Airbus’ fleet of helicopters equipped with the Helionix avionics system have surpassed the symbolic milestone of 100.000 flight hours, just three years after customer operations started.
Initially in service with the H145 and H175, this digital avionics suite was later certified in the H135 and in the future will equip the H160 as well as other helicopters in the current and future Airbus Helicopters product line.
Designed by Airbus Helicopters to offer increased mission flexibility and operational safety, Helionix grew out of operators’ need for a more powerful avionics system with greater functions and computing capacity, but which was easier to use and relied on fewer displays. It comprises two computers and a one-of-a-kind cockpit layout with up to four electronic displays designed to improve pilots’ situational awareness in flight.
“Helionix is a family concept that has been hailed by users for its intuitive human machine interface and autopilot, features which allow pilots to concentrate more fully on the flight itself and increase flight safety” declared Jean-Jacques Mevel, Head of Helionix Program. “We keep investing on Helionix with regular software enhancement, which lately included bolstering the SAR capabilities as well as the Rig N’ Fly automatic oil platform mode approaches”.
The avionics suite includes a four-axis autopilot to reduce pilot workload, and a First Limit Indicator in which engine instrument data is shown under one indicator. A GPS navigation and communication system and a Traffic Advisory System complete the suite, while a mission system, including Digital map, a Helicopter Terrain Avoidance System and a Synthetic Vision System, give pilots full situational awareness.
Next step will involve enhancing functions like the Automated Dependent Surveillance-broadcast, the Synthetic Vision System and the Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System advanced modes as well as proposing connectivity advanced solutions.
At present, more than 250 helicopters are today operated with Helionix, involving over 40 operators worldwide and carrying out a wide range of missions including EMS, law enforcement, Police, Oil&Gas, SAR, VIP etc.
- UK AAIB Bulletin – August 2018
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