Rockwell Collins, the first avionics company to certify Traffic Alert Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II) on long-range helicopters, recently received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification of its TCAS II on the Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma Mk II+. This is the first-ever forward fit TCAS II application on a helicopter.
This certification follows the pioneering achievement accomplished in 2008 by the team of Rockwell Collins, Bristow Eastern Hemisphere and Shell Aircraft, in which the companies retrofitted and certified TCAS II on a Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma.
“Working closely with Eurocopter, we leveraged our experience to create a solution to bring the potentially life-saving flight safety enhancement of TCAS II to the latest-generation Super Puma,” said Greg Irmen, vice president and general manager, Business and Regional Systems for Rockwell Collins. “With TCAS II, helicopter operators are afforded the same collision avoidance technology as fixed wing passenger aircraft.”
“We have designed a unique feature to our EC225 TCAS II integration: the recommended avoidance manoeuver is automatically flown by the autopilot of the helicopter, which is a significant safety enhancement feature by the reduction of pilots’ workload,” said Jean-Brice Dumont, Eurocopter EC225 Program Director.
TCAS II, which is required on fixed wing aircraft carrying more than 15 passengers, works by interrogating the air traffic control (ATC) transponders of other nearby aircraft to determine and display their altitudes, ranges and relative positions. The TCAS II computer uses sophisticated algorithms and interrogation techniques to calculate the speed, direction and conflict potential of these targets and if necessary, computes and displays a recommended vertical avoidance maneuver to ensure safe separation.
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