Boeing to equip Special Operations helicopters with low-level safety and situational awareness avionics
FORT EUSTIS, Va., 12 Aug. 2011. The Boeing Co. Defense, Space & Security segment in Ridley Park, Pa., won an $8.4 million U.S. Army contract Thursday to provide flight-control avionics for U.S. Special Forces MH-47G Chinook twin-rotor heavy-lift and assault helicopters that enhance aircraft safety, precise control, and situational awareness at low altitudes and in poor visibility. Boeing will provide the Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS) for the Special Aviation MH-47G helicopter. The DAFCS uses modern control software algorithms to improve aircraft handling during hover and low speeds in poor visibility caused by sand and dust brownouts and snow whiteouts.
The MH-47G Chinook helicopter can perform missions as long as a radius of 300 nautical miles at low altitudes during the day and at night in bad weather and over rough terrain. Its CAAS avionics enables global communications and navigation, and has a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor for low-level flight in poor visibility and bad weather.
As part of the contract, Boeing engineers will install a hover display page in the Special Operations helicopter cockpit avionics that shows an X in the spot where they want to hover or land and the velocity vectors when the aircraft is drifting away from the desired point. Pilots, for example, could program the DAFCS to level the aircraft out at 15 feet, and automatically descend one foot at a time for a safe landing.
The DAFCS also enables the MH-47G pilots to fly up, down, and sideways in one-foot increments to hover and land safely in sand, dust, bad weather, and in blackout conditions at night.
Boeing will do the work in Philadelphia and should be finished by the end of 2013. For more information contact Boeing Defense, Space & Security online at www.boeing.com, or the Army Aviation and Missile Command Contracting Center at https://wwwproc.redstone.army.mil/acquisition.