Foresight MX is GPMS’s next-generation health and usage monitoring system (HUMS) and the Mi- series kit is adapted to Mi-8, Mi-17, and Mi-171 aircraft and variants. The company is already accepting orders for this comprehensive helicopter performance monitoring system on the Mi- platform.
“GPMS is committed to bringing advanced helicopter health monitoring to the world’s rotorcraft,” said Jed Kalkstein, GPMS’ President. “Our work on the Mi- series demonstrates that we can adapt our predictive, full-featured Foresight MX HUMS to large, global platforms.”
The engineering and certification work is being done by GPMS in partnership with VTS Aviation, a US-based specialist in the Mi- family of helicopters, and Avia-Grade, a Ukrainian avionics, aero engineering, and maintenance organization. The installation was performed by Avia-Grade on its Mi-8 at the Motor Sich engine manufacturing and overhaul facility in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.
To date, few commercial or military HUMS have been adapted for the older Mi- series helicopters and current production models lack this avionics system.
Reducing time spent on troubleshooting
“This capability hasn’t been readily available for the Mi- series helicopters before and today’s operators and their customers are demanding mechanical system and flight data monitoring to ensure safety, availability, and asset optimization,” continued Kalkstein. “Foresight MX delivers this through a modern, lightweight kit.”
For the Mi- series helicopters, the aftermarket Foresight MX kit weighs under seven kilograms exclusive of sensor wire. Comprised of 16 CPU-equipped smart sensors, three tachometers, and an Onboard Control Unit, the kit can be installed in roughly 140 hours. The certification package was ODA approved in accordance with FAA Supplemental Type Certificate requirements and is available for local civil aviation authority authorization.
Greg Vose, of VTS Aviation, commented: “Today, we have operators – be they government entities interested in predictive maintenance or mining companies focused on safety – asking us about advanced monitoring capabilities. They now need that platform utility and ways to reduce time spent on troubleshooting and rotor track and balance. GPMS, which is quite simply the world leader in this category, has produced a lightweight, modern system we know the market will respond to.”
The Foresight MX-equipped aircraft is scheduled to enter service supporting the United Nations World Food Program’s humanitarian mission in Africa beginning early 2022.
Earlier this year, GPMS has received an FAA Supplemental Type Certification for Foresight MX on the Bell 429 GlobalRanger.