ASAP Avionics of Victoria, British Columbia, has announced plans to build an FAA-approved glass cockpit retrofit for the Robinson R22 helicopter. This will follow the company’s recent supplemental type certificate approval for the R44 glass cockpit.
The R22 GT (Glass Trainer) will use two 8-inch Sagem displays. One will be configured as a PFD with navigation and attitude information, the other as an MFD with moving map, engine, and rotor instrumentation. The R22 GT improves upon the factory’s original (but no longer offered) R22 IFR trainer, which had a forward CG that restricted its useful load. The R22 GT improves the forward CG problem by reducing weight 10 pounds and shifting the CG aft. This is done by placing the lightweight glass displays in the panel and the majority of the necessary boxes and equipment under the co-pilot’s seat.
Specialized Helicopters of Watsonville, Calif., is an authorized dealer and is providing the initial R22 for the STC process.
According to owner Chris Gularte, “The idea behind the R22 GT is to offer a helicopter IFR training solution that is less costly than the R44.”
He sees tremendous demand from advanced students coming from the EMS and offshore industries that are already accustom to a glass cockpit and want to add an instrument rating.
The cost of the complete system installed is approximately $50,000.