Thales and StandardAero have successfully completed the first flight test of a compact autopilot system for the Airbus AS350 and H125 helicopter.
The achievement lays the groundwork for the critical phase of the Supplemental Type Certification (STC) process and the launch of the autopilot solution to the light helicopter market by the middle of 2021. The Autopilot will initially be certified for installation on both the Airbus AS350 and H125 helicopter platforms.
Flight testing will continue this winter at StandardAero’s Langley, British Columbia, Canada facility. WeatherTech, an automotive accessories company, will be its launch customer.
“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,” said Jean-Paul Ebanga, Thales Vice-President of Flight Avionics activities. “We aim to bring a user-friendly solution offering an unparalleled level of safety and reliability to the light helicopter market.”
The Thales/StandardAero compact autopilot is an intuitive automatic flight control system on the AS350/H125 that increases safety by reducing pilot workload. It provides stability augmentation, attitude retention and flight director modes such as altitude or heading hold.
“This state-of-the-art, four-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, adding: “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.”
With more than 25 years of experience in defence publishing, Global Business Press and its industry leading titles Asian Defence Technology, Asian Airlines & Aerospace and Daily News are the leading defence publications in the region, present at more international shows and exhibitions than any other competing publication in the region.