8-Feb-2017 Source: Rogerson Kratos
Experienced Black Hawk pilots Terence Reeves and Jeremy Bennett flew the helicopter from Fort Worth Meacham field for more than two hours. The fully integrated design upgrade replaces the factory analog gauges with electronic instrument flat panel displays and offers greater situational awareness, reduced pilot workload, and mission safety.
Rogerson KRATOS offers a modernized cockpit upgrade that replicates the UH-60M pilot vehicle interface thereby enhancing training and interoperability. Due to open architecture, current worldwide UH-60A & L operators may upgrade in-country, or acquire reset UH-60 Model A helicopters with digital cockpit modernization already installed.
The current Sikorsky Black Hawk legacy aircraft operators experiencing ever increasing analog instrument repair costs and lower reliability now have a solution. The Rogerson Kratos Engine Electronics Unit operates with GE 700, 701C, and 701D engines contributing to operator flexibility. Replacing obsolete and limited warfighter mission capabilities with a digital cockpit system is cost effective and also meets future Black Hawk mission requirements.
There are over 2000 analog cockpit Black Hawks and variants currently flying, including all US Military services, many US Government agencies, and over twenty-five foreign countries. Rogerson KRATOS’ twenty-five years of suppling helicopter flight display experience includes Bell 412, 412EPI, 427, 429, 430, Agusta 109, AB412, and Sikorsky S-61, S-76.
”This first flight is an important day for all Black Hawk model A & L operators since they now are able to extend the life and mission of the aircraft,” said company CEO, Michael Rogerson. ”Our many years and flight hours of providing avionics for the twin engined helicopter industry includes a significant number of important industry firsts, such as certifying the industry’s first flat panel primary flight display EFIS and EICAS in a helicopter. This Black Hawk application is the culmination of all that experience.”
“Today’s first flight of the modernized cockpit UH-60A Black Hawk is an important milestone for the talented team that made this event happen, from concept to first flight in only fourteen months.” added Mike Miller, VP for Rogerson KRATOS Military Programs. “The fact that this team and their suppliers were able to achieve first flight before any other industry competitors with a next generation solution is a testament to their dedication and skills to provide operators with today’s most advanced Black Hawk digital cockpit.”
The system will be fully compliant with the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency’s 2020 Global Air Traffic Management requirements, allowing the aircraft access to military and civilian airspace of the United States and Europe without waiver.
Operating through a wide temperature environment, possessing superior optical performance and designed with an extra wide range viewing angle for cross cockpit viewing, these Rogerson KRATOS “smart” multi-function displays are fully compliant with current night vision imaging system standards and other critical information and navigation requirements. Features include 3D digital map, advanced hover Symbology, integrated FLIR, and embedded maintenance pages to configure optional equipment and monitor sensors.
There are four Black Hawks in the Rogerson KRATOS digital cockpit modernization development program. Delivery of customer cockpit upgrades will begin in 2017, and can increase to three per month by 2020.
The first flight aircraft N683DN will be flown to HAI Heli-Expo 2017, March 3-10 in Dallas, TX. for demonstrations and inspections.