Thales and StandardAero have announced the successful first flight test of a revolutionary compact 4-axis helicopter Autopilot System.
"This state-of-the-art, 4-axis autopilot system has been designed as a straightforward retrofit and provides pilots with simplified operation that will help reduce wear and tear on the helicopter while making flying in normal and adverse conditions much easier and safer for the crew and passengers,” said Elvis Moniz, Vice President of Product Development for StandardAero’s Helicopters business unit. “Moreover, with the increase in EMS flying and recent CFIT related helicopter accidents, anything that can help pilots navigate more safely is of paramount interest.” says Moniz.
Flight testing, which will continue throughout this winter at StandardAero’s Langley, British Columbia, Canada facility, demonstrates Thales’ and StandardAero’s commitment to develop and certify the advanced 4-axis helicopter Autopilot System. Earlier this year, StandardAero/Thales previously announced that WeatherTech, the well-known automotive accessories company, has agreed to be its launch customer.
The Autopilot will initially be certified for installation on both the Airbus AS350 and H125 helicopter platforms. The Thales/StandardAero compact autopilot is an intuitive automatic flight control system on the AS350/H125 that increases safety through reduced pilot workload. It provides stability augmentation, attitude retention and flight director modes such as altitude or heading hold and reduces the risk of aircraft incidents.