28-Jan-2020 Source: Precision Helicopters
The French light helicopter manufacturer, Helicopteres Guimbal is introducing an advanced new payload mount and new cockpit developments. The latest delivered unit of their Cabri G2 is on display at booth # 6812, shared with Precision Helicopters, their Oregon-based distributor for the USA.
The aircraft features the two latest product developments:
The new all-digital cockpit, christened “The Cristal Panel”. It is qualified by Bruno Guimbal, company President and CEO, “the shortest way to modern, large IFR commercial helicopters.” Based on the Garmin 500Txi in helicopter version, and the Mid-continent SAM backup PFD, the new cockpit gives the best of a zero steam-gage panel and an unrivalled forward visibility thanks to very low profile. According to David Rath, Precision’s CEO, and Marion Pelligra, Guimbal’s Head of sales, “the new Cristal Panel is seeing an unexpected success, most customers are selecting this $23,800 option. It perfectly fits the helicopter’s main mission: training commercial pilots who will mostly fly digital flight decks.”
Expanding the Cabri’s mission, Guimbal designed a multi-purpose payload mount. Designed primarily for light-to-medium sized gimbals, this carbon fiber support can accommodate a wide range of payloads, including gimballed cinemaphotography cameras, mapping cameras, infrared, LIDAR and various geologic prospection probes etc. The new concept, according to Bruno Guimbal, is that the manufacturer delivers the mount with complete, EASA-approved certification data and Operating manual. All the flight testing and strength justification is done at the factory and approved by the EASA (pending), thus the customer needs no flight testing requirements to qualify a new payload. The carbon fiber support is an easy upgrade to any Cabri G2 and gives no weight penalty. The option list price is $ 4,500 plus $ 1,200 for the replacement clear window. It can easily swap in ten minutes with the plexiglass window with just a screwdriver. About ten orders for the kit came at once, for a wide variety of payloads.
In 2019, the French manufacturer delivered 25 new helicopters, slightly down from the previous years, but Raphaël Yver, Helicopteres Guimbal Head of Customer Support, says the customer satisfaction and flight statistics are getting higher every year, with good perspectives. The fleet has now over 260.000 flight hours in 34 different countries. 38 Cabri G2 have been delivered to the US. The fleet leader exceeds 7,000 flight hours with all original components, excluding the engine and small replaceable components.