The first Enstrom 480B helicopters to be equipped with Powerline Detection Systems (PDS), which are designed and manufactured by Safe Flight Instrument (Booth No. 1615) of White Plains, N.Y., will soon be flying. Safe Flight has begun delivery of three such systems to Enstrom, which will install them on new 480Bs destined for the Royal Thai Army. The single-turboshaft helicopters are planned for entry into service with the army in the first quarter of next year.
According to Safe Flight, its PDS was a key component in Enstrom’s sale of 16 480Bs to the Thai Army. To be based in the Lopburi province of Thailand, the helicopters will be used primarily for training. The Rolls-Royce 250-powered Enstrom 480B is a variant of the TH-28, which Enstrom developed for the U.S. Army’s new training helicopter. It entered service in 1993.
The FAA- and EASA-certified PDS detects the electromagnetic fields of live power lines and alerts pilots of the danger with visual and aural warnings. As the aircraft flies closer to the power line, the warning intensifies. Safe Flight plans to offer PDS to other Enstrom 480 operators as a production option and retrofit.
In business since 1946, Safe Flight has designed, developed and manufactured numerous products for aircraft, including stall-warning systems, angle-of-attack systems, autothrottles, wind-shear warning systems and exceedance warning systems.