Thales’ new advanced helicopter avionics suite selected by Russia’s VR-Technologies

The FlytX avionics suite will equip the VRT500 light coaxial helicopter currently being developed by a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters

VRT500 helicopter The fully connected FlytX suite can be interfaced in flight and on the ground (Thales)

FlytX, Thales’ new connected avionics suite, has been selected by Rostec subsidiary VR-Technologies for its nascent VRT500 helicopter project, in a rare move for a Russian company to rely on Western technology nowadays.

A single-screen version of the FlytX avionics suite is to be installed on the VRT500, the future, light, single-engine coaxial civil helicopter, which is designed to operate in eight different alternative configurations, including passenger, cargo, medical evacuation and public safety.

The FlytX user-interface provides an efficient flying experience says Thales. Its large, integrated 15-inch touchscreen display is designed for smooth interaction between pilot and onboard systems, with intuitive access to information simplifying the decision-making process. Customisable and designed to accommodate future system evolutions and functions, this new flight deck meets the specific requirements of any crew flying any type of mission.

Employing open-world applications, the fully connected FlytX suite can be interfaced in flight and on the ground. With end-to-end cyber security assurance, pilots can therefore use any mission-specific application whilst keeping the helicopter in touch with the outside world at all times.

“We have recently launched VRT500 – our new single-engine coaxial helicopter programme. Collaboration with Thales on the state-of-the-art helicopter avionics anticipates new market needs and provides VRT500 with unique solutions based on intuitive, task-oriented, touch interfaces and safety,” insists Alexander Okhonko, managing director of VR-Technologies.

Contrary to other Russian aircraft programmes that are maximising the use of locally-produced equipment, the VRT500 relies instead on western technology. Typically, the new rotorcraft will be powered by a Pratt & Whitney PW207V engine, and Liebherr will provide the environmental control system etc.

The VRT500’s first flight is planned for this year, with type certification due for 2022.

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