Universal Avionics introduces one of its flagship features of the new avionics package in the redesigned Next Generation MD Explorer, a cursor control for the advanced display system as an integrated part of the collective. This “point and click” philosophy brings some of the most advanced technology in the market into the flight deck of the redesigned Explorer, which is set to be the first helicopter in the light-twin market to feature such a system.
The “point and click” display control for the Next Generation MD Explorer flight deck is designed to use a Cursor Slew Switch mounted on the primary flight controls. This control enables the pilot to easily change frequently used EFIS selections while maintaining positive control of the aircraft. With the pilot’s hand on the collective and their thumb over a cursor switch, they are able to position and move the cursor on the displays, making selections while never letting go of the primary controls. This feature increases situational awareness while minimizing head and hand movements, and reducing fatigue and the potential for vertigo. Display control can also be accomplished through traditional selection keys which are included in the package via an EFIS Control Display Unit.
“Universal Avionics’ partnership with MD Helicopters represents an ideal model for building the next generation of helicopter flight decks,” said Grady Dees, Director of Technical Sales for Universal Avionics. “Flight decks, such as the Next Generation flight deck for the MD Explorer, need to provide additional functionality and safety features while reducing pilot workload,” he added. “We are excited to work with MD Helicopters to revolutionize the light-twin market with this cursor control feature.”
Since the beginning of the program, demonstrations of this Next Generation technology to pilots have provided valuable refinements to the system. The cursor control significantly reduces pilot workload, yet is intuitive and provides quick access to the most used display features.
Universal Avionics first announced their partnership with MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) in a two-year program to design and build the Next Generation flight deck for the MD Explorer helicopter at Heli-Expo 2013. Hardware development is now well underway, including a system architecture that has been solidified. Software development is continuing at this point in time. Coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is also underway with MDHI and Universal Avionics recently having met with the FAA to discuss the program and certification project. To learn more about the Next Generation flight deck for the MD Explorer, visit www.uasc.com/md.
A demonstration of the flight deck including a realistic cursor control simulation is available at the MDHI booth 6922 at Heli-Expo 2014 in Anaheim, California, while exhibit halls are open Tuesday, February 25th – Thursday, February 27th. Representatives from Universal Avionics are on hand to speak directly to customers at both the Universal (4702) and MDHI booths during the show.
Universal Avionics is a leading manufacturer of innovative avionics systems for business jets, turboprop aircraft, transport aircraft, helicopters, regional and commercial airliners used by corporate, military and airline operators. The company offers advanced avionics as a retrofit and forward-fit solution for the largest diversification of aircraft types in the industry. As an organization, Universal Avionics is registered in the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) Online Aerospace Supplier Information System (OASIS) as compliant to the standards of the internationally accepted Quality Management System model, AS9100. To learn more about Universal Avionics, visit www.uasc.com/company/about.aspx.
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