Robinson has received FAA certification for its night-vision-goggle (NVG) compatible configuration on its R66 Police helicopter. The Florida Polk County Sheriff Office’s (PCSO) second R66 Police helicopter (S/N 1158) is fully NVG compatible and served as the test bed for certification. That aircraft was delivered to the PCSO on September 30, and a third NVG-compatible R66 Police helicopter is slotted for delivery to the department in January.
PCSO air support flies on average 1,100 hours each year. Centrally located between Orlando and Tampa, the department provides air support for every law enforcement agency in its 2,000-square-mile county, as well as surrounding counties. Much of the terrain consists of lakes and flatlands with little to no illumination at night.
For compatibility, the turbine helicopter’s interior and exterior lighting along with the aircraft’s instruments and avionics were evaluated to certify the helicopter for operation day or night, with or without the use of NVGs. PSCO’s R66s are also equipped with a Wescam MX-10 EO/IR imaging system and an HD infrared sensor, Spectrolab’s SX-7 Starsun searchlight system, Aerocomputer’s UC-6000 digital mapping system, and Garmin G500H 1060 TXi with synthetic vision technology.