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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Rotorcraft Report: Chelton and Edwards Work on 206/407 SAS

HELI-EXPO 2007

Chelton Flight Systems expects to gain a supplemental type certificate for a new stability augmentation system on the Bell Helicopter 206 and 407 by the end of this year.

In a briefing at Heli-Expo, Chelton President Gordon Pratt said the company is jointly developing the STC for the HeliSAS system with Bell subsidiary Edwards & Associates. They plan to make it available for new installations and retrofits on the two aircraft.

The system weighs 12 lb installed, Pratt said. It should cost under $100,000, with the installation. It uses a single servo attached to the cyclic’s base. It is designed to provide positive stability all the time, Pratt said, and will always return the aircraft to a level attitude.

HeliSAS will be integrated with Chelton’s "highway-in-the-sky" synthetic-vision system.

While Chelton lost a bit of business when Bell canceled its single-engine 417 successor to the 407, Pratt said his company and Bell have agreed to pursue certification of the avionics suite Chelton had been developing for the 417 for installation in the 407. "Bell enabled us to get into this market," he said.

He said the companies are aiming for certification of the suite in early 2008 for both retrofits and new installations. "It was a modification of the current 407 system," Pratt said. "Bell wanted to be first with a certified synthetic-vision system."

Chelton also has developed a GPS receiver compatible with the Wide-Area Augmentation System (WAAS). It says the receiver meets the requirements for a primary, sole-source navigation receiver for IFR en route and precision approach guidance. The 15-channel receiver weighs less than 1 lb. Chelton expects to begin production mid-year 2007. It is powered by the NexNav GPS engine jointly developed by Spectralux Corp. and Accord Systems.

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