StableLight Helicopter Autopilot Earns FAA STC

The four-axis autopilot was designed to reduce pilot workload and improve mission capability.

Thales and StandardAero have announced that their StableLight four-axis autopilot has been granted a supplemental type certificate (STC) by the FAA.

Available as a retrofit for Airbus AS350 and H125 helicopters, StableLight is based on Thales’ previously certified Compact Autopilot system for light and medium helicopters. Thales credits “a recent revolution in actuator design” by its engineers for allowing it to create a “true” autopilot light enough and cost-effective enough for light helicopters. The system was developed in partnership with StandardAero.

“We are excited to bring this state-of-the-art autopilot to market in partnership with Thales,” said StandardAero Military, Helicopter, and Energy Sector president Marc Drobny. “The features offered by StableLight will be a major game changer for pilots and operators alike—it provides unparalleled performance, taking the already capable AS350 and H125 aircraft to the next level.”

Offering stability augmentation, attitude retention, and auto trim, StableLight’s feature set includes stabilized climb flight attitude recovery, auto hover, go-around mode, and a terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) with auto-pull up functions. According to Thales, the system has been tested by “pilots representing numerous operators and industry experts” over the last year. Thales noted that it has also applied for EASA and Transport Canada validations of the StableLight STC.

Base price for the StableLight kit, which weighs in at 40 pounds fully installed, is $150,000. StandardAero estimates that installation time will average 2 to 3 weeks. The launch customer for StableLight is Illinois-based MacNeil Aviation LLC. 


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