Russian Helicopters looks to advanced technologies
Russian Helicopters has made a number of announcements at the 2012 Engineering Technologies forum regarding new technologies it plans to install on its helicopters in the coming years, including a comprehensive avionics system for monitoring flight conditions, autopilot landing and collision avoidance, and health monitoring systems. The company made the announcements 27 June 2012.
Starting in 2015 the company will install the avionics system, designed to improve a modern helicopter crew’s situation awareness, transmitting to the cockpit information about the aircraft’s position and environment as well as providing the pilot with images of the topography of the surrounding environment, including during manoeuvres at low altitudes in difficult weather conditions at any time of day.
According to the company, such an avionics suite can be built based on existing and newly developed systems. Its various configurations will provide the crew with highly accurate local positioning and also allow the helicopter to automatically hover above a given point and land automatically. The new intelligent system will inform pilots about hazards in the landing zone and issue warnings about dangerous proximity to artificial and natural hazards, including power lines. The helicopter, constantly updating and refining cartographical information, could automatically select an unprepared landing site, for example, in the case of an emergency situation.
The company also presented the Advanced Health and Usage Monitoring System (A-HUMS), designed to increase flight safety by providing full control over a helicopter’s technical condition in real time to increase the aircraft usability factor and reduce ownership costs.
The system sends signals in real time to allow crews to diagnose situations in which mechanical units and/or components face a risk of failure, determine trim balance and constantly monitor the blade track of the main rotor, which is a critically important component providing the helicopter with lift and flight control.
The company said that one of its main market demands is to reduce helicopters’ direct operating costs as well as to improve their economic effectiveness, and that A-HUMS will help helicopter operators plan ahead for maintenance of their fleets taking into consideration the actual wear on mechanical units and components.
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