MD Helicopters has partnered with Universal Avionics Systems to integrate a new glass cockpit onto its MD 902 light twin-engined helicopter, which will be delivered in 2015.
MD is the first original equipment manufacturer to fit a Universal avionics flightdeck onto its aircraft, it says.
The goal is the transform the MD 902 into a single pilot instrument flight rules (IFR) capable helicopter. The upgraded instrument panel will be fitted with a new primary flight display and the enhanced cockpit will offer synthetic vision, electronic charts and video playback capability.
MD Helicopters owner and chief executive Lynn Tilton says that every customer who buys a new MD 902 aircraft before the modernised instrument panel is delivered will be offered a free retrofit for their helicopter.
The Federal Aviation Administration has also approved an increase in gross weight for the MD 902, which will now be certified at 6,770lbs (3,070kg) increased from 6,500lbs. MD is also working to increase the range of the MD 902 by 100nm (185km), Tilton says, taking it to 430nm.