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Sensor Technology - HeliNav-LoadMaster

By Bob Dobson

A helicopter load sensor to be launched at Helitech marries GPS (global position- ing system) track guidance with load sensing and a host of other intelligent functions to automatically optimise com- plex operations such as spraying and mul- tiple random load billing.

the weight of remaining spray. Also the GPS can be used, in conjunction with the standard SHAPE files, to avoid houses, streams, lakes roads, etc. ❚

Incredibly the HeliNav-LoadMaster sensor is completely autonomous with its own on-board display and computer. This makes it independent of the host heli- copter’s systems. It also means it can be swapped from one craft to another in sec- onds, allowing HeliNav-LoadMaster to be shared around a fleet of aircraft. Multiple load sensors can be used simultaneously using the same display.

“This is a major step forward for com-

mercial helicopter operators, who can now maximise the profitability of their flying hours, ” says Bryan Lonsdale Managing Director of Sensor Technology in Ban- bury. “Looking at a simple example, lift- ing stone from a quarry to a hillside to lay as a path; currently it is difficult to know the exact weight of each load and the total distance flown during the day. HeliNav- LoadMaster, keeps exact records, accu- rate to the kilogramme and metre, so you just download the data and invoice the customer.”

Other examples include crop spraying and water bombing. With multiple flights needed, HeliNav LoadMaster can ensure that the second drop starts exactly where the first finished. This guarantees even coverage and efficient use of sprays etc . Significantly as the bucket empties flow will naturally slow; HeliNav-LoadMaster can compensate for this by gradually opening the release valve in proportion to

www.ROTORCRAFTPRO.com • August 2009

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