Sunday, July 1, 2007
Rotorcraft Report: Chelton Picked to Upgrade U.S. Navy Bell 206 Trainers
The U.S. Navy has tapped Chelton Flight Systems and other avionics companies of the Cobham plc group to upgrade the cockpits of its 125-aircraft Bell TH-57 trainer fleet. The program calls for the aircraft, based on Bell’s 206, to get an integrated Cobham avionics suite built around Chelton Flight Systems technology. It is the launch program for the Cobham integrated suite. Cobham is "supplying virtually every piece of equipment in the aircraft that has a jiggling electron in it," Gordon Pratt, president of Chelton Flight Systems, told Rotor & Wing. Pratt is now vice president of business development for Cobham. Chelton will serve as system integrator and pursue a civil supplemental type certificate for the installation. AcroHeliPro will do the installations. The suite is to include Chelton’s electronic flight instrumentation, terrain awareness and warning, and flight management systems. Cobham units also will provide communications, navigation, and tactical radios, GPS, audio controls, emergency location transmitters, engine data concentrators, airframe data concentrators, engine displays, engine indication and crew alerting systems, master caution systems, and flight data recording. Pratt said the U.S. Army, which flies the TH-67 trainer version of the 206, was involved in the selection process.