Newsletter #109 | News
Gulf Coast Avionics Completes Panamanian Bell 412EP Upgrade
Gulf Coast Avionics completed a full digital upgrade (glass cockpit) on a Bell 412EP helicopter operated by the Panamanian Servicio Nacional Aeronaval, the joint air branch of Panama forces.
Gulf Coast Avionics, December 23, 2014 - Lakeland, FL - Rick Garcia, President and CEO, Gulf Coast Avionics announced that the company recently completed a full digital upgrade on a Bell 412EP helicopter operated by the Panamanian Servicio Nacional Aeronaval
"When this 412 arrived in our shop last August it looked every bit like a helicopter that had worked long and hard. As you can imagine, its original analog avionics and instruments were becoming unreliable and difficult to repair," Garcia said. "The state-of-the-art digital avionics package including Garmin Helicopter Synthetic Vision (HSVT) gives Panamanian Public Forces pilots the highest levels of system reliability, safety and situational awareness."
Andy Smith, GCA's Installation Sales Representative explained that the project began with the removal of all of the helicopter's original analog avionics, mechanical flight and engine instruments, wiring harnesses, and mounting hardware.
"To accommodate the new Garmin EFDs, GTN radios and Electronics International digital engine displays we had to design and fabricate a new, custom metal instrument panel and center pedestal for the 412," he said. "We also had to build-up new wiring harnesses that would integrate all the new digital avionics with the original autopilot, weather radar and other instruments that were staying in the aircraft."
"One of the major challenges with this upgrade was integrating the analog units the operator wanted to keep in the aircraft. It took a lot of effort and planning to get the autopilot, radar, engine instruments, TCAS and other systems to work seamlessly with the new digital displays," Smith said. "We couldn't have done it all without a tremendous amount of help from the support teams at Garmin and Electronics International. Their cooperation was invaluable."
Smith explained that the upgraded Bell 412EP panel now features:
"I know the Panamanian National Aeronaval Service is extremely happy with their 'new' Bell 412EP. And, while I am exceedingly proud of the panel itself, I am even more pleased by the outstanding work and dedication that the Gulf Coast team put into this project," Garcia said. "Like any major panel upgrade, this one took a great deal of coordination and cooperation from everyone in purchasing, engineering, and installation. This was a great team effort." Aircraft mentioned in this article :
Bell 412EP AN-135 ( Servicio Nacional Aeronaval )
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Bell 412 in Servicio Nacional Aeronaval