Ace Aeronautics Earns STC for Electro-Optical Sensor Mount

Ace Aeronautics, (ACE) announced the issuance of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) # SR01957WI for the Ace Aero HD Sensor Mount for the UH-60/S-70 family of helicopters.

The Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR) Sensor Mount will allow operators of the Black Hawk to add a nose mounted EO/IR sensor to their fleet of aircraft. The kit consists of a one-piece machined aluminum alloy 6061-T631 nose mounted replacement fairing, adapter plate, ILS Glide Slope antenna and connector panel. The kit was designed to accept the largest 16-inch targeting sensors down to the smaller 8-inch stabilized gimballed sensors. There are also adapter plates to accommodate three widely used EO/IR manufactures systems: FLIR Systems, WESCAM and Trakka Systems.

“We really set out to accommodate the integrator and installer with this unit,” said vice president of Business Development Tracy Stapleton. “The nose mounted fairing is a direct replacement for the existing maintenance fairing under the nose avionics shelf. It is match drilled to the host aircraft, and the adapter plate allows for rapid installation and removal of a sensor.”

“There are approximately 4,000 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters around the world that would benefit from an EO/IR sensor, as it brings a tremendous amount of situational awareness to the crew,” said Stapleton.

The company says the STC offers affordable and easy-to-install design and targets the soon-to-be fielded U. S. Army UH-60V program, as every one of the 760 aircraft is slated to have a sensor “A-kit” installed. “Our kit was designed as a great value to the end user,” says EVP Frank Wallace. “We are a tenth of the cost and require only about two days to install, resulting in a huge savings in procurement and labor over the OEM design.”

Thales and StandardAero Successfully Achieve the Industry’s First 4-Axis Autopilot Flight Test for Airbus AS350 and H125 Helicopters

Thales and StandardAero have announced the successful first flight test of a revolutionary compact autopilot system that will bring Airbus AS350 and H125 helicopters into a new era of performance and safety.  The achievement of this key milestone lays the groundwork for this important phase of the Supplemental Type Certification (STC) process and the launch of an unparalleled autopilot solution to the light helicopter market by mid-2021.

Flight testing, which will continue throughout this winter at StandardAero’s Langley, British Columbia, Canada facility, demonstrates Thales’ and StandardAero’s commitment to develop and certify a compact, advanced 4-axis helicopter Autopilot System.  Earlier this year, StandardAero/Thales previously announced that WeatherTech, the well-known automotive accessories company, has agreed to be its launch customer.  The Autopilot will initially be certified for installation on both the Airbus AS350 and H125 helicopter platforms.

“The launch of this flight test program is a key milestone for StandardAero and Thales.  This product combines Thales’ Autopilot experience, based on billions of flight hours accumulated and outstanding customer satisfaction, with StandardAero’s extensive aftermarket capabilities in aircraft modification and certification.  We aim to bring a user-friendly solution offering an unparalleled level of safety and reliability to the light helicopter market,” said Jean-Paul Ebanga, Thales VP of Flight Avionics activities.

The Thales/StandardAero compact autopilot is an intuitive automatic flight control system on the AS350/H125 that increases safety through reduced pilot workload.  It provides stability augmentation, attitude retention and flight director modes such as altitude or heading hold and reduces the risk of aircraft incidents.

“This state-of-the-art, 4-axis autopilot system has been designed as a straightforward retrofit and provides pilots with simplified operation that will help reduce wear and tear on the helicopter while making flying in normal and adverse conditions much easier and safer for the crew and passengers,” said Elvis Moniz, vice president of Product Development for StandardAero’s Helicopters business unit.  “Moreover, with the increase in EMS flying and recent CFIT related helicopter accidents, anything that can help pilots navigate more safely is of paramount interest.” says Moniz.

StandardAero and Thales say they bring complementary expertise to the collaboration. Thales produces the essential components, including the advanced control management systems, four trim actuators, three intelligent linear actuators and the data concentrator/control panel.  StandardAero brings their expertise in aircraft modification and certification, which enables them to manage the detailed design of the mechanical and electrical systems integration. With their comprehensive FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) certification plan, certification approval is expected mid-2021.

MD Announces Another Exclusive MD 500E to MD 530F Conversion

MD Helicopters (MDHI) has completed a contract to upgrade an MD 500E helicopter to an FAA-certified MD 530F model aircraft as part of MDHI’s long standing E-to-F conversion program.

“The E-to-F conversion program follows a strict, FAA-approved process,” says Nick Nenadovic, vice president of Aftermarket and Customer Support for MD Helicopters, Inc. “Over eight to 12 weeks, the E Model is disassembled and all airframe modifications, component installations, inspections, testing, and certifications occur. In the end, the aircraft is a fully-certified MD 530F model.”

The aircraft’s owner, a long time MDHI customer located in Texas, chose to convert the aircraft in order to expand its marketable operational capabilities. The conversion increases the aircraft’s gross weight to 3,350 lbs, improves its flight characteristics in confined areas, and boosts cruise speed, all for comparatively low direct operating costs (DOC).

The aircraft is under contract, leased to a professional and high-quality construction, powerline, and aerial lifting service located in Apopka, Florida.

Delivery of the converted MD 530F occurred in October 2020.

MD Helicopters’ exclusive E-to-F conversion program maintains essential safety margins while delivering increased hot-and-high performance capability. Enhancements to the aircraft include:

  • Engine upgrade from the Rolls Royce 250-C20B to the more powerful RR250-C30
  • Replacement of the main rotor and tail rotor blades
  • Upgraded F model main rotor gearbox
  • Upgraded tail rotor drive shaft

JSSI Appoints Barhouch BD Director for Middle East and India

Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI), an independent provider of maintenance support and financial services to the business aviation industry, has appointed Pascale Barhouch as director of business development for the Middle East and India.

Barhouch brings more than 13 years of experience to JSSI from across the aviation and aerospace industries. At JSSI, she will be based in Dubai and responsible for managing strategic sales and support plans in the region.

“For the past nine years, Gregory Olympios and our Dubai office have been instrumental in establishing JSSI’s position across the Middle East and we are thrilled to now welcome Pascale to continue this development following Gregory’s recent retirement,” said Mark Winzar, JSSI’s senior vice president of business development for EMEAA and APAC. “Her experience across the region will be an incredibly valuable addition to the team and we look forward to working together.”

“I can’t think of a more qualified person to pass the torch to,” said Gregory Olympios. “I have no doubt Pascale will do an exceptional job supporting the many valued customers I had the pleasure of working with for so many years.”

“The Middle East is an exciting place for business aviation. As the market continues to grow, I am excited to join JSSI and have an opportunity to demonstrate the value of JSSI’s hourly cost maintenance programs and the enhanced levels of independent service and support we can provide aircraft owners and operators,” said Barhouch.

Prior to joining JSSI, Barhouch held a variety of senior sales and marketing roles with ABJAD Group, Rizon Jet and, most recently, Gogo Business Aviation where she was responsible for product sales for aircraft communication and connectivity, satellite networks, and in-flight entertainment throughout the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, and Europe.

MD Helicopters MD 530F Demonstrator Visits SoCal

Take the new MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) enhanced glass cockpit MD 530F demo aircraft for a test flight to experience its power and performance firsthand. This state-of-the-art helicopter is touring the West Coast from Nov. 30 through Dec. 4. It is available for drop-in demo flights at Rotorcraft Support Inc. (RSI) on Dec. 2 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time as well as special on-site demos in the region during the week.

The aircraft leaves the MDHI’s Mesa facility on Nov. 30, visiting a variety of customers throughout Southern California during the week. Parties interested in an on-site demo can contact MDHI Director of Commercial Sales, Jason Lindauer at Jason.Lindauer@MDHelicopters.com or 480-353-6587.

The MD 530F is the latest model in the proven 500 line, delivering increased operational capabilities, greater mission versatility, and superior performance. The updated helicopter incorporates an advanced NVISB interior designed to enhance safety during nighttime patrol, surveillance, and tactical operations. The enhanced certified glass cockpit features the Garmin G500 [H] TXi Electronic Flight Instruments (EFIS), Howell Instruments Electronic Engine Instruments and Crew Alert Systems (EICAS), and Garmin GTN 750 Touchscreen NAV/COM/GPS.

Lockheed Martin Names Israel Aerospace Industries as “Elite Supplier”

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) was named “Elite Supplier” by Lockheed Martin for the third consecutive year. Lockheed Martin’s recognition of IAI dates back to 2002 when IAI developed a solution in response to a challenge posed by Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky division: 20 percent weight reduction and lowering the price of the horizontal folding stabilizers of the Black Hawk helicopter in UH/HH-60M configuration. IAI remains the sole supplier of this product to Lockheed Martin.

The horizontal folding stabilizer is a proprietary IAI development made of composite materials. It controls the ascending and descent of the helicopter. To date, IAI has manufactured over 4,000 stabilizers which are mounted in all the helicopters of the U. S. military. The composite materials consist of graphite fibers that have been saturated with resin to enable molding an assembly that maintains the same physical properties and strength of the product. From a maintenance perspective, this is a highly durable product that withstands corrosion and erosion while being as strong as metal.

MD Sales Strong with State Contract Award for New MD 530F

MD Helicopters recently announced a U.S. state municipality contract for the purchase of a new MD 530F in law enforcement configuration. The agency is responsible for monitoring the state’s valuable natural resources, wildlife populations, and ecosystems while ensuring enforcement of the state’s laws protecting them. The aircraft is the agency’s first helicopter.

“This has been a great opportunity for MD Helicopters to provide the ideal platform for a state agency with such a vast mission profile,” says Marc Brodeur, VP of Military and Commercial Sales for MD Helicopters, Inc. “The MD 530F is a powerful, reliable tool that delivers superior operational efficiency at sea level and altitude while providing the mission versatility required to do the job. We look forward to developing and expanding this new relationship for many years to come.”

The MD 530F will perform a variety of functions for the agency that balances monitoring and protecting millions of acres of vastly diverse ecosystems and countless wildlife across topography that ranges from sea level to glacier-peaked mountain ranges. Missions will include wildlife monitoring, wildlife tagging, and scientific observations, as well as law enforcement missions such as search and apprehension of poachers, illegal hunting and harvesting, and other unlawful activity. It also has the potential to assist in search and rescue missions.

MD 530F – Configuration for the Contract

MD Helicopters’ certified glass cockpit featuring the Garmin G500 [H] TXi Electronic Flight Instruments (EFIS), Howell Instruments Electronic Engine Instruments and Crew Alert Systems (EICAS), and Garmin GTN 750 Touchscreen NAV/COM/GPS is the focal point of an advanced NVISB interior designed to enhance safety during nighttime patrol, surveillance and tactical operations.

In addition to its Rolls-Royce 250-C30 650shp turbine engine, extended landing gear, Fargo 2-gallon auxiliary fuel tank and wire strike protection system, the MD 530F has been custom configured to include:

  • High-contrast main rotor blades
  • Onboard Human External Load Cargo Dual Hook
  • Cobham RT 7000 Radio
  • Garmin GTR 225B NVG, Transceiver, 16W, 8.33kHz
  • Flightcell DZMx DZUS with Satellite and 3G Cellular capability
  • Becker DVCS ACU6100-2-5300 Digital Audio Panel
  • Tyler TSOP System

Delivery of the new MD 530F will occur within 12 months of award date. 

Rotorplace and Collins Aerospace Team for Online Parts Sales

After Safran, Saint-Gobain, Lisi Aerospace Cargo Equipment, Tech-tool Plastics, etc., it’s Collins Aerospa ce’s turn to start the adventure of online sales by joining the Rotorplace E-commerce site.

Collins Aerospace manufactures and supports helicopter parts. They say their commitment is to provide cost-effective solutions for helicopters, operators and missions of all types. Whether it is a humanitarian support mission, search and rescue (SAR), or maintenance support, Collins Aerospace solutions will help you carry out your missions and operate efficiently.

Launched by Helinetwork International, Rotorplace is the first online sales site for helicopter spare parts. Operators, helicopter owners and workshops can now find all the parts they need, directly from the manufacturer’s factory and under warranty, in just a few clicks. With simple ergonomics and a purchasing process identical to that of the largest e-commerce sites, the act of purchasing is facilitated while having access to complete information.

Helinetwork International and Rotorplace are Collins Aerospace certified distributors.

Rotorplace says customers will find different Collins Aerospace product lines on their website. For Helinetwork International, the addition of new manufacturers is part of its marketplace deployment strategy. This allows it to strengthen its commercial offer by offering more and more spare parts directly from different OEMs.

Getac Brings Integrated LiFi Technology to Rugged Mobile Computing Market

Getac has announced that it is bringing integrated LiFi technology powered by pureLiFi to the rugged market for the first time. The company says this means customers across a wide range of professional sectors will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of fully rugged reliability and innovative LiFi connectivity in a single device, unlocking a host of powerful new applications and use cases.

Previously, users wishing to capitalize on the benefits of LiFi technology had to rely on a USB dongle plugged into the side of their device. This approach is highly vulnerable to even the slightest knock or drop, making it unviable in many working environments, such as those found in the defence, aviation, public safety, automotive, energy and manufacturing sectors. With this announcement, users across these sectors will be able to purchase a fully rugged solution with LiFi technology fully integrated into the device. The first Getac device to offer integrated LiFi capability will be the recently launched UX10 fully rugged tablet.

LiFi (Light Fidelity) technology uses light to transmit data rather than radio frequency, which is the case with traditional technologies such as WiFi, LTE, 4G, 5G etc. This innovative approach has a number of benefits over RF-based technologies including:

  • Improved privacy and security: Light can be more easily contained than radio waves, and secured in a physical space. As a result, it is much less vulnerable to hacking or hijacking, while giving greater control over network localization, asset tracking and user authentication.
  • Superior connection quality: LiFi offers a thousand times the data density of RF-based networks, resulting in enhanced reliability and interference free communications. LiFi also doesn’t interfere with RF signals, meaning both networks can be run simultaneously in the same physical space.
  • Extremely low latency: Light-based data connections have significantly lower latency than RF-based technology, which can radically enable innovation, automation and the use of advanced applications including augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

The combination of rugged reliability and LiFi connectivity unlocks a series of powerful new applications across a range of sectors. These include:

  • Defense: Inherently secure, fully rugged communications solutions that can be rapidly deployed in the field, thanks to minimal cabling requirements.
  • Public safety: Lightning fast on-scene data collection and transmission in emergency response scenarios, aided by high quality, low latency LiFi connectivity.
  • Automotive: Fast, uninterrupted data downloads for upgrading vehicle firmware in highly physical factory or workshop environments.
  • Manufacturing and energy: LiFi can help turn old infrastructure into IoT (internet of things), aiding digital transformation in areas where there are concerns over RF-based equipment interfering with safety-critical operations.

“At Getac, we work with a huge range of customers across multiple sectors, many of whom have very specific technology requirements and challenges,” says Rick Hwang president of Rugged & Video Solutions Business Group at Getac. “Today’s announcement once again demonstrates our commitment to solving these challenges by combining powerful new technologies such as LiFi with our proven rugged devices, to create industry leading solutions that excel in even the most adverse operational environments.”

Kaman Introduces New AMS Family of High-Precision Non-Contact Displacement Sensors

The Measuring Division of Kaman Precision Products announced the release of its new AMS family of high-precision non-contact displacement sensors for condition monitoring of rotating machinery in extreme-pressure environments from 500 psi to over 22,500 psi.

AMS sensors deliver reliability and performance in high-pressure environments enhancing any condition monitoring systems’ ability to measure and monitor runout, speed, and changes in machine vibration profiles. This helps to reduce risk, minimize damage and unplanned downtime due to unanticipated failures in the field.

Designed for a wide range of pressure environments, Kaman’s proprietary AMS, AMS-HP, and AMS-XHP precision sensing systems do not require a magnet and work with any ferro-magnetic target. This design detects target position through non-magnetic, conductive, and non-conductive barriers making leak proof, penetrator free equipment instrumentation installations possible and economical without special magnets. With an RMS resolution down to one micron, and a standard measuring range up to seven mm, Kaman’s AMS sensors are compact and versatile.

Kaman Precision Products’ line of AMS non-contact displacement sensors are IP-67 rated with hermetic options available. For installation versatility, Kaman’s AMS sensors come in standard IP-67 rated threaded, flanged, AS4320 pressure port compatible, and bolt head style configurations with hermetic options available. In addition to Kaman’s standard sensor configuration options, Kaman’s AMS sensors can be tailored to meet semi-custom and custom OEM integration requirements.