VIH Aerospace enhance Bell 212 master caution panel
Nov. 6, 2014, Victoria, B.C. - VIH Aerospace (VIHA) has been awarded a Transport Canada Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for an aftermarket replacement Master Caution Panel (Serial #: MCP01) of the Original Equipment Manufacturer Master Caution Panel in the Bell 212 series helicopter (STC#: # SH14-43).
By Carey Fredericks
Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency approvals are pending.
Arne Arneson, General Manager for VIHA explains how the new, light-weight Master Caution Panel installation will greatly benefit Bell 212 operators. ‘The MCP01 is a one-of-a-kind installation provides a number of enhancements that positively impact aircraft safety and reliability. The current Bell 212 Master Caution Panel is wholly based on 1960’s era design and technology; and this fact consistently results in issues of reliability and even failure that most often results in extended repair or complete replacement of difficult to procure replacement panels. This ultimately results in aircraft downtime and loss of revenue for the operator.’
'The newly developed and STC’d Master Caution Panel offers a number of significant improvements to the existing assembly,' explains Arneson. ‘The MCP01 is a competitively-priced ‘plug-in’ design that utilizes the existing aircraft wiring and connectors, resulting in little to no down-time for integration.’ The VIHA Master Caution retrofit is less than half the weight, draws 75% less current, runs cooler than the original, and has a sealed design to eliminate potential environmental contaminants. It is also engineered with a ‘state recorder’ that digitally and accurately monitors and records multiple annunciator status in real time (2000+ events) for output for use in Helicopter Flight Data Management (HFDM) systems.
The intent of the complete redesign of the Bell 212 Master Caution Panel is to make the helicopter more reliable, maintainable and reduce the direct operator costs.
Arneson elaborates on how the new MCP01 positively impacts direct operator costs and aircraft availability, explaining that the customer price for VIHA’s new panel is equivalent to the cost of one day of operator down-time. Over the life of the aircraft, this will translate to considerably reduced maintenance and repair costs while dramatically increasing operational availability. The end result is increased reliability and data recording accuracy, and enhanced lifetime earning potential for the aircraft.
In making the Bell 212 Master Caution Panel available to the market, VIHA collaborated with Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corporation (AEM). AEM is one of the aviation industry’s leading designers and suppliers of avionics, illuminated panel and integrated information display products for both NVG and non-NVG aircraft for the global avionics and transportation sectors. VIHA was selected to collaborate on the project with AEM because of its long history of working with AEM, and for its industry expertise and success in supporting the Bell 212 platform. As such, product design, qualification and manufacture were undertaken by AEM, with VIHA taking responsibility for STC certification, product sales and distribution.
VIH Aerospace services include airframe and component MRO, Engineering and Design, Fabrication and Refurbishment, Avionics and Electrical and Non-Destructive Testing; all performed to Original Equipment Manufacturer specification and in accordance to various aviation governing bodies and organizations.