Spidertracks took the opportunity at this week’s HAI Heli-Expo in Louisville, Kentucky, to introduce several new features for its Spider product offerings. The company says its new products will help operators around the world optimize their businesses through better monitoring and communication.
“We want our users to know how an aircraft is flying when they can’t see it, and we want them to have access to the information they need,” said Spidertracks’ CEO Dave Blackwell. “Instead of looking at a fleet as 10 or 20 separate aircraft, we’ve taken a step back and looked at the bigger picture to give that operator more, and more valuable, information.”
The Auckland, New Zealand-based tracking company introduced three new features that can be added to the existing Spider plan. Virtual FDR is a flight-data monitoring add-on that allows the Spider to record flight data such as altitude, speed, roll rate and G-forces. The data can be transferred to a cloud platform and overlaid onto existing satellite tracks. Virtual FDR allows the operator to identify how the pilots are flying the aircraft, which could lead to adjustments to safety management systems (SMS).
Spidertracks’ new Scheduling feature allows operators to improve the management of upcoming flights and crew assignments, which could potentially make the operator more efficient. The cost for the Scheduling feature is $20 per month per aircraft.
Spidertxt 2 is an updated version of the Spidertxt add-on, which allows the Spider user to communicate to and from the cockpit from anywhere in the world through an iOS or Android device. The new version of Spidertxt allows the user to bundle messages to reduce the monthly cost by up to 87 percent, Spidertracks says. Plans vary from $20 per month for 100 messages to $50 per month for unlimited messages.
Spidertracks also launched a new pay-as-you-go service called Aircraft Tracking as a Service (ATaaS). Rather than making an initial purchase, users can choose between several plans that include the Spider hardware.