Automated & Connected

Image courtesy: BendixKing

BendixKing and Airwork are developing cockpit upgrades for the often overlooked small- and medium-sized helicopter market

Honeywell International Inc.’s subsidiary BendixKing is working with Airwork New Zealand to develop Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for cockpit upgrades of light and medium-size general aviation helicopters to give operators an advanced, yet affordable, avionics suite. The upgrade, which will leverage BendixKing’s AeroVue Touch Integrated Flight Deck – now qualified to be installed on Part 27 light helicopters – provides near-4K resolution and access to critical flight data.

The partnership is currently using the Airbus Helicopters H125 (née Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil) single-engine light utility helicopter as a testbed and the work is being showcased at this year’s EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
 

 

“Airwork and BendixKing have worked together for over 30 years. This new collaboration will allow us to upgrade analog cockpit systems with new technology that will greatly improve safety and help reduce accidents,” says Shane McMahon, general manager of Airwork. “With BendixKing’s technology, we will be able to target this section of the helicopter market and provide a significant improvement in situational awareness that will provide a reduction in pilot workload while enhancing operational safety during demanding phases of flight.”

The solution, which draws on Honeywell’s expertise in commercial and military aircraft programs as well as existing Primus Epic and Apex flight decks, will allow operators of utility helicopters to replace their older analog gauges with advanced technology displays like that of a complex business or commercial aircraft.

Following successful installation on the first Airbus Helicopters H125, other similar aircraft types will be added to the STC.

 

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By integrating the latest in cockpit upgrades into a unified solution, Airwork can greatly increase functionality while also cutting down on costs. In addition to new functionality from Honeywell’s SmartView synthetic vision system and ADS-B In for weather and traffic, the cockpit technology package from BendixKing will provide helicopter operators with near-real-time flight data information which is recorded and easily transmitted to maintenance and operational organizations on the ground. The new functionality also meets current flight data monitoring, maintenance and safety management system requirements.

“We’re bringing the quality and sophistication of BendixKing’s avionics systems to the Airbus AS350 aircraft,” says Freddie Zonoozi, vice president, International Sales, BendixKing. “These technologies provide a significant improvement in reliability by replacing analog instrumentation with a modern solid-state solution. The reduction in weight, parts and aircraft wiring also allows for a lighter aircraft, requiring less fuel and providing improved savings.”

 

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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.

Contact him regarding any article or collaboration ideas by e-mail at william.kucinski@sae.org.