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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Robinson Agreement Expands Spidertracks Opportunities

By Emma Kelly, Australia and Pacific Correspondent

Auckland, New Zealand-based Spidertracks is hopeful of other deals with helicopter manufacturers after its Spider real-time tracking system was recently selected by Robinson Helicopters as an option for all R22, R44 and R66 models.

The Spidertracks system uses the Iridium satellite network to send real-time aircraft location to a web application. Two versions are available – the Spider S3 which costs U.S. $995 and the S5 at $1795, which is enabled with Bluetooth allowing the user to send and receive SMS messages to any iOS or Android device.

The company has sold nearly 4,500 systems, with 50 percent of these used on helicopters – operators who were early adopters of the technology, says Kathryn Dallison, marketing executive. Australian operator Heliwest, for example, uses the system to track its 29 helicopters. Sundance Helicopters in the U.S. is using it to track its helicopters in the Grand Canyon, as is Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters.

Under the agreement with Robinson, all aircraft will be pre-wired with a Spider power cord and a mounting bracket will be installed on top of the instrument cluster, offering clear view to the sky for optimal connectivity to GPS and Iridium satellites, says Spidertracks chief executive officer James McCarthy. Spidertracks is talking to other manufacturers, he adds, declining to provide details.

 

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