Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Russians to Develop Flight Safety System, Advanced HUMS
‘Intelligent avionics’ system aims to improve helicopter safety while monitoring flight conditions
Oboronprom subsidiary Russian Helicopters is planning to incorporate “intelligent” avionics into all of its helicopter lines from 2015 onward. The system—which seeks to increase pilot situational awareness—will be used for monitoring flight conditions, autopilot landing and collision avoidance. The company says the technology will allow pilots to carry out difficult maneuvers at low altitudes, in various weather conditions and at night. The manufacturer intends to build the avionics package around a combination of existing systems and new technology. Features will include a warning for landing zone hazards, including power lines, and the ability to update maps and charts to select an unprepared landing site in an emergency scenario.
Russian Helicopters CEO Dmitry Petrov told Rotor & Wing at Heli-Expo in February that flight safety and reducing accidents is a top priority for the manufacturer, noting that up to 95 percent of helicopter accidents are related to human factors, or pilot error. “Especially on our newer models,” he said, “our operators are working on decreasing the influence of human factors on the safety of flight.” The company unveiled another development project—advanced health and usage monitoring system (A-HUMS)—during the Engineering Technologies 2012 forum, held in late June/early July in Zhukovsky, outside of Moscow. A-HUMS will offer control over a helicopter’s technical condition in real time and help with maintenance planning. Russian Helicopters expects lower direct operating costs and higher reliability with the system. An onboard diagnostics system will allow maintainers to access specific information on various components and mechanical systems, including the engines, transmission and structural airframe.
Russian Helicopters is also planning to develop an enhanced vision system (EVS) for its in-development Advanced High-Speed Helicopter and some of its newer variants such as the Kamov Ka-62. The manufacturer is also working to establish the Training Helicopter Academy near Moscow. According to Petrov, the academy will eventually house a large training complex, with full-scale flight test grounds, simulators approved to Level D/Stage 7, and a pool of training instructors. “We’ve already started teaching and educating there, by 2015 we’ll reach the full output of flight and technical training,” he explained.