Expo 2014 to meet with operators and introduce them to his company’s Canadian-STC’d glass-cockpit retrofit for the EC120 helicopter, and he has news. “We’ve added the FAA STC to our retrofit,” said Aylward, “and we are eager to get started upgrading EC120s worldwide.”
Scott’s-Bell 47 selected the Sagem ICDS-8A glass cockpit suite as part of the standard avionics package for the new 47GT-6 helicopter. This selection is the latest in a series of developments geared at bringing the turbine-powered 47GT-6 closer to production.
Elbit Systems is launching two new products this week at Heli-Expo: SkyVis and Clearvision Heli EVS. SkyVis combines Elbit’s helmet-mounted display with commercially certifiable line-of-sight and daytime head-up display capabilities, day or night, with or without night-vision goggles, in all phases of flight and in marginal weather. Clearvision Heli EVS is a multi-spectral enhanced vision system designed for helicopters that provides improved situational awareness. It offers a 35-degree field of view and is designed to help pilots cope with low-visibility conditions.
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.