Helicopter manufacturer and Textron Inc. subsidiary, Bell Flight, is adding a new piece of standard equipment to its Bell 407GXi single-engine, civil utility helicopter program: bird-deterring, pulsing lights.
The Pulselite System – developed by Precise Flight, Inc. out of Bend, Oregon – is an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified lightweight electrical system controller that alternately pulses the landing and auxiliary lights of a helicopter. According to Precise Flight, it increases aircraft visibility by reflecting the speed and directional movement of the aircraft. In addition to enhancing the margin of safety by increasing aircraft recognition, Pulselite has been proven to significantly reduce bird strikes.
The recent growth in global bird populations, combined with the increase in global air traffic, has caused bird strikes to become a primary safety threat and financial burden to rotorcraft operators.
“The Bell 407 program is committed to providing our customers around the world with the safest and most innovative aircraft in the rotorcraft industry,” says Eric Sinusas, program director of light aircraft for Bell Flight. “Our decision to make the Pulselite System standard equipment is the result of an extensive and thorough evaluation process and will enable our customers to increase their margin of safety for the lifetime of the aircraft.”
Learn more about bird strikes and mitigation technologies
“The Bell 407 program is one of the most innovative and successful programs in the global rotorcraft industry,” says Doug La Placa, Precise Flight CEO. “Precise Flight is honored to supply the Pulselite System to the Bell 407 program, and we are excited to share the many proven safety benefits of the Pulselite System with Bell's customers around the world.”
The Pulselite System is certified for all major rotorcraft models through the FAA and was recently granted foreign co-validation from the European Aviation Safety Administration (EASA), the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for Bell 407 aircraft. The system has also been installed on tens of thousands of aircraft of all categories, including airline jets, business jets, and fixed wing aircraft general aviation aircraft.
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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.
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