Waco, Texas - FreeFlight Systems announce that Bristow Group Inc., a leading provider of helicopter services to the offshore energy industry, has selected FreeFlight Systems RANGR FDL‐978TX ADS-B Out solution for its AW139 helicopters serving Bristow’s customers in the Gulf of Mexico.
The FreeFlight Systems RANGR FDL‐978TX system for the AW139 is the first certified, fully rule‐compliant UAT based ADS-B Out solution available for Gulf of Mexico helicopters. The system allows Air Traffic Control in Houston to track aircraft operating in the Gulf of Mexico far beyond the range of ground‐based radar.
This can dramatically increase the efficiency of flights with more direct, point‐topoint routing. By contrast, aircraft not equipped for ADS-B Out in IFR conditions must manually report their position and direction of flight within a vast airspace grid, often resulting in complex routing, longer flights and increased crew workload. Bristow will install the FreeFlight Systems ADS-B Out solution in two AW139 helicopters serving customers in the Gulf of Mexico. Overall, Bristow operates multiple types of helicopters from facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, servicing 3,400 production platforms and approximately 100 drilling rigs.
“We selected the AW139 as the first Gulf helicopter model to receive a certified, rule‐compliant ADS-B solution specifically because leading operators such as Bristow rely on it for safe and efficient offshore transport,” said Tim Taylor, CEO of FreeFlight Systems. “Our system integrates seamlessly with the AW139’s advanced avionics suite in a straightforward installation and enables Bristow and its customers to realize quickly the significant benefits of ADS-B in daily operations.” “We’re looking forward to equipping our AW139s with the FreeFlight Systems solution to take full advantage of the existing ADS-B infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico,” said James Taylor, Bristow’s Avionics Manager overseeing the installation. “We expect the FreeFlight Systems RANGR installations in the AW139s to add even greater value to an aircraft that’s already proven to be a favorite among flightcrews and customers alike.”
As the first rule compliant TSO‐C154c UAT transmitter to comply with Advisory Circular AC 20‐165, the RANGR FDL‐978TX continuously reports course, speed and altitude data to air traffic controllers and other ADS-B equipped aircraft. The unit is qualified to DO‐160G environmental requirements (including helicopter vibration), weighs less than one pound and connects to the FreeFlight Systems low‐cost 1201 WAAS/GPS receiver. FreeFlight Systems completed the Supplemental Type Certificate for the RANGR FDL‐978TX earlier this year.
About Bristow Group, Inc.
Bristow Group Inc. (NYSE: BRS) is the leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry based on the number of aircraft operated and one of two helicopter service providers to the offshore energy industry with global operations. The Company has major transportation operations in the North Sea, Nigeria and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and in most of the other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world, including Alaska, Australia, Brazil, Russia and Trinidad.
FreeFlight Systems announce that Hilton Software LLC’s top‐selling WingX Pro7 iPad app has added support for FreeFlight Systems’ XPLORER high-performance ADS-B weather receiver. XPLORER support gives WingX Pro7 users market‐leading price‐performance for datalink weather and upgradeability for meeting ADS-B equipment requirements.
FreeFlight Systems’ XPLORER solution is based on the company’s RANGR family of 978MHz UAT ADS‐B systems. Permanently mounted with no cockpit wire clutter, XPLORER connects easily via WiFi to an iPad running on WingX Pro7. It includes an externally mounted ADS‐B antenna for optimal reception of ADS‐B Flight Information Service Broadcast (FIS‐B) textual and graphical weather on the WingX Pro7 moving map display. When paired with a certified ADS-B Out transmitter, the XPLORER system also supports full ADS-B traffic display. WingX Pro7 software features advanced split screen and track‐up display options to improve situational awareness, and offers with terrain, airspace and moving map VFR and IFR chart display.
“We are interfacing the XPLORER system with Hilton Software’s very popular WingX Pro7 iPad app based on a large number of customer requests,” said Tim Taylor, CEO of FreeFlight Systems. “The FreeFlight Systems XPLORER solution not only adds proven, high‐performance, professional‐grade ADS-B functionality now, it offers a sensible and economical upgrade path to meet the impending equipment requirements.”
“WingX Pro7 was a pioneer among iPad navigation solutions in adding ADS-B support. Like FreeFlight Systems’ XPLORER, it gives pilots truly advanced functionality and important safety tools at a very affordable price,” said Dr. Hilton Goldstein, CEO of Hilton Software LLC. “The XPLORER system is an important addition to the ADS‐B receivers that we support because it gives pilots an attractive option as they determine the best path toward meeting FAA requirements.”
Pricing and Availability
The FreeFlight Systems XPLORER receiver is available through aviation retailer Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. for delivery in August and is priced at $585. The WingX Pro7 app is available as a [Article].99 download from the Apple App store for a free 30‐day trial, with data subscriptions starting as low as $66/year at the end of the trial period.
About Hilton Software LLC
Founded in 2003, Hilton Software LLC is a market‐leader in the development of leading‐edge handheld‐based aviation software for General Aviation, Commercial, and Military pilots. Hilton Software LLC partners include Jeppesen Sanderson Inc. and AOPA. The company is expanding its line of successful products to make aviation safer, more affordable, and more efficient.
About FreeFlight Systems
FreeFlight Systems designs and manufactures high‐performance avionics systems that deliver substantial safety, cost, environmental and other benefits from the NextGen airspace transformation. Founded in 2001 and based in Texas, the company pioneered the first certified WAAS GPS receiver and today produces a range of high‐quality, American‐made, competitively priced ADS-B systems for installation in all aircraft types.