Chelton, S-TEC Merger, New Products Almost Complete


Chelton Flight Systems (CFS) and S-TEC Corporation, both part of Cobham plc’s Avionics and Surveillance Division, are consolidating their offices and product integration activities and moving forward to develop new avionics as their parent merges the two companies, according to a briefing this week at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008. S-TEC, which was acquired by Cobham at the beginning of 2008, employs 180 people and operates out of a 10-acre engineering and production campus. The merger involves closure of Chelton’s Boise, Idaho, headquarters and relocation of most staff to S-TEC’s facilities in Mineral Wells, Texas. The merger has gone so smoothly, the company said, its main challenges now involve branding issues.

Among the new products being developed for CFS are a GADAHRS, or all-in-one-box GPS/air data/attitude/heading reference system for both certified and experimental aircraft. Meanwhile, the company also plans to develop and STC a stability augmentation and autopilot system for light helicopters. Slated for completion by the end of 2008, CFS’s efforts on the new product will first concentrate on FAR Part 27 helicopters like the Robinson R44 and then move into larger rotorcraft certificated under Part 29. Finally, as the two companies’ merger is finalized, sales and support functions will be realigned, allowing “one-stop shopping” for the installed product base, including S-TEC’s more than 35,000 autopilots.