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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2009 Editors' Choice: Maintenance Upgrades


AFS Certifies High Performance Filter for AW139

An inlet barrier filter (IBF) system has received Federal Aviation Administration approval for installation on AgustaWestland AW139 and Agusta/Bell AB139 helicopters. The IBF is a product of Aerospace Filtration Systems, Inc. (AFS). These filters help safeguard helicopter engines from dirt, FOD, erosion, and other potentially costly damage and helping expensive components survive past their expected life, according to AFS. As with all certified AFS IBFs, the AW139 system includes an alternate inlet air bypass system. The emergency bypass capability is an important IBF feature absent in traditional sand filters and particle separators. A simple compact cockpit switch allows indication and activation of the bypass system. An integral Filter Maintenance Aid also allows for on-condition inspections pre- and post-flight, to assist in mission planning and visual inspection of filter condition. Aerospace Filtration Systems, 1-636-300-5200, www.afs.donaldson.com

HeliSAS—Stability Augmentation System and Autopilot

Cobham’s recently STC’d HeliSAS is a two-axis attitude hold, attitude command, flight control system with two basic functions: SAS to aid with aircraft stability and autopilot outer loop control modes for altitude hold, heading select and navigation sensor coupling. HeliSAS offers a number of advantages over previously certified helicopter autopilot systems in terms of its significantly lighter weight and ease of installation, making it well suited for lighter gross-weight helicopters. The system is designed to be engaged at all times: “on” before takeoff and “off” after landing, resulting in a significantly reduced pilot workload. The outer loop or autopilot functions, once reserved for higher-priced and more complex stabilization systems, are included in the HeliSAS system: heading select and hold; altitude hold; ILS localizer and glideslope capture and tracking, including back course; VOR capture and tracking; GPS steering; LVAV/VNAV approach capability. Cobham Avionics, 1-817-215-7600, www.cobham.com/avionics

Appareo Unit Provides Imaging and FDM

Vision 1000 by Fargo, N.D.-based Appareo Systems combines a cockpit imaging system with a flight data monitoring (FDM) device. Operators will see inertial and positioning information, such as attitude and location, cockpit images including the instrument panel and flight controls, and audio. The flight data is captured on a portable secure digital card that can be incorporated into flight operations quality assurance (FOQA) analysis. Vision 1000 is part of Appareo’s aircraft logging and event recording for training and safety (ALERTS) system. Appareo Systems, 1-701-356-2200, www.appareo.com

PAG Helicopter Mx Program

Precision Aviation Group (PAG) offers its inventory supported maintenance repair/overhaul (ISMRO), which merges traditional parts distributor functions with repair station capabilities. Similar to other parts distributors, four PAG subsidiaries—Precision Heliparts, Precision Avionics & Instruments, Precision Heliparts-Canada and Precision Accessories & Instruments-Canada—supply instruments from companies such as Mid-Continent, RC Allen and United, among others. But unlike traditional parts dealers, PAG also offers repair and overhaul services, including for accessories, avionics and instruments. ISMRO is currently in use with more than 9,000 operators in 66 countries. An inventory of more than 50,000 line items helps to support the ISMRO program. Precision Aviation Group, 1-404-768-9090, www.precisionaviationgroup.com

Kaman Helicopter Rotor Blade Center

Innovation in helicopter composite rotor blade technology is a rapidly growing business at the Kaman Helicopter HeliworX aerospace innovation and manufacturing support center. Earlier this year the company was awarded a five-year, $53-million contract to build helicopter blade skins and skin core assemblies for Bell helicopters. The company has also introduced sprayable erosion coating that has significantly extended the lifespan and reduced the life cycle costs of U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter main rotor blades. The system will soon be available for other military and commercial helicopters. Kaman is the only certified facility authorized to apply the Hontek coating, which improves blade life in harsh environments. Kaman helicopter heliworx, 1-860-242-4461, www.kamanaero.com

Safety Solutions Available at DART Helicopter Services

A new selection of safety-enhancing products is now available from Oceanside, Calif.-based DART Helicopter Services (DHS). The products are available for a range of helicopter models and include a traffic advisory system and a JAR-OPS 3 compliance kit. The JAR-OPS kit includes flashlights, mapbox, exit illumination, pitot heat monitor, and standby attitude battery monitor. DART has also received EASA approval to install its vertical reference floor window kits in the Eurocopter AS350/AS355 shown here. The kit gives operators a better view below the helicopter, and the company says it is ideal for improved visual reference when hauling loads. DART Helicopter Services, 1-613-632-3336 www.darthelicopterservices.com

SkyBOOKS Updated

SkyBOOKS has updated its aviation management software. Release 4.1 from the Textron subsidiary includes summary task cards, a minimum equipment list (MEL)/Discrepancy module and improved warranty component tracking. Users can create summary task cards from all items that appear on the “Due” list, and an optional certification statement can serve as a return-to-service logbook entry. The MEL/Discrepancy module has the ability to track operational limitations and maintain the MEL historical log. The warranty component tracking function allows users to add warranty data and associated documents on the component level. SkyBOOKS also recently announced that the Orange Country Fire Authority in Fullerton, Calif. is the launch customer of its Lite version of the software program. The fire unit has incorporated SkyBOOKS Lite into managing its fleet of two Bell 412s and two UH-1s. SkyBOOKS, 1-866-929-8700, www.skybooks.com

Becker Transponder Gains TSO

German electronics maker Becker Avionics has obtained FAA technical standard order (TSO) certification for its BXP6403 Mode S transponder in both the Class I and II series. The compact, lightweight unit is compatible with existing Mode A/C systems. It provides information about surrounding traffic to the pilot and sends more details to air traffic controllers, enabling a clearer picture of the airspace environment. Becker Avionics, 1-954-450-3137, www.beckerusa.com

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2009 Editors' Choice: Facilities

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