Press Releases


Universal Avionics Completes First Round of DAU Testing
for InSight™ Integrated Flight Deck

Howell Instruments, Inc. Selected to Engineer Customized Data Acquisition Unit
for Use in the InSight Integrated Flight Deck for the MD Explorer®

InSight A New Level of Awareness

Tucson, AZ – March 2, 2015 – Universal Avionics has selected Howell Instruments, Inc. to engineer a customized Data Acquisition Unit (DAU) for use in the InSight Integrated Flight Deck for the MD Explorer helicopter. Universal Avionics and Howell Instruments have completed the first round of DAU testing for the engines at Universal Avionics Engineering - Southeast Division in Duluth, Georgia USA.

The DAU is designed to deliver advanced data acquisition capabilities, providing Critical Engine Parameters/Collision Avoidance System (CAS) messages to the Primary Flight Displays (PFD) and Multi-Function Display (MFD)/Engine-Indicating and Crew-Alerting System (EICAS) display. The system also includes a data logger for recording engine information and a dual configuration module that sets the DAUs for the specific helicopter and installed options. These elements combine to provide redundant engine parameters, as well as advanced engine information related to performance and life cycle management.

"In parallel with our progress on EICAS developments, we're supporting the installation of the system in a full scale cockpit mockup at the MHDI facility," said Grady Dees, Universal Avionics Director of Technical Sales. "Universal Avionics is constructing the avionics harnessing for the mockup that will serve as a fully operational integration test rig, human factors evaluation platform and eventually serve as a demonstration/training device," he added.

The rig will have the capability to perform integration testing with all avionics systems as well as provide dynamic simulations in a fixed base environment. Universal Avionics and MDHI are in discussions with training companies for a full flight simulator.

MDHI is the launch OEM customer with the InSight Integrated Flight Deck for production and retrofit MD Explorer helicopters. Specifically tailored for the low altitude operations of rotorcraft, the new flight deck features large format high-resolution LCD displays with LED backlighting. A collective-mounted Cursor Slew Switch allows for a unique 'Point & Click' display control allowing pilots to keep "hands on, head up" during all phases of flight for unprecedented situational awareness.

Development of the package for the Next Generation MD Explorer has been underway well before the public announcement and rollout of the InSight trade name made at NBAA2014 this past October.

To learn more about the InSight Integrated Flight Deck for the MD Explorer, stop by Universal Avionics Booth 4655 or Howell Instruments Booth 963 during the 2015 HAI HELI-EXPO while exhibit halls are open March 3-5. Representatives will be on hand to speak directly to customers interested in the program. More information can also be found at:

About Universal Avionics Systems Corporation

Universal Avionics is a leading manufacturer of innovative avionics systems offered as retrofit and forward-fit solutions for the largest diversification of aircraft types in the industry. Markets served include Business, Special Missions, Government / Military, Airline (regional / commercial), Helicopter and OEM. To learn more about Universal Avionics, visit

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