Genesys Aerosystems has developed an IFR four-axis autopilot with hover and hold and collective control. The new autopilot is on display at the Genesys Heli-Expo booth (B4113) and installed in a UH-60 Sikorsky Black Hawk on the static display.
Supplemental type certificate (STC) programs have begun for the installation of the autopilot in the Black Hawk and Airbus EC145e. Metro Aviation is developing the EC145e STC and XP Services will complete the Black Hawk STC. Genesys will offer the new autopilot to other partners for STC development and upgrades.
The four-axis autopilot weighs about 30 pounds and offers the necessary IFR redundancy with dual flight control computers and dual pitch and roll servos, according to Jamie Luster, Genesys director of sales and marketing. There are many helicopter models with older and heavier autopilots that are opportune for an upgrade, she added. The lower weight gives operators more precious payload to work with.
“We expect momentum to shift once it becomes available to our partners,” Luster said. Genesys expects the first STC in late 2023, at which time it will reveal pricing.
The autopilot is attitude-based and features Genesys’s stability augmentation system (SAS), which the company designed to remain on full-time. The always-on SAS allows the pilot to ease the force on the controls or let go of the cyclic and then the autopilot brings the helicopter to a neutral attitude. Built-in features include over- and under-speed envelope protection, and the autopilot can recover the helicopter to a near-level flight attitude at all airspeeds.
Autopilot features include pitch control modes (altitude, IAS, vertical speed hold, and glide slope) and roll control (heading hold, and nav, LOC, and VOR tracking). Yaw control is optional.