Glass cockpit for helicopters approved

Cobham’s synthetic vision glass cockpit has been approved for single-pilot IFR operation of the Bell 412 helicopter by the FAA with the granting of an STC to Arrow Aviation.

cobhamThis marks the world’s first IFR approval for a synthetic vision system in a helicopter, according to Cobham officials. The Search and Rescue unit of North Slope Borough, Alask,a will be the first customer to have Cobham’s electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) installed on a 412. Arrow Aviation will install the EFIS.

The Bell 412 uses the synthetic vision three-dimensional graphic technology to translate the terrain ahead of and around the helicopter into an intuitive, real-time visual picture, helping the pilot “see” aircraft position in relation to its surroundings regardless of darkness or weather conditions. This display reduces instrument scanning and pilot fatigue by consolidating readings of all primary flight instruments into one efficient tool, resulting in a dramatically reduced pilot workload and safer execution of flight plans and procedures.

Features of the Cobham EFIS include: Four-screen glass cockpit package – two Primary Flight Displays (PFD) and two Multi-Function Displays (MFD); enhanced situational awareness via 3D Synthetic Vision; Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System (HTAWS); full-function Flight Management System (FMS); Highway-In-The-Sky (HITS) Predictive Flight Director; user-definable approaches, geo-referenced hover vector with “mark-on-target” functionality; Remote Bugs Panel (RBP); IFR approved with Cat-A capability; NVG compatibility; digital flight recording; intuitive audio and visual warning and advisory systems; traffic display from TAS, TCAS-I/II, and ADS-B; integrated GPS/WAAS (Global Positioning System/Wide Area Augmentation System), and an Air Data and Attitude Heading Reference System (ADAHRS). Supported WSI Weather products include NEXRAD Weather Radar, Echo Tops, Graphical METARs, Textual METARs, Textual TAFs, Lightning, SIGMETs/AIRMETs, TFRs, and Winds/Temps aloft; ADS-B datalink display functions, including TIS-B (traffic) and FIS-B (flight information, including weather).

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