Helicopters Magazine

Aviation Battery Systems introduces new emergency offering

November 22, 2013  By Carey Fredericks

Nov. 22, 2013, Chandler, Az. - Helicopter operators can fly with added mission confidence thanks to an innovative portable battery product recently introduced. Arizona-based Aviation Battery Systems LLC (ABS) announces release of its StartStick, the aviation industry’s first stowable emergency start battery.

StartStick addresses aviators’ vital need for mission continuity and mission completion, in a weight-sensitive portable product offering. This compact, cutting-edge technology provides a redundant power source that gives pilots and program managers improved confidence that aircraft can reliably launch after each shutdown.

Landings on offshore platforms, remote bush helispots or emergency medical scenes all require that helicopters be able to leave for the return trip once aircraft are shut down. To this end, ABS has already engaged with leading offshore, air medical and training fleet operators who recognize that StartStick units can improve mission completion confidence. Arizona’s Quantum Helicopters has implemented six StartStick’s in its program recently.

Company founder Scott Urschel, also a pilot, saw both the need for mission reliability improvements and a lack of portable, lightweight versatility in power source offerings. “The StartStick is the first Stowable Emergency Start Battery,” stated Urschel. “Just like today’s flash/USB portable drives for our computers, StartStick plugs in when needed and can be carried anywhere; it is portable and effective.”

StartStick’s design gives appearance of a USB drive, plugging into the external power port on an aircraft, able to be used for most reciprocating engine fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters with power plants up to 900 horsepower. And once flying, StartStick is the only portable power supply to recharge during flight, meaning near total aircraft power autonomy for remote field operations.


“The unit can be charged with a utility 28-volt power supply found in most turbine helicopters,” states Urschel. “In this manner a pilot takes a major step forward in aircraft sustainability away from base. Our belief is that with this new technology available, operators should not launch without a StartStick.”

Added benefits exist for operators while parked on the ramp. “The StartStick is also ideal as a readily available portable power source for temporary power-up needs during avionics maintenance,” added Urschel. “This usage saves time and avoids handling burdensome auxiliary battery units from the hangar.”

Its Lithium Nano Phosphate battery chemistry is not only powerful but very safe, employing an integrated Battery Management Unit (BMU) which simultaneously monitors the health and state of charge of each cell. The compact housing of the StartStick is durable and chemical resistant, with an integrated display informing the user of charge state and other battery aspects.

“The entirety of these features make the StartStick the safest, most reliable and most versatile emergency start battery that an operator will ever buy,” says Todd Petersen, Aviation Battery System’s co-founder and chief engineer.

Whether preparing to leave the scene with a critically injured patient or sitting on an offshore platform’s helipad, StartStick is now the ‘Don’t Launch Without It’ component for helicopter operators.


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