Chelton Is On A Roll...
Chelton Flight Systems has received FAA approval for
installation of its FlightLogic synthetic vision EFIS in
helicopters. With this landmark certification, FlightLogic becomes
one of the few EFIS products in history to be certified for
helicopters. The certification was accomplished as part of the
FAA's Capstone program in Alaska along with integral support from
the FAA's Rotorcraft Directorate in Fort Worth, Texas.
"The rotorcraft operating environment is extremely demanding,"
says Rick Price, Chelton's VP of Engineering and former Navy pilot.
"Vibration and temperature extremes require that the components be
much more rugged than those designed exclusively for fixed wing
aircraft. Furthermore, since helicopters tend to operate at low
levels near antennas, the equipment must be electrically armored
against HIRF (High Intensity Radiated Fields), much more so than in
airplanes. In addition, the system was the first to pass the
rigorous new requirements for multiple-stoke, multiple-burst
The initial STC installation was performed by Hillsboro Aviation
in Hillsboro, Oregon on a JetRanger they operate in commercial
charter service. Additional models will be added to the STC as
Capstone will be installing the systems in up to 50 commercial
helicopters in Southeast Alaska.
"This certification was completed in a little over three months,
which simply would not have been possible without the
progressiveness and hard work of the FAA, both in Anchorage and
Fort Worth," says Price. "The FlightLogic EFIS offers helicopter
pilots some serious safety benefits and this initial STC will pave
the way for these benefits to spread throughout the rotorcraft
The FlightLogic EFIS features the world�s first certified
synthetic vision primary flight display, on which the pilot sees
all flight instruments overlaying a forward-looking real-time 3-D
terrain view of the world ahead of the aircraft. In addition to
terrain, the display also includes towers, antennas, obstructions,
traffic, and 3-D navigation symbology, all presented in the correct
scale and perspective to match the view out the windshield.
Unique to FlightLogic�s helicopter display is the world's
first precision hover vector display. Designed to eliminate dynamic
rollover due to white-out or brown-out (self-induced IFR cause by
snow or dust in the rotorwash), the hover vector uses precise,
high-speed GPS to indicate direction and velocity of drift over the
ground. The hover vector allows the pilot to safely recover from
inadvertent zero-visibility situations, a problem that has plagued
military and civil helicopters alike, and when combined with a
radar altimeter, landing with no outside reference is possible. The
hover vector is also useful for high-altitude stationkeeping and
long-line external load work.
Another benefit afforded by the system is the ability for the
pilot to quickly define and store a precision approach path to any
point on or above the surface. This is especially useful for
search-and-rescue missions, landing on structures, and operations
in noise-sensitive areas. The pilot enters the position, altitude,
approach course, and descent angle and the system provides lateral
and vertical guidance so the approach can be flown identically time
after time. Precision is enhanced with the integral GPS WAAS
receiver capable of providing accuracy better than 1.5 meters as
well as automatic integrity monitoring. The GPS WAAS signal is
available now for aviation in the United States.
The FlightLogic EFIS also contains and embedded TAWS (Terrain
Awareness and Warning System) for helicopters. Known as H-TAWS, it
provides the pilot with a variety of ground proximity and terrain
avoidance features that are specially designed for the low-altitude
operations typically performed by helicopters.
The complete system includes one to four displays, a GPS WAAS
receiver, a solid-state attitude and heading reference system
(AHRS), an airdata computer, a fuel totalizer, a voice warning
system, and a flight recorder.
Upcoming enhancements include a remote control panel, a color
weather radar interface, and a datalink interface that will bring
high-resolution radar images from the Weather Channel to the