Columbia Helicopters is ready for growth with new owners, behind the scenes at USATS, plus West Coast Helicopters, Civic Helicopters, used aircraft market outlook & more!
The Maximum Pilot View Kit (MPVK) will now be offered as an option during manufacture of the Airbus H125, following a new partnership agreement between Airbus Helicopters and MPVK developer Swiss Rotor Solutions.
The MPVK includes a single-piece right-hand side bubble door and lower vertical window, cut into the right-hand floor of the fuselage. It is designed to help aerial work operators, increasing their field of view below by a factor of 10.
The partnership, announced during Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia, will also see the MPVK offered through Airbus as a kit for retrofit.
The kit was certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency in 2017.
“Our own test pilots have flown on an aircraft with the MPVK to confirm that it’s safe [and] it works,” said Axel Aloccio, head of Airbus’s intermediate single program. “We’re confident it will bring value to our aerial customers in order to improve safety, [and] to really improve your [field] of vision.”
The partnership will take immediate effect, with Airbus ready to take orders to install the kits on production line aircraft and for retrofit.
During a media briefing ahead of Heli-Expo, Aloccio also revealed that Airbus is working on a reduced-size instrument panel that will also help improve the field of vision for H125 operators.
“We are going to keep the same avionics . . . but [we] are going to pack it into a much smaller instrument panel, which is basically half the size of the current instrument panel,” he said. “We believe it will interest a lot our aerial customers, because it reduces by half the size of the instrument panel and therefore you have way more visibility outside.”
Currently referred to in-house as the “lean panel” (the name may change), the slimmed-down panel will be offered as an option, with certification planned for the end of this year.