Astronautics upgrades MFDS software for AB-212

Astronautics Corporation of America is completing a software update to its multifunction display system (MFDS) for customer SENER, a multinational engineering and technology group, and Babcock MCS España (formerly INAER) on the Spanish Navy’s AB-212 fleet.

Astronautics' multifunction display system (MFDS) is a key part of SENER-Babcock España's avionics upgrade as part of the Spanish Navy's AB-212 Helicopter Life Extension Program. Astronautics Photo
Astronautics’ multifunction display system (MFDS) is a key part of SENER-Babcock España’s avionics upgrade as part of the Spanish Navy’s AB-212 Helicopter Life Extension Program. Astronautics Photo
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Astronautics’ MFDS is a key part of the avionics that have been upgraded for the Spanish Navy as part of an AB-212 Helicopter Life Extension Program. The upgrades will reduce maintenance costs and extend the operational life of the fleet by at least 15 years.

The MFDS system includes four 6×8-inch electronic flight instruments (EFIs) and an engine data concentrator unit with mounting tray–enabling the aircraft to display primary flight, navigation, and engine information along with the capability to receive and display video from a wide variety of standards.

MFDS is a highly-configurable system, and the current software updates will provide enhanced safety and situational awareness to the crew. Key updates include the addition of a radio-altimeter, low-altitude alert on the EFI that sounds an acoustic alarm and displays a visual alert on the primary flight display when an aircraft goes below the set radio altitude minimum; the addition of video panning capabilities that can accommodate any video source, enabling the video to maintain aspect ratio in portrait mode without miniaturizing the video; as well as the customized behavior of VHF omni-directional radio range, instrument landing system, and marker beach indications.

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The MFDS was developed from Astronautics’ AFD 6800, which has been certified on a significant number of helicopters and military transports.  The AFD 6800 display has proven reliability with over 10,000-hours mean time between failures.

“MFDS has been designed as a highly-configurable, highly-reliable system to meet the specific needs of helicopter operators,” said Astronautics vice president of displays & cockpit integration Rich Anderson. “The software upgrades we have made to the MFDS, which can be incorporated in the field, will give SENER a system with increased capabilities for its customers’ aircraft.”

The updated software will be delivered to SENER by the end of May. The MFDS achieved Technical Standard Order in June 2015, and Astronautics delivered the first system in September 2014.

To learn more about Astronautics’ electronic flight instruments and system capabilities, visit the company’s exhibit (stand C5854) during the HAI HELI-EXPO.

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