in General Aviation

Thales and StandardAero achieve first 4-Axis Autopilot Flight Test

Posted 30 November 2020 · Add Comment

Thales and StandardAero have successfully achieved the first flight test of a revolutionary compact autopilot system that they say will bring Airbus AS350 and H125 helicopters into a new era of performance and safety.

Thales and StandardAero achieve the first flight test of a revolutionary compact autopilot system that they say will bring Airbus AS350 and H125 helicopters into a new era of performance and safety.   Image:  Thales

"The launch of this flight test programme is a key milestone for StandardAero and Thales.  This product combines Thales’ Autopilot experience, based on billions of flight hours accumulated and outstanding customer satisfaction, with StandardAero’s extensive aftermarket capabilities in aircraft modification and certification.  We aim to bring a user-friendly solution offering an unparalleled level of safety and reliability to the light helicopter market," said Jean-Paul Ebanga, Thales vice-president of Flight Avionics activities.

The Thales/StandardAero compact autopilot is an intuitive automatic flight control system on the AS350/H125 that increases safety through reduced pilot workload.  It provides stability augmentation, attitude retention and flight director modes such as altitude or heading hold and reduces the risk of aircraft incidents.

“This state-of-the-art, 4-axis autopilot system has been designed as a straightforward retrofit and provides pilots with simplified operation that will help reduce wear and tear on the helicopter while making flying in normal and adverse conditions much easier and safer for the crew and passengers,” said Elvis Moniz, vice president of Product Development for StandardAero’s Helicopters business unit.  “Moreover, with the increase in EMS flying and recent CFIT related helicopter accidents, anything that can help pilots navigate more safely is of paramount interest.” said Moniz. 

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