Helitech newcomer Thales highlighted its new FlytLINK satcom solution at Helitech. Derived from the company’s LiveAero airborne connectivity system (used on UK SAR helicopters), FlytLINK operates through the Iridium Certus network of 66 satellites, providing global coverage that extends to the poles and across the world’s oceans. The hardware is lighter and smaller than equivalent geostationary systems, a useful feature in smaller helicopter airframes where space and weight are at a premium.
FlytLink is certified for land and maritime applications, and the system has been delivered to three undisclosed helicopter operators for ground testing. Flight testing is scheduled to continue into 2019, leading to certification during the first half of the year.
Thales expects the system to be particularly useful in critical missions such as search-and-rescue, policing, and EMS.