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Maxcraft deal for Astronautics retrofit with Canadian Helicopters

February 5, 2020
By Helicopters Staff

Maxcraft Avionics and Canadian Helicopters reach a deal to retrofit a Bell 212 and Sikorsky S-61 with Astronautics AFI4700 RoadRunner Electronic Flight Instrument (EFI) technology. (Photo: Maxcraft)

Maxcraft Avionics Ltd. based in Pitt Meadows, BC, as one of Canada’s largest avionics shops, is teaming up with Canadian Helicopters to retrofit a Bell 212 and the Sikorsky S-61 with Astronautics AFI4700 RoadRunner Electronic Flight Instrument (EFI) technology. Maxcraft explains this is form-fit-function EFI that is designed as a replacement for the Attitude Director Indicator and Horizontal Situational Indicator primary flight instruments.

Maxcraft explains the AFI4700 RoadRunner was designed to reduce installation time, power, instrument panel, and cooling requirements, adding that the EFI is NVIS compatible, and displays HTAWS, TCAS, and weather with readability in all lighting conditions. SVS will be available as a future field-loadable upgrade.

The unit increases operational capability, explains Maxcraft, by enabling LPV approaches and is approved for single pilot IFR. With no mechanical components, Maxcraft states this feature increases reliability and a significant weight savings of 20 pounds over the legacy displays. Maxcraft’s Design Approval Organization (DAO) will develop the required STCs for approving the installation in both platforms.

“Maxcraft has been a long-standing supplier of Canadian Helicopters,” said Don Wall, president and CEO, Canadian Helicopters. “We anticipate significant benefit with this retrofit and are pleased to partner with Maxcraft on this initiative.” Canadian Helicopters is a diversified helicopter operator and support company with a fleet of close to 100 aircraft and a network of 25 bases providing operations across Canada.

The twin-engine Bell 212 is a two-blade, medium helicopter that first flew in 1968 and can be configured for 14 passengers and one pilot. Utilized in both civilian and military applications, Maxcraft notes it is considered a workhorse in remote operations, as well as in hot and high-altitude conditions.

“The Silkorsky S-61 models are true workhorses, with the modification of EFI displays we are easily bringing cockpit reliability and improved functionality to the pilots,” said Daryl MacIntosh, CEO, Maxcraft Avionics, describing this heavy-lift helicopter, which was initially designed for off-shore oil support and passenger carrying, but is now primarily used for utility work. “The additional connectivity to a multitude of avionics in the cockpit increases situational awareness and redundancy.”

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