Blue Sky Network of La Jolla, Calif. showed its new Hawkeye 7200, a portable satellite-tracking device, to Heli-Expo 2015 audiences for the first time. The device, priced at $1,495, made appearances in October last year at the NBAA Convention and Helitech International.
“Hawkeye 7200 allows for two-way messaging and custom forms and is truly an all-in-one, portable solution,” said Nick Tucky, director of sales at Blue Sky Network. “It has a built-in battery, very sensitive built-in antenna [for Iridium, GPS, Glonass and Galileo satellites], a quick-position button and Bluetooth. Through our mobile apps, operators can two-way message our custom forms. For example, Blue Sky’s customers using iPads for EFBs can use Hawkeye for two-way messaging from the cockpit.”
Hawkeye 7200 is powered by SkyRouter, Blue Sky’s cloud-based web portal that provides tracking, communications and management of globally dispersed assets from any Internet-connected device. This means that Hawkeye can be accessed from anywhere that has Internet access.
Because it is portable, Hawkeye does not need installation in the aircraft, eliminating the need for an FAA STC or field approval. In fact, many operators fasten the device with Velcro to an aircraft’s front panel, Tucky said. The unit can run off its own internal battery or use aircraft power.
Tucky explained that operators who lease their aircraft find the Hawkeye’s portability particularly useful. Many of them don’t want to install equipment in leased aircraft and many leasing companies don’t want their customers to do it either. “So the portable solution is really the best solution for both of them,” he said.
In addition to the acquisition cost, each Hawkeye 7200 comes with a subscription charge that varies based on flight hours. For example, the cost of a single Hawkeye subscription for an operator with one helicopter would be about $75 to $150 per month for about 30 to 50 flight hours per month, said Tucky.