The extensive modification programme performed by RUAG Aviation provides significant advantages over the original avionics system. The AS350’s pilots are outfitted with superior situational awareness through the integration of a Garmin G500H Electronic Flight Display and an L3 ESI-2000 Standby Indicator, and benefit from standardised cockpit operations through the inclusion of a Garmin GTN650 Nav/Com Dual Installation. Together with a new instrument panel, the standardised avionics supply pilots with an improved overview and enhance efficiency in the cockpit.
The safety of the helicopter and its pilots and passengers is of course paramount. Committing to this, RUAG Aviation installed an Avidyne TAS605 Traffic Advisory System and Cobham Heli SAS autopilot, as well as a Freeflight RA4000 radar altimeter. In order to improve the AS350’s visibility, Whelen LED strobe lights were installed on its fuselage. Further enhancing the avionics of the AS350 are the addition of a Garmin GTX33 Transponder, Moving Terrain VisionAir X map display, PS Engineering PMA8000 audio control panel and a Motorola GM360 FM radio.
Passengers of the upgraded AS350 also enjoy new seat covers and carpeting within the helicopter’s cabin, tailored to meet the specific desires and requirements of the private VIP customer. “This project highlights the benefits gained by our customers through our extensive one-stop-shop capabilities,” says Claudio Zeiter, teamleader of Commercial Helicopter Services at RUAG Aviation. “The customer was able to conveniently liaise with a single source at RUAG Aviation, while the diverse work performed was coordinated entirely within our company – from avionics upgrades to cabin overhaul.”
RUAG Aviation possesses multiple EASA STC for the integration of single and dual Garmin GTN650 on Airbus Helicopters AS350 Series and EC120B. With the successful completion of this project, turnaround time on similar modification programmes in the future will be substantially reduced, as a result of the acquired experience and consequent decrease in required engineering investment.