TopDeck avionics for S-76D

Sikorsky S76DThe Thales TopDeck avionics
suite is to be installed in the Sikorsky S-76D. TopDeck is an integrated
modular avionics suite in a glass cockpit.

“The key to enhancing
safety is to optimise the crew’s cognitive workload, particularly during
complex tasks,” said Yves Joannic, vice president helicopter avionics
activities of Thales Group “TopDeck allows a pilot flying the S-76D
helicopter to directly control cockpit tasks on his displays using an intuitive
Cursor Control Device (iCCD). This iCCD – the first of its kind on a helicopter
– puts all the functions at the pilot’s fingertips, thus reducing workload,
shortening reaction time and increasing safety.”

Several variations of the
TopDeck avionics are currently flying onboard the AgustaWestland A109, Boeing’s
Chinook and the ATR72 from the ATR consortium.

“Throughout our test
flight programme, the S-76D helicopter prototypes have performed exceptionally
well, with a smoothness and ease of flight that our customers have consistently
expressed great excitement over,” said Dan Hunter, Sikorsky Global
Helicopter’s director of programmes. “Our partnership with Thales on this
element of the aircraft’s development has been very successful in leveraging
the inherent scalability of the TopDeck suite and further enhancing its
functional content. As with all of our products, we expect to continue to add
functionality as missions expand and the marketplace demands new
capabilities.”

Over the last several
months, Sikorsky has offered customers an opportunity to fly the prototype S-76D
aircraft. Greg Barnes, S-76D chief programme pilot said “The S-76D will
offer a multitude of new capabilities in an intuitive, interactive cockpit that
is very user friendly. In essence, it is a comprehensive cockpit that is not
complex to operate. These features will be especially valuable to operators
flying in demanding offshore oil or emergency medical missions.”

Delivery of the first
aircraft to the launch customer is slated for 2012.

Terry Spruce

Terry is Senior News Editor and writes for both Corporate Jet Investor and Helicopter Investor. He is also responsible for our helicopter guides. Terry has been an aviation enthusiast since the early 1970s. He is a lapsed Private Pilot and ex-Piper Cherokee owner. He has flown a number of light aircraft and is comfortable sitting in the co-pilot's seat or the back of any aircraft. Before moving to journalism he was a banker for 20 years. You can contact him at: terry@corporatejetinvestor.com or follow him on twitter @Terry_Spruce

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