First Sikorsky S61 with ‘glass cockpit’

Vector Aerospace has test-flown the Sikorsky S61 equipped with a fully-integrated “glass cockpit,” or Integrated Cockpit Display System (ICDS) from SAGEM Avionics.

The test flight took place on May 20, 2008 at the company’s Langley, British Columbia avionics facility, and will be supported by a flight test and certification program conducted from Langley Airport over the next several weeks.

Elvis Moniz, Director of Operations for Vector-Langley and project lead for the S61 glass cockpit project says… “with more than a full year of dedication and hard work from our Langley team, the Carson-bladed S61 has made aviation history; transforming many of the dated S61 systems into a multi-mission capable state-of-the art helicopter. As our customers often attest, the quality of workmanship, dedication and innovation displayed by our entire team is second to none, and the success of this project is a clear indication that we are at the pinnacle of our industry.”

In addition to the challenging feat of engineering and adapting a glass cockpit configuration for the Carson S61, Moniz’s team included a comprehensive 9000-hour overhaul with a complete paint strip (both interior and exterior). Every length of wiring was replaced, and key airframe wiring areas have been modularized for ease of maintenance. Installation of an upgraded digital fuel-indicating system as well as a SAGEM Caution Advisory System eliminate supportability issues with old systems. The avionics suite consists of dual Garmin GNS 530 GPS systems, dual Rockwell Collins AHC3000 AHRS, Garmin Real Time weather system, Skytrack Satellite tracking system, Rockwell Collins Mode S transponder and utility system provisions including a cargo hook load cell that displays on the ICDS 10. Many other Carson and Vector Aerospace modifications round out the total aircraft refurbishment; performed entirely at Vector Helicopter Services-Langley.

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