HAI Convention News

Let’s get Sirius, helo operators tell cabin outfitters

 - February 25, 2008, 11:35 AM

Avionics Innovations is showing its line of in-flight entertainment (IFE) equipment designed for helicopters at Booth No. 4819. Based on Ramona (Calif.) Airport in northern San Diego County, the company began life in 1994 with a small line of broadcast radio products for airplane and helicopter cabins, which has expanded with the growth of IFE.

This week at Heli-Expo, Avionics Innovations is featuring its helicopter-specific integrated cabin entertainment (ICE) package. Sales manager Dave Cahill said the first helicopter installation of ICE components, in a Bell 427, consisted of a passenger control unit with a TV-style remote and a Sirius satellite radio receiver.

All ICE cabin entertainment products are packaged to DO 160D specs for rotary-wing use. One major element included in ICE is a multimode DVD/CD/MP3 player that can be mounted vertically for installation flexibility in limited helicopter cabin space.

ICE video is displayed on a seven-inch, widescreen flat-panel display with foldaway capability and 360-degree swivel mounting. The screen, currently offering 800- by 600-pixel resolution, is sized for high-definition TV. Avionics Innovations is developing an HD version of the ICE DVD player and screen.

To date, the most successful Avionics Innovation product in the helicopter market is its DMP-100 digital media player, which is widely used in the air-tour market, especially over the Grand Canyon and in Hawaii. For those users, the rotorcraft-specific 15-ounce cabin briefer has a tour narrative recorded on a compact flash card. Each narrative segment automatically begins at a predetermined GPS-defined point, allowing the flight crew to concentrate on flying and communicating with ATC.

Cahill added that regional airlines are showing interest in the DMP-100 to store and play pre-recorded required passenger briefings and comments on points of interest below as the aircraft passes overhead.