HAI Convention News

Genesys Wins Flight Deck Upgrade for MD Explorer

 - March 7, 2017, 8:15 AM
Genesys Aerosystems will supply the new upgraded flight deck avionics system for the MD 902 Explorer. Genesys is showing this four-display system here at Heli-Expo, but the new avionics suite for the MD 902 will have only three displays—one multifunction screen and two primary flight displays.

MD Helicopters has selected Genesys Aerosystems to provide the new flight deck for the twin-engine MD 902 Explorer. The Genesys avionics system will feature two IDU-680 six- by eight-inch displays as primary flight displays and one as a multifunction display, dual ADAHRS and GPS sensors, H-TAWS, remote digital audio, full digital engine instrumentation, a Mid-Continent Standby Attitude Module and a BendixKing weather radar.

The Genesys flight deck replaces an avionics suite–the InSight Integrated Flight Deck–that MD Helicopters had planned to purchase from Universal Avionics. The Universal flight deck for the MD 902 was originally announced at Heli-Expo 2013 and made its first flight in March 2016.

The Genesys suite includes some unique features, such as highway-in-the-sky navigation guidance and geo-referenced hover vector, “which allows precision hover relative to

designated targets,” according to the company. The IDU-680 includes integral H-TAWS and FMS, NVIS-A and NVIS-B night-vision goggle compatibility and digital flight performance recording (last five flights).

Genesys has already certified its smaller IDU-450 to Level A (software) and for IFR operations, according to Jamie Luster, director of sales and marketing. “We’ve proven we can do it. The IDU-450 is smaller glass but the same electronics,” so helicopter IFR certification of the IDU-680 shouldn’t pose any difficulties.

Genesys also offers airframers the Oasis platform for customizing features such as engine instrumentation and advisory messages. The Oasis software itself is certified, but purchasers of Genesys displays can then modify some of what shows on the displays outside of the TSOed base software. This includes engine instrumentation pages, caution and warning messages and similar features. Once the buyer customizes the displays, then the end result is certified via the supplemental type certification process instead of a more time-consuming and stringent technical standard order (TSO). “This allows the customer to have some customization,” Luster explained. “It’s for an OEM, not a single helicopter operator, but we could also do it with a large fleet operator. You don’t have to take what we have on the shelf. We want to be flexible and give the customer what they want.” She added that all of Genesys’s current OEM partners have implemented Oasis, including Grob, Leonardo and MD Helicopters.

Heli-Expo visitors can “fly” the Genesys Aerosystems cockpit demonstrator equipped with four IDU-680 displays at the company’s booth (8606). The demonstrator is not a simulator, but its flight controls are hooked up to HeliSas servos so pilots can feel how the avionics integrate with the flight controls and also how HeliSas handles unusual attitudes by returning the helicopter to a normal attitude. The cockpit setup also demonstrates Genesys capabilities planned for the MD Explorer such as 3-D synthetic vision, highway-in-the-sky navigation, geo-referenced hover vector, H-TAWS and engine indicating and crew alerting system. Visitors can fly an IFR approach anywhere in the world in the demonstrator and see how synthetic vision and highway-in-the-sky displays enhance safety.

We’re really excited,” said Luster, “and we’re hoping in the next five years when walk the floor [at Heli-Expo] that we’re in significantly more helicopters.”