CANADA'S NATIONAL Research Council (NRC) plans to begin voice-control flight tests in July, using its Bell 412 Advanced Systems Research Aircraft (ASRA). A Canadian Marconi (CMC) speech-recognition system will be used to control selected communications and navigation functions in the helicopter.

The flight trials will be funded by the Department of National Defence, which is interested in using voice control to reduce crew workload in the Canadian Forces' new CH-146 Griffon Utility Tactical Transport Helicopter (UTTH). The ASRA and UTTH are both versions of the Bell 412EP.

CMC's CMA-2082 avionics-management system, which is also installed in the UTTH, will be used in the voice-control flight tests. CMC has donated a CMA-2082 control/display unit to the NRC as its contribution to the ASRA consortium, an industry/ Government/university team, which is funding development of the research aircraft.

The NRC's IMELDA speech-recognition algorithm, which performs well in high-noise, high-stress environments, is used in the voice-control system, says CMC. A 99.6% recognition rate in previous "fly-by-voice" helicopter flight-tests has been demonstrated, the company says.

Lufthansa has selected CMC's CMA-2102 satellite-communications antenna for factory installation on Airbus A340-300s and Boeing 747-400s to be delivered from early in 1996. CMC says that 16 airlines have now selected its high-gain satellite communications antenna.

Source: Flight International