The merging of glass cockpit technology to legacy Enstrom (Booth No. 8822) helicopters moved closer to reality this week, with Aspen STC announcing the completion of flight testing toward FAA supplemental type certificate approval to install the Aspen Avionics Evolution EFD1000H primary flight display (PFD) and EFD500H/1000H multifunction display (MFD) on current and future Enstrom models.
Rockwell Collins (Booth No. 8040) opened Heli-Expo 2014 with announcements that its new MFD-268P2B multifunction displays are now standard equipment on Sikorsky S-92 medium-lift helicopters.
Available on new S-92s delivered this year, the MFD-268P2B offers improved color stability and readability for high-angle, cross-cockpit viewing. The displays may also be upgraded, with provisions for installation of synthetic vision, H-TAWS terrain awareness and the company’s MultiScan weather radar systems.
Robinson Helicopter (Booth No. 5226) is displaying its new line of standard and optional glass-panel avionics options for all its helicopter models here at Heli-Expo.
The Garmin GTR 225B is now the standard com radio on all models. The company points out that it satisfies the new KHz channel spacing regulations. The GMA 350H audio panel is now standard for dual com installations.
Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services, North America, a subsidiary of Vector Aerospace (Booth No. 5906), has brought a custom-modified integrated cockpit for display at Heli-Expo 2014. The cockpit consists of two Sagem 10-inch multifunction displays (MFDs) and two Sagem 10-inch primary flight displays (PFDs) for right or left seat operations. It is part of Vector Aerospace’s Bell Huey UH-1H (civilian Bell 205A) upgrade program.
Scott’s-Bell 47 (SB47, Booth No. 7422) has selected the Sagem (Booth No. 2814) ICDS-8A glass cockpit suite as part of the standard avionics package for the new 47GT-6 helicopter.
Airbus Helicopters plans to progressively equip all its models with a cockpit imaging and flight data monitoring (FDM) system, in a bid to improve safety with an affordable system. All 181 AS350 AStar/Ecureuil light singles delivered last year were equipped with the device, developed with Appareo Systems (Booth No. 329). Next in line for the FDM installation are the EC130T2 light single and the EC135 light twin.
Shreveport, La.-based Metro Aviation (Booth No. 415) had more than completions to announce at Heli-Expo 2014. The multifaceted business recently completed for the EC135 a single-pilot IFR digital cockpit supplemental type certificate (STC) that incorporates Garmin GTN 650/750 touchscreen technology and ADS-B to create a cockpit ready for 2020, when all aircraft flying in the U.S. will be required to have ADS-B OUT capability. FAA, Garmin (Booth No. 2427) and Metro Aviation representatives are at the Metro Aviation booth throughout Heli-Expo to talk about the STC.
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.”
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.
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.