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Astronautic Gets U.S. FAA Nod for RoadRunner

Jul 1,2019

Astronautics received U.S. FAA supplemental type certification (STC) for installation of its RoadRunner drop-in replacement electronic flight instrument (EFI) aboard Leonardo A109/119 helicopters. EASA and National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil approvals are expected to follow for these helicopters, while customer shipments, available through Astronautics’ authorized dealer network, have already begun. The STC follows TSO approval announced earlier this month.

Designed to reduce operating and maintenance costs, the RoadRunner is made to replace five-inch ADI and HSI electromechanical units. The unit is embedded with increased safety functionality that is found on modern EFIS, including HTAWS and synthetic vision. This comes with a “really big weight savings,” said Astronautics president Chad Cundiff, estimating that it could amount to 15 pounds per flight deck.

One of the key aspects for the RoadRunner is that it was designed for ease of installation. It comes with a wiring adapter harness and fits into existing slots for electromechanical units. “You are not cutting panels or running wires all over the aircraft,” Cundiff said, adding that the installation could take place in a day or two.

Astronautics owns the initial STC on the A109, but already had begun pre-production shipping to customers and/or installation centers for development of STCs on other aircraft, he said.

The company (Hall 3, Stand A40) has lined up a worldwide network of 16 dealers, some of which will be working on STCs. Cundiff believes the initial STCs will involve aircraft such as the Bell 212, 412, and 214, as well as the UH-60L Firehawk. United Rotorcraft selected the AFI 4700 RoadRunner EFI for two of its Firehawks operated by the Ventura County Fire Department in California.

During the “13th Five-Year Plan” period, domestic civil aircrafts have developed rapidly in such four major sectors as trunkliner, regional aircraft, general aviation and helicopter. Relevant data shows that China needs more than 7,000 civil aircrafts in 2017-2036, with a total value of more than USD 1 trillion. The annual average market space of China's electromechanical systems exceeds USD 8 billion. At present, the electromechanical system for aviation industry provides 11 systems, including power system, fuel system, hydraulic system, auxiliary power system and air management system, for civil aircrafts such as C919, MA60, MA700, AG600, ARJ21, Y 12, AC313, LE 500, and HO 300. The Civil Electromechanics System International Forum 2019 is committed to optimizing the electromechanical products of civil aircrafts and digital manufacturing with information technology to achieve excellence in the automation of electromechanical systems. 

Under this background, the 4th Annual AERO ELECTROMECHANICS CHINA 2019 will be held in the city of Nanjing on October 22nd – 23rd, register your interest or get in touch with marketing@galleon.cc for more details.

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