Sandel Avionics of Vista, Calif., has begun pre-certification flight testing of a helicopter-specific terrain avoidance warning system based on its fixed-wing class-A TAWS. The system, HTAWS, will meet or exceed performance for any current class-B TAWS for helicopters, company founder and president Gerry Block told NBAA Convention News. Initial flight testing is taking place at San Diego’s Montgomery Field using a Eurocopter AS 350B2 AStar.
Terrain awareness and warning system
Yesterday at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., Garmin announced the new ADS-B-in GTS 800 and 820 traffic advisory systems (TAS) and GTS 850 TCAS. All three systems combine ADS-B and radar targets using Garmin’s Clear CAS technology. The GTS 800 offers 12-nm interrogation range and 40 Watts of transmit power and retails for $9,995; the GTS 820 ($19,995) and 850 ($23,495) deliver 250 Watts and 40-nm range.
The Flight Dynamics division of Rockwell Collins next year plans to introduce a synthetic-vision system (SVS) with its Head-Up Guidance System (HGS, aka HUD) for Bombardier’s Global Express. The SVS HGS will be part of Rockwell’s Pro Line Fusion flight deck in the newest Global Express, and will overlay the normal HGS guidance symbology with a computer-generated, correctly oriented picture of the terrain ahead.
Cobham Avionics (Hall 2 Stand E83) has just released its new large-format IDU-680P integrated flight display. According to the Arlington, Virginia-based manufacturer, the six- by eight-inch portrait display is an extension of its certified IDU-450 landscape display currently in use in helicopter OEM applications.
Despite some stiff economic headwinds, avionics manufacturers attending last month’s Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) Convention in Grapevine, Texas, showed their resilience by introducing more than 30 new products for the cockpit
A series of fatal medevac helicopter crashes last year prompted fresh calls for increased industry regulation, and by November the FAA had announced changes to the operations specifications governing helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) flights under Part 135. Those covered flight planning, weather minimums and the use of night-vision goggles (NVGs).
The fusion of Chelton Flight Systems/S-TEC Chelton, Inc. and Wulfsberg Electronics as component companies of Cobham Avionics and Surveillance is evident in the helicopter cockpit mockup at the Cobham booth (No. 434). What the company calls “The Cobham Cockpit” combines technology drawn into a full system integrator from formerly separate providers of discrete components and products.
At the conclusion of four days of National Transportation Safety Board public hearings on the safety of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) operations earlier this month, board member Robert Sumwalt summed up what several witnesses had already conceded: “There is no single magic bullet.”
A trio of helicopter trade associations are recommending that the FAA mandate night-vision goggles, enhanced-vision systems or IFR-only operations for all night flights of EMS helicopters. The recommendations overlap many key advisories made by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in 2006.
The recent increase in fatal helicopter accidents, along with a push by the FAA to standardize the manufacture of helicopter terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS), has prompted a number of avionics companies to expand their product offerings and make changes to existing systems.