US-based BendixKing, a business unit of Honeywell, and Airwork New Zealand are collaborating to develop supplemental type certificates (STCs) for cockpit upgrades of light and medium-size general aviation helicopters. BendixKing's AeroVue Touch integrated flight deck is qualified to be installed on Part 27 light helicopters.
“Airwork and BendixKing have worked together for over 30 years. This new collaboration will allow us to upgrade analogue cockpit systems with new technology that will greatly improve safety and help reduce accidents,” says Airwork general manager Shane McMahon. “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 reduce pilot workload and enhance operational safety during demanding phases of flight.”
The STC for this suite will be developed by Airwork, initially for the Airbus AS350 helicopter, with support from BendixKing's engineering team. The solution draws on Honeywell's expertise in commercial and military aircraft programmes as well as existing Primus Epic and Apex flight decks, and will allow operators of utility helicopters to replace their older analogue gauges with advanced technology displays like that of a complex business or commercial aircraft.
Following successful installation on the first aircraft, other similar aircraft types will be added to the STC.
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; minimal downtime for installation; and a reduction in ongoing operational and maintenance costs.
Flight data is recorded and easy to wirelessly transmit to maintenance and operational organisations on the ground. The new functionality also meets current flight data monitoring, maintenance and safety management system requirements.
BendixKing's suite of cockpit technologies are panel-mounted and can be installed quickly, minimising downtime to three weeks or less.
The AeroVue Touch integrated flight deck displays are independent and do not have mechanical moving parts. This may eliminate certain maintenance issues.
“We're bringing the quality and sophistication of BendixKing's avionics systems to the Airbus AS350 aircraft,” adds BendixKing vice president, international sales Freddie Zonoozi. “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.”
BendixKing also offers this technology as part of its Total Avionics Plan, making it an affordable option for customers that lack the working capital to fund upgrades.