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Robinson Helicopter announced this month that the Genesys
Aerosystems HeliSAS (Helicopter Stability Augmentation System)
and autopilot that was FAA approved on the R66 earlier this year
is now available on Robinson’s R44.
The R44 autopilot option has all of the same modes and
functionality as the R66 including basic stability augmentation,
heading hold, altitude hold, navigation signal tracking, and
approach guidance. A flight test and FAA certification program
ensured the comfortable flying qualities and workload-reducing
features found on the R66 autopilot installations were carried
over to the R44.
The autopilot is now available as an option on R44 and R66
helicopters equipped with Aspen’s EFD 1000H Primary Flight
Display (PFD). Aspen’s PFD is a lighter, less expensive display
than Garmin’s G500H already approved on the R66. The Aspen
PFD fits in a standard R44/R66 8-hole instrument panel with the
autopilot controls located in the avionics stack. Additional trim
and off buttons are located on the cyclic.
Another announcement from the China Helicopter Exposition
detailed Sikorsky Aircraft Corp’s delivery of six S-76D helicopters
to the China Ministry of Transport (MOT) for Search and Rescue
Operations (SAR), further enhancing the MOT’s maritime
capabilities. The MOT’s S-76D helicopter fleet is on track to include
a total of eight S-76D aircraft by the end of the year. In December
2012, the China MOT purchased four S-76D SAR helicopters, and
then contracted for four additional aircraft of the same model in
July 2013. The latest SAR contract is the fifth that China’s MOT has
awarded to Sikorsky for the S-76® series of helicopters since 2000.
Once final deliveries from the contracts are complete, the MOT
will operate a fleet of 16 S-76 helicopters, which have formed
the foundation of China’s aerial SAR capabilities for maritime
“ We have been operating the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter for more
than a decade and have saved many lives with these helicopters,”
said Capt. Pan Wei, Chief Engineer, Bureau of Rescue and Salvage,
Ministry of Transport. “ The addition of the S-6D to our fleet will
enhance our operational capabilities”Since January 2014, Sikorsky
has completed S-76D deliveries into all mission segments including
offshore oil, search and rescue, VIP and air medical transportation.
Sikorsky has delivered more than 800 S-76 helicopters to customers
globally since 1979, contributing daily to a growing of more than
6.7-million flight hours.
Enstrom Helicopter Corporation is continuing flight testing on
the new TH180 helicopter. Originally announced at the 2014 HAI
show, Enstrom has since taken a number of signed MOUs on
the new helicopter designed for the ab-initio flight training, light
commercial, and private owner market. “ We are into the envelope
expansion phase,” said Enstrom test pilot Bill Taylor, “we’ve had it
out over 90 kts so far, and everything is performing as expected.”
Enstrom is currently flight testing the second prototype helicopter,
and has begun construction on a third test helicopter, which will
be a fully conforming prototype. That aircraft will be added to the
flight test fleet later this year, with certification expected in 2016.
“ We are installing modern avionics, digital engine instrumentation,
and an electronic throttle governor,” said Enstrom Director of
Sales Orlando Alaniz. “ The industry is changing rapidly and
training requirements are changing with it. We are building this
helicopter to meet the needs of tomorrow’s pilots.”Engstrom is also
showcasing the TH180 in Tianjin, China at the China International
Helicopter Exhibition from Sept. 9-13 the exhibition displays
helicopter models brought by Chinese and foreign producers
for China’s emerging civil helicopter market.
Chongqing General Aviation, which purchased US-based Enstrom
in 2011, brought the company’s two models Enstrom 480B and
TH180 to the exhibition.
Liu Xu, vice president of the company, said the TH180, which is
making its debut in the China market at the exhibition, is a good
trainer aircraft and suitable for private customers.
Robinson introduces new R44
& R66 autopilot and Aspen
primary flight display package
Sikorsky announces Chinese sales
Continuing Development of the
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