Ground testing for Heli-One’s Sikorsky S-76B helicopter upgrade program featuring a Universal Avionics flight deck is now complete, with flight testing imminent. The aircraft is operated by a VVIP operator in Asia. The upgraded, modern glass cockpit includes the installation of three EFI-890H Advanced Flight Displays with Vision-1® Synthetic Vision System and a UNS-1Fw Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS)-Flight Management System (FMS).
Ground testing and upcoming flight testing for the VVIP retrofit program is being performed at Universal Avionics Authorized Dealer, Heli-One Canada, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“We have a sound history with Sikorsky helicopters and Heli-One, and we were looking to capitalize on what we have collectively built up,” said Norm Matheis, Universal Avionics Regional Sales Manager for Canada. “The S-76® aircraft advanced flight deck Heli-One has created is a stunning outcome,” he added. “The upgrade with modern EFI-890H Advanced Flight Display technology and new FMS will enhance operational safety and reliability. S-76 operators are already familiar with Universal equipment and we expect they will see value with the advanced capabilities Heli-One’s package will provide.”
Universal Avionics’ well-proven, reliable EFI-890H solution is a customized, cost-effective technology upgrade for the S-76B. The upgrade provides the ability to see the projected flight path when coupled with the display of aircraft traffic, a powerful safety improvement. This allows the operator to see where the other traffic is in relation to the track they intend to take, and to judge diverging or converging tracks well in advance. Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) terrain will also be displayed, providing terrain mapping when operating low level in an airport or off-airport environment. When operating in marginal Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC), this is a tremendous enhancement in safety.