New Life for an Old Dog

 - September 19, 2006, 1:14 PM

Carson Helicopters and Sagem Avionics’ U.S. arm have teamed to introduce a new upgrade package for the venerable Sikorsky S-61N. The package includes new composite main rotor blades on the outside and flat-panel cockpit displays, autopilot and attitude heading reference systems in the office.

The new glass cockpit now features five Sagem ICDS-10 active- matrix liquid-crystal displays–two primary and three multifunction–to replace older “steam-driven gauges” and present aircrew with modern options for monitoring flight, navigation and power-train information.

The three-axis Sagem PA 155 autopilot, with duplex architecture, is the same one certified in the Eurocopter SA 332 Super Puma. It was most recently FAA-certified for retrofitting to the Erickson S-64 Air Crane. The composite Carson blades offer a 2,000-pound increase in payload, 15 percent more range, 15 knots more speed at reduced power settings and twice the service life with reduced maintenance and operating costs.