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Heli-Expo 2018 breaking news: Lightspeed Aviation has incorporated its renowned active noise reduction (ANR) headset technology into a solution for Gentex’s popular HGU-56/P flight helmets.
These are the same rugged helmets used by the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard, and by law enforcement.
The power of Lightspeed’s ANR system lies in its ability to ‘listen’ to the audio occurring in the cabin, and to actively generate wavelengths designed to cancel out unwanted sounds. This is why a Lightspeed headset/helmet wearer can hear full-range audio, plus what’s happening with their aircraft and its engine, while being relieved of the high noise levels found in many helicopter cabins.
“With Lightspeed ANR inside, wearers of aviation helmets will hear crystal-clear radio and intercom communications.” said Teresa De Mers, Lightspeed Aviation’s executive vice president of corporate development.
In addition to its excellent ANR, the new product being shown at Heli-Expo for the Gentex HGU-56/P helmet features the comfortable Gentex Comply ear seals, a Kevlar-reinforced cable assembly, full Bluetooth capability, a quick disconnect cable, and a three-year warranty.
“We worked with Gentex to create a complete package that works seamlessly in the helmet, and meets the side impact test specification,” said De Mers.
The initial helmet ANR solution introduced at Heli-Expo last year, dubbed Zulu H-Mod, finds its roots
in the popular Zulu headset legacy of Lightspeed.
“Zulu H-Mod was inspired by the numerous requests we had from customers over the years that wanted the premium ANR experience for their helmet,” said De Mers.
“Some customers were so determined to have Lightspeed ANR in their helmets, that they were using disassembled headsets to try to accomplish the task. This is why we decided to do the job properly, engineering a ground-up product for helmet wearers that has purpose-built ANR along with the complete feature package pilots using premium headsets are accustomed to.”
Zulu H-Mod will fit into a variety of popular helmets and can be installed into an existing helmet or added to a new one. Both products are available from a select group of certified installers trained by Lightspeed in
both the installation process and after sale service.
In addition to having ANR, the Lightspeed LSA 56 and Zulu H-Mod products come with integrated Bluetooth connectivity.
This enables wearers to wirelessly connect to their devices for music, phone calls, and in an emergency, back-up coms. This same Bluetooth connectivity allows critical audio alerts received from popular navigation apps to go directly into their helmets.
Both systems include ComPriority, a feature which automatically lowers the volume of any auxiliary device during radio or intercom transmissions. Meanwhile, the Kevlar-reinforced cable “has proven itself to be very strong and durable in the field since we began using it over three years ago,” said De Mers.
Ensuring peace of mind, both products are backed by Lightspeed’s three-year warranty.
ANR was introduced to aviation in the 1990s and Lightspeed has been a pioneer in advancing the technology for pilots since the introduction of its first headset in 1996. Since then, there has been an evolution in the basic technology, and through its customer-focused product development, Lightspeed has not only led the way with many of the features pilots now take for granted, but has also earned recognition and awards from the people that really use the products.
The widespread adoption of ANR by pilots is due to the tremendous benefits of reduced pilot and crew fatigue, better situational awareness, and hearing preservation.
“These benefits are now available to helmet wearing pilots and crews,” said De Mers. “These new products are truly the next step in comfortable, intelligible, and enjoyable helicopter in-flight communications.”
At Heli-Expo 2018, Lightspeed Aviation will have a selection of helmets on display that include either the LSA 56 or the Zulu H-Mod installations at its booth, with experts on hand to answer questions.
Additionally, Lightspeed certified helmet installers will have units on display in their booths. Both products are available for immediate shipping.