Carson Helicopters Services and Sagem Avionics are teaming to install and certify a suite of digital avionics in the Sikorsky S-61, including a five-tube array of 10.4-inch flat-panel color displays. Further, the Carson S-61 upgrade will put new composite main rotor blades, a dual-channel AFCS and a solid-state air-data, attitude and heading system–both from Sagem–onto the venerable bird.
Carson Helicopters, based in Perkasie, Pa., has previously refurbished about 25 of Sikorsky’s workhorse S-61s. It operates eight of its own. The avionics upgrade, with hardware and technical support from Sagem’s Grand Prairie, Texas office, will take about a year, Frank Carson estimated. It will involve separate STCs for the electronic displays and for the automatic flight control system.