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Airbus Helicopters has received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for the Rig’N Fly (Rig Integrated GPS approaches with eNhanced Flyability and safetY) for its H175 super medium helicopter.
Already certified for the H225, this avionics upgrade enhances the H175’s offshore mission capability, providing fully automatic rig approaches. The automated mode also reinforces flight safety by allowing the crew to focus on the flight parameters and the external environment.
“With 19 helicopters now in operation, the H175 continues to evolve to meet the demanding oil-and-gas industry mission needs,” said Marc Allongue, head of the H175 program. “This automatic approach procedure is a key element to increase the reliability and safety of our customers’ offshore operations. Thanks to the Rig’N Fly mode, their approaches to and take-offs from platform-based helipads will be safer and simpler.”
Rig’N Fly uses a combination of sensors (GPS, barometric altimeter, radar altimeter, weather radar, etc.) to provide enhanced flight precision and situational awareness for automatic rig approaches. The system also includes offset approaches, which can be tailored according to weather conditions and oil rig environment for the safest, standardized approach, placing the helideck in the most easily visible position for the crew.
By providing a repeatable path computation, the ability to couple the automatic flight control system along with the flexibility to take environmental elements into account, Rig’N Fly reduces the workload of the crew, while enhancing situational awareness.
The H175 upgraded avionics suite also include advances in the synthetic vision system — offering a better display resolution and decluttering capability — and in the helicopter terrain avoidance system, which optimizes crew alerting time. Approach-deviation alerts have also been improved while enhancement of the maintenance functions and associated ground tools allow for better detection of failures and simplification of data downloading.