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Heli-Expo 2017: Universal Avionics announce software success

7th March 2017 - 12:00 GMT | by Georgina Smith in Dallas

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Exhibiting at Heli-Expo 2017, Universal Avionics has announced that its new Transition to Hover feature has been successfully integrated and tested on the AS332L/L1 Super Puma helicopter.

The flight test was completed on a military helicopter at Heli-One's facilities in Stavanger, Norway, as part of an ongoing modernisation programme in collaboration with the Canada-based MRO provider. The programme is contracted by NATO's Support and Procurement Agency for the Bundespolizei German Police.

Installations under the programme include Universal Avionics EFI-890H advanced flight displays, with dual UNS-1Fw multi-missions management system (MMMS) and single radio control unit, for which initial flight testing was completed in March 2016.

Universal Avionics' STC approval was received in October 2016 for upgrades to the AS332's advanced flight display and Flight Management System (FMS).

The Transition to Hover feature is part of a new software change for the Universal Avionics FMS, providing single-action target marking to initiate an automatic downwind leg with course reversal procedure. This enables hands-free operation for deceleration to a stable hover downwind of the target.

Grady Dees, director of sales at Universal Avionics, emphasised the benefit of the new technology for over-water winch operations.

'This is an important addition to the FMS/MMMS SAR capabilities,' he said.

Reiterating this view, Anthony DiNota, president at Heli-One, called the Transition to Hover feature a 'valuable tool for crews', highlighting it as heavily beneficial for SAR missions in particular.

Heli-One has over 100 major and minor modifications available for the AS332 series. Flight information system upgrades with Universal Avionics equipment have also been adapted for other platforms, including the Sikorsky S-61 and S-76.

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