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Hobbits and Helicopters

I confess: I’m a big fan of the Lord of the Rings movies. While J.R. Tolkien’s story is great, the scenery around New Zealand is truly breathtaking. But, you’re asking yourself what does this have to do with avionics? Well, if you’re an EMS, SAR or other hard working helicopter operator flying around those mountains, valleys, rivers and coastlines, day/night and in all kinds of conditions – my answer is plenty.

Spot on situational awareness is crucial to safe operations in and around New Zealand’s beautiful, but equally treacherous terrain. To fly safely here, you need advanced displays you can trust.

Using Advanced Displays

That’s why we’re especially proud that New Zealand based helicopter MRO, Airwork(NZ) Limited and helicopter EMS operator, Heli Otago have selected the Genesys Aerosystems’ IDU-450 Integrated Display Units as part of their extensive STC upgrade program for the legendary Airbus Helicopters’ BK117-850D2 helicopter.

As Simon Williams, Airwork (NZ) Limited’s Technical Business Development Manager told me recently, “The Airwork BK117 Evolution, provides customers with a highly-reliable, highly capable helicopter that is perfectly equipped to operate in the modern air traffic environment.”

Being a true, Part 29, “multi-mission IFR helicopter” in every sense of the term, Simon said that the capabilities and inherent ruggedness found in the Genesys IDU-450 displays were primary reasons they chose them for the Evolution’s extensive cockpit panel upgrade.

The Evolution’s standard IDU-450 package includes four high-resolution color displays, Genesys 3D Synthetic Vision with Highway-In-The-Sky (HITS) Navigation, Geo-Referenced Hover Vector, Helicopter Terrain Awareness (HTAWS), NVIS-A and NVIS-B Night Vision Goggle compatibility, and much more.

“When this is coupled with Airwork’s BK117 tailored engineering and logistics support, the Evolution version is the ideal solution, matching unprecedented performance with real economic reality,” Simon added.

While having our integrated displays selected for a modernization program like this is gratifying from a business standpoint – that’s why we’re here after all – it really means more to us on a personal level. Knowing that these helicopters will play significant roles in saving property and lives throughout New Zealand gives everyone here at Genesys Aerosystems a great deal of pride.


Until next time, fly safely,