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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.
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Four-axis autopilot enhances safety for StandardAero and Thales
Thales and StandardAero have achieved an STC from the FAA for the StableLight autopilot, a four-axis system that is now available for retrofit on AS350 and H125 platforms.
Thales and StandardAero teams mark the certification of the StableLight autopilot for Airbus AS350 and H125 helicopters.

The StableLight true four-axis autopilot system is now available for retrofit on Airbus Helicopters AS350 and H125 platforms following supplemental type certification by the FAA. This system significantly reduces pilot workload, improves mission capability and can help reduce risk in critical flight phases.

Based on Thales' Compact Autopilot System, derived from its previously certified transport category autopilot, StableLight is a robust, feature-packed autopilot in a compact, lightweight package that is perfectly suited for light rotorcraft. The system transforms the flight control experience of the helicopter with transparent stability augmentation that works precisely and without feedback to the control sticks. The addition of the stabilised climb flight attitude recovery, auto hover and a wide range of other sophisticated features results in a system that drastically decreases pilot workload, enhances mission capability and can help to reduce risks in critical flight phases and adverse conditions such as IIMC (Inadvertent entry into Instrument Meteorological Conditions).

"Tailoring the most advanced technologies to offer safety and trust to our clients is at the very heart of Thales' DNA. Combining Thales' advanced capabilities with StandardAero's extensive knowledge allows us to draw upon a wealth of industry experience and deliver the autopilot solution that pilots have long aspired to," says Tristan Grivel, vice president business development and sales for Thales's flight avionics business.

"We are excited to bring this autopilot to market in partnership with Thales. The features offered by StableLight will be a major game changer for pilots and operators alike; it provides unparalleled performance, taking the already capable AS350 and H125 aircraft to the next level. Certification of StableLight paves the way for a safety revolution for light helicopters," adds Marc Drobny, president of StandardAero's military, helicopter and energy sector.

Pilots representing numerous operators and industry experts were able to test fly the pre-certified system over the last year and were extremely encouraged by the system's performance and contribution to safety. Many commented on the system's impressive capabilities and noted its potential to assist in a wide variety of missions. ‚Äč

Based on the high level of customer interest to date, Thales and StandardAero are spooling up to meet the demand for kit deliveries, with the first kits reserved for the VIP launch customer MacNeil Aviation.

Both EASA and Transport Canada validations of the STC are being applied for subsequently.

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