Helicopters Magazine

News Aerial Firefighting
Ventura County Fire has new Firehawk helicopters


May 26, 2021
By Naomi Szeben


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Image courtesy of Axnes

Mission Wireless Intercom company Axnes announced the new reconfigured Ventura County UH-60L Firehawk’s are equipped with the Axnes PNG Wireless ICS.

Both aircraft delivered to the customer feature the integration of PNG’s GPS positioning capability of the MP50 handheld transceivers with the onboard AeroComputers UC-6000 digital mapping system for greater situational awareness of dismounted crew members, especially while operating at night and in rugged terrain. The Ventura County product was delivered from United Rotorcraft’s facility in Denver.

Ventura County’s Firehawk aircraft incorporates mission-specific equipment to meet specific needs, including the Axnes second generation PNG Wireless Intercommunication System (WICS). The aircraft were completed by United Rotorcraft, who specialize in high-quality next-generation airborne firefighting helicopter completions, specifically UH-60 conversions and new S-70i Firehawk integrations.

The DO-160G (environmental-airborne) and DO-178C (software-airborne) qualified PNG WICS is integrated with the aircraft Eagle Avionics digital intercom system increasing mission capability and operational safety for the most challenging scenarios, particular during rescue hoist missions.

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The PNG WICS frees crew members from the encumbrance of wired connections to the intercom while minimizing the potential for ICS cord snag hazards. Additionally, this wireless solution provides for the ability to move freely within as well as outside the aircraft while maintaining real-time communications with the crew.

The PNG WICS system is designed for integration into any aircraft communications suite, or it can be deployed as a standalone portable system. PNG provides robust, reliable, clear, and secure, full-duplex communications to crew members who are either wired or wireless.