Gig Harbor, Washington-based HeliTrak is offering an autopilot for the R44 that has features for speed envelope protection, full-time low-G detection and warning and the ability to recover the aircraft from unusual attitudes.
The product is in the final development stages including in the process of gaining FAA approval. The initial product will have two-axis capability for basic flight guidance functions and control of the helicopter. HeliTrak says their flexible high-integrity design, all Level A software architecture, built-in ADAHRS and triple-redundant hardware architecture will support upgrades to three-axis and four-axis capability.
Thumb-operated buttons mounted on the cyclic grip and the panel-mounted LED display provide continuous status information and ease of use. The unit is completely self-contained with all of the sensors built into the system. No external GPS, gyros, ADAHRS or glass panel are required to get it up and running. The system weighs less than 10 pounds and the company says it can be installed in about 20 hours. “The system is simple but high-integrity. It is self-contained and lightweight and scalable to 3-axis, 4-axis and 4+ capability,” said Chris Nehls, president of HeliTrak.