Leonardo has made enhancements to its AW139 platform with recently-obtained EASA certifications for the Honeywell Primus Epic integrated avionics Phase 8 software and the enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS) optional kit with offshore modes. The Phase 8 software release marks the introduction of an advanced SVS specifically tailored for helicopter applications, improved 2D maps and wireless data loading delivering greater all-weather capabilities and mission effectiveness for all commercial and government missions.
This latest standard increases crew situational awareness and reduces workload for operations at night or in marginal weather. The advanced synthetic vision system assists with navigation and landing approaches when operating within challenging terrain, oil rigs and other demanding scenarios, which is accomplished via 3D presentation of the external scenario, including surrounding terrain, obstacles, runways and helipads within the background of the primary flight display. A 2D interactive navigation (INAV) feature shows the helicopter position and flight plan on a map into the multi-functional display. Phase 8 also has wireless connectivity embedded, providing high speed data access for flight plans transfer and maintenance data gathering from the aircraft. Additionally, custom approach functionality provides the capability to design, set and fly an automated approach to any user-defined location, including oil rig helidecks.
The introduction of the new EGPWS version -036, which is also available for Phase 7, complements the latest software release and enhanced navigation capabilities for safer offshore operations. This more sophisticated helicopter terrain awareness and warning system (HTAWS) introduces recommendations of CAA CAP 1519 for optimal use in offshore environments, and gives pilots more time margin and earlier notifications for warning of a potential collision. This will prove to be a key enabler for recognising and responding to unsafe conditions.