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Sat, May 26, 2007

Console Offers More Room For Helicopter Avionics

Space Is Tight For Law Enforcement, News Organizations

As more and more law enforcement agencies and television news gathering organizations expand the avionics capabilities of their helicopters, the requirement for additional component mounting space in the cockpit grows significantly.

"The missions flown by law enforcement agencies have become more complex with the need to communicate with multiple agencies," Jeff Shapiro, president of DART Helicopter Services, tells ANN. "These agencies have a greater variety of electronic tools to assist in their difficult assignments but there is little room in the helicopter’s factory installed control panels to mount the new equipment.

"The question we continually hear is, 'Where are we going to locate the additional radios and control heads so that they are accessible to the pilot, copilot and personnel in the rear seat,'" Shapiro said. "We hear much the same from television news organizations who more and more are converting the signals from their helicopters to high definition, which requires better cockpit organization for the workload.

"All the new advanced equipment creates a demand for more secure mounting platforms within reach of the crew, as well as a robust method of powering that equipment," he said.

Geneva Aviation, a DART subsidiary, developed the P132 avionics console and P123 supplemental avionics console for AS350 series helicopters to meet the demand for more space.

The Geneva P132 electronics console provides a convenient method of mounting the additional radios and control heads within easy reach of the flight crew. The unit allows installation of a 10-inch stack of radios and other avionics controls typically required for law and ENG work. The P123 supplemental console also mounts between the pilot and co-pilot seats.

The P132 avionics console is equipped with reliable Mil-Spec sealed toggle switches and circuit breakers, which replace the factory push buttons and fuses, giving the aircraft's electrical system much greater reliability.  The unit holds up to 60 circuit breakers and can be configured for use with night vision goggles.

Additionally, Geneva is delivering its newly re-configured P122 switch console and P132 avionics consoles for use in Eurocopter’s newer AS 350 B2 and B3 models that utilize the Sagem Monitoring System. The P122 switch console comes completely assembled and ready for installation. It replaces the factory-supplied unit of the same size but contains the same switches and circuit breakers as the P132 console. It also is available as night vision compatible.

Geneva Aviation has provided audio, video and electronic systems and components for helicopters for more than 20 years. DART Helicopter Services acquired the company in December 2006.

FMI: www.genevaaviation.com

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