DH - Defence Helicopter
Rogerson Kratos' upgraded UH-60A completes first flight
The integrated cockpit design replaces factory analogue gauges with electronic instrument flat panel displays, offering greater situational awareness, reduced pilot workload, and increased mission safety. The upgrade also replicates the UH-60M pilot vehicle interface in order to enhance training and interoperability.
The 'smart' functional displays are designed to provide extra-wide cross cockpit viewing angle. They are fully compliant with current night vision imaging system standards and other critical information and navigation requirements. Features include 3D digital map, advanced hover symbology, integrated FLIR, and embedded maintenance pages to configure optional equipment and monitor sensors.
The system will be fully compliant with the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency's 2020 Global Air Traffic Management requirements, allowing the aircraft access to US and European military and civilian airspace.
The company purchased its four UH-60As by auction from the US government for its digital cockpit modernisation development programme. With this first prototype now flying, the company is targeting the more than 2000 Black Hawks in operation worldwide with analogue cockpits.
Michael Rogerson, CEO, Rogerson Kratos, said: 'This first flight is an important day for all Black Hawk model A and L operators since they now are able to extend the life and mission of the aircraft.
'Our many years and flight hours of providing avionics for the twin engined helicopter industry includes a significant number of important industry firsts, such as certifying the industry's first flat panel primary flight display EFIS and EICAS in a helicopter. This Black Hawk application is the culmination of all that experience.'
According to the company delivery of customer cockpit upgrades will begin in 2017, and capacity will increase to three per month by 2020.