Aspen Avionics Targets Copter Cockpits

Aspen Avionics has partnered with a pair of third-party shops to earn several supplemental type certificates for helicopter applications. Announced at Heli-Expo in Houston, the STCs include those for installing Aspen EFD1000H flight display systems in Bell 206 and 407 models. As with fixed-wing applications, the EFD1000H replaces the six fundamental mechanical flight instruments with solid-state electronic versions in a flat-screen display. The Aspen system is designed to fit directly into the standard three-inch instrument holes in the panel, simplifying installation. Priced at $14,995, the EFD1000H comes with its own Air Data Attitude and Heading Reference System (ADAHRS), built-in backup GPS receiver and backup battery. The STC was derived in partnership with Keystone Helicopter, Coatesville, Pennsylvania, a subsidiary of Sikorsky. Aspen also announced STCs for the EFD1000H primary flight display and its partner multifunction displays in Robinson R22 and R44 models as well as Eurocopter's AS350 and AS355. That STC was developed in partnership with engineering firm Chippewa Aerospace, Myrtle Beach, North Carolina. Installations are expected to begin in the second quarter of this year for the Robinsons and third quarter for the Eurocopters. Even more than with fixed-wing aircraft, solid state avionics can hold promise of increased reliability in a helicopter's high-vibration environment, compared with mechanical gyro instruments.