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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Future of Helicopter Cockpit Avionics

Woodrow Bellamy III 

[Avionics Today February 12, 2014] Helicopters are no longer lagging behind Air Transport (AT) aircraft and business jets in terms of featuring the most advanced avionics systems, as attendees of the upcoming Heli Expo 2014 will learn. Advanced Synthetic Vision Systems (SVS), Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS) and even integrated touch screen flight decks are just a few of the enhancements coming to the next generation of helicopter cockpits. 
 
 
Avionics Magazine is gathering a team of industry experts on Tuesday, Feb. 18 to discuss the latest developments in helicopter technology for a webinar that will provide perspectives from both avionics systems integrators and helicopter end users.
 
Air Methods, the largest air medical helicopter service provider in the United States, two years ago purchased Las Vegas-based aerial tour provider Sundance Helicopters, and recently acquired Blue Hawaiian, another aerial tour provider in Hawaii. 
 
With those acquisitions, Air Methods has a combined fleet of more than 450 helicopters, and is facing increased demand to provide access to remote areas of the U.S. Dennis McCall, director of operations at Air Methods, will join Avionics on Tuesday, Feb. 18 to provide perspective on what's needed most to improve situational awareness for pilots at the controls of the next generation of helicopter avionics.  
 
Bill Stone, aviation product manager at Garmin, and Grady Dees, director of technical sales at Universal Avionics, will also share insight from an avionics-manufacturing point of view. 
 
Universal Avionics is currently working on its Next Generation flight deck program for the Explorer helicopter in partnership with MD Helicopters. The partnership provides a model for building future helicopter cockpits, a civil rotorcraft air framer and an avionics manufacturer developing a flight deck with high-resolution LCD displays and a point-and-click display control system designed to improve situational awareness.  Dees will provide the latest developments on the program, and the company's vision for continuing to improve helicopter avionics.
 
Garmin has a similar project with Bell Helicopter for the 525 Relentless, which is Bell's largest ever helicopter. The G5000H is currently in development for the 525 Relentless, for which Bell has not yet confirmed an entry-into-service date. Stone will present the latest developments with that program during the webinar, one week before the 2014 Heli Expo. 
 
Garmin and Universal aren't the only companies improving helicopter cockpit technology, as Honeywell, Rockwell Collins, Airbus Defence and Space, and Sandel Avionics also have innovative products in development recently released for rotorcraft. To learn more about those projects, check out the Avionics Magazine February cover story: Next Generation Helicopter Cockpits
 

To register or learn more information about the upcoming webinar, click here

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