Sagem Avionics of Grand Prairie, Texas, has developed a glass cockpit for the Erickson S-64 Aircrane, a type currently much in demand as an aerial firefighter. New digital avionics, together with a solid-state attitude heading reference system and three-axis automatic flight control system, complete what Sagem calls “the most extensive upgrade to the helicopter since its incorporation into the Erickson fleet.”
Acrohelipro and Carson helicopters are outfitting the first two of Carson’s Sikorsky S-61 fleet with Sagem Avionics’ integrated cockpit display system retrofit. Carson will retrofit 10 S-61s over the next two-and-a-half years. The refit includes five 10-inch cockpit displays, comprising two primary flight displays, two multifunction displays and one caution advisory panel for CAS messages.
As well as providing the avionics equipment for France’s high-profile Rafale program, Thales is active in the fighter upgrade business. As new-build combat aircraft programs become fewer and further between, so the military aircraft upgrade business has increased dramatically.
Mixed results for Safran’s subsidiaries last year and an internal investigation into accounting irregularities last December that resulted in top executive changes have again raised the question of the wisdom of the controversial merger of leading French aerospace and engine and equipment manufacturing group Snecma and telephone and defense communications group Sagem.
The merger of two small avionics firms, Sfim and Arnav, has led to the creation of Sagem Avionics, a Grand Prairie, Texas-based company with about 50 employees and a line of specialty equipment ranging from autopilots and flight-data acquisition units to satcom systems and glass displays for experimental-category aircraft.
Snecma, the leading French aerospace engine and equipment-manufacturing group is no more. A series of moves has transformed it from the government-controlled producer of the successful CFM aircraft engines with General Electric of the U.S. into a private undertaking that last month merged with telecommunications group Sagem to form Safran.
France’s beleaguered President Jacques Chirac opened the 46th Paris Air Show here at Le Bourget yesterday. While his visit is intended primarily to cheerlead the country’s own aerospace and defense industry, he has lately proved to be a best friend to foreign exhibitors, too.
The Stemme S10 motor glider in the Dubai 2005 static park was delivered to its owner in Saudi Arabia only recently but he readily agreed to bring it to the show to allow visitors to see an aircraft with a remarkable performance. Although powered by a single Rotax engine driving a retractable two-blade propeller, the S10 can climb to high altitudes and glide for long distances.
France’s Safran is here at the Dubai airshow for the first time since engine maker Snecma and electronics specialist Sagem merged. The group also includes Snecma’s landing gear and brake division.
Sichuan Snecma Aero-engine Maintenance Co. (SSAMC), a joint venture between Snecma Services, Air China and Willis Lease Finance Corp., has signed an exclusive 20-year maintenance, repair and overhaul agreement to service CFM56-5B and -7B engines powering Air China’s growing fleet of 160 aircraft.