Known primarily in the rotorcraft segment for its flight data management (FDM) products, Appareo Systems returns to Heli-Expo this year with a series of customer events and presentations planned throughout the show, including demonstrations of its Stratus 2 wireless automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B IN) receiver.
“We’re holding our first-ever breakfast gathering at Heli-Expo, which we see as opportunity for prospective clients to hear about our latest products and for us to engage in discussions with our existing customers about what they’re learning in the field,” Appareo aviation business unit manager Tony Grindberg told AIN. “We’ll also have news about some exciting software upgrades to share.”
Also new for Appareo this year is a series of daily, 15-minute “Spotlight Seminars,” held at the company’s expanded booth (No. 329). Scheduled topics include a demonstration of the Vision 1000 FDM and its Aircraft Logging and Event Recording for Training and Safety (Alerts) system, as well as sessions addressing risk mitigation, new technologies available to rotorcraft operators and the benefits of using an iPad in the cockpit.
To the latter point, Grindberg said one of the Fargo, N.D.-based company’s goals at Heli-Expo is to expand awareness of the Stratus 2 among the rotorcraft community. Introduced last year and available exclusively through Sporty’s Pilot Shop, Stratus 2 displays subscription-free Nexrad weather, traffic information, Waas GPS position and attitude information on iPads running the ForeFlight Mobile app.
“While it’s fair to say that Stratus 2 is still primarily a general aviation product, we are seeing interest from rotorcraft operators seeking to integrate iPads into the cockpit,” he said. “When you consider how many helicopters are flying with non-glass cockpits, you’re talking about the ability to add a lot of extremely important flight information that wouldn’t be available otherwise.”
Appareo’s key product for rotorcraft operators remains the Vision 1000 lightweight FDM, which works in conjunction with Alerts to offer light aircraft operators a complete flight operational quality assurance (FOQA) solution. Vision 1000 is standard on new Airbus Helicopters AS350s, and in July 2013 EMS provider Air Methods purchased 150 Vision 1000 units for installation on its EC130, older AS350 and Bell 407 helicopters.
“From my vantage point, things are progressing well [on that contract],” Grindberg noted. “Implementation was scheduled over a period of one and a half years, and we’ve scaled up to the installation of between six to eight units a month.” To meet the increased demand, Appareo opened an expanded, 11,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility in Fargo last December.