Underscoring its growing popularity with operators worldwide, Airbus Helicopters’ Helionix avionics suite now equips more than 500 H135, H145, H160, and H175 rotorcraft around the world – with over half a million flight hours logged to date by this fleet.
Airbus continues to enhance the capabilities of Helionix with new features, functionality, and connectivity – as well as adaptations that are specific to the various versions in Airbus Helicopters’ rotorcraft family.
The pilot’s best friend
As the state-of-the art avionics solution developed in-house by Airbus Helicopters, Helionix provides greater operational safety and mission flexibility in an intuitive, pilot-friendly cockpit environment.
It offers an innovative cockpit layout with two-to-four multi-function screens designed to improve pilots’ situational awareness. In particular, the system displays only the most pertinent details of a flight phase – filtering out all unnecessary and distracting information, according to Christian Gottschalk, Head of the Helionix programme at Airbus Helicopters.
The system displays only the most pertinent details of a flight phase – filtering out all unnecessary and distracting information.
Christian Gottschalk, Airbus Helicopters’ Head of the Helionix programme
Completing the avionics suite are a GPS navigation/communication system and traffic advisory notification, along with a mission system incorporating a digital map, terrain avoidance capabilities and synthetic vision cockpit technology. Further contributing to a reduction of the pilot’s workload and enhanced safety is the Helionix four-axis autopilot.
Helionix also lowers helicopter maintenance costs by monitoring more than a thousand parameters in real time – allowing operators to monitor system trends and anticipate unscheduled maintenance operations.
Helionix is continually evolved with each new version, taking customers’ requests and feedback into account. This includes bolstering search and rescue (SAR) capabilities and introducing Rig’N Fly automatic mode approaches for landings on oil platforms. Other flight monitoring and failure management functions have recently been developed as well.
Following an agreement with the heli-offshore community to implement new helicopter terrain awareness and warning system (HTAWS) modes, a Vortex protection has been introduced as well – protecting the rotorcraft against loss of airspeed. Incorporated into the autopilot, this new mode can be integrated in all helicopters flying with Helionix.
New configurations and capabilities
Airbus recently certified a new single-pilot, IFR-compatible (instrument flight rules) cockpit version of Helionix for its H135 rotorcraft – giving customers an option to remove the co-pilot side of the instrument panel to increase the field of view, or retain it in order to install specific equipment.
For the H135, the planned single-pilot IFR cockpit will further boost this helicopter’s capabilities across multiple applications – including aerial work, utility missions and law enforcement.
In addition, a new wireless airborne communications system deployed on the H145 enhances connectivity by securely transmitting helicopter data in real time.
For Airbus Helicopters’ new H160, pilots will be the first to benefit from assisted take-off mode, which will assist them during this phase of flight. The pilots will only have to monitor the flight path as the autopilot takes control during lift-off, hover, acceleration, and climb.