GPMS, Flightcell, and Blue Sky Network partner to meet US Forest Service MATOC Requirements
Companies develop combined solution to create a lightweight, low-cost option for helicopter operators
Waterbury, VT – September 26, 2022 – Today, GPMS International, Flightcell, and Blue Sky Network jointly announced a combined solution featuring their industry-leading technologies that creates a fully compliant, lightweight, cost-efficient option for operators looking to bid on the recently released U.S. Forest Service Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) firefighting contract.
Executives from the companies explained that many operators are having difficulty finding workable solutions to satisfy the new requirements in the USFS contract. By pairing Flightcell’s & Blue Sky Network’s enabled communications, flight following, Additional Telemetry Unit, and cockpit audio recording with GPMS’s advanced Health and Usage Monitoring System, the combined package meets new USFS requirements including the “modern aircraft” specification for HUMS.
“After many discussions during the HAI Firefighting and Aerial Firefighting shows, operators told us that they are looking for a solution to meet the new USFS requirements without overburdening their aircraft with additional weight or complexity or stacking single system costs onto their budgets,” said Todd Powers, GPMS VP of Sales. “What we have created here with Flightcell and Blue Sky Network is a lightweight, economically efficient solution to bring aircraft into compliance and allow operators to compete for this new contract.”
Jason Hicks, VP of Business Development of Blue Sky Network, echoed the sentiment adding, “We’re excited to announce a combined solution that checks all the boxes, requires no development or certifications, and is readily available today.”
The USFS Helicopter Support Services contract requires real-time communications, automatic flight following, and ATU bucket drop data, together with cockpit audio recording and Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) data. The new combined solution meets these requirements. It puts Flightcell’s DZMx Plus and Smarthub cockpit audio visual recording onboard and, using Blue Sky Network’s connectivity service and SkyRouter™ fleet management platform, data is ported via a dual Satellite/LTE modem, where operators get comms, ATU data, and flight following in real-time together with downloadable audio/video recording.
Completing the solution, GPMS’s Foresight MX system provides the in-depth flight and machine monitoring that are part of the MATOC’s modern aircraft requirements for HUMS. Foresight provides engine and airframe vibration monitoring, engine performance monitoring and cycle counting, flight data monitoring with exceedance alerting, as well as rotor track and balance monitoring and adjustment solutions.
John Wylie, CEO of Flightcell, said “The joint solution, in addition to helping North American operators meet USFS requirements, provides a powerful combination of communication, connectivity and monitoring functionality for Operations, Safety, and Maintenance personnel. With Satcom, FDM, and HUMS, you really get the suite needed to enhance safety and optimize maintenance.”
The companies are excited to provide this combined solution and will work together to provide further enhancements in 2023.
About Blue Sky Network
Blue Sky Network is an industry-leading provider of mission-critical fleet management, business continuity, and operational analytics solutions, serving commercial and government customers worldwide. Founded in 2001, Blue Sky Network is the partner of choice to track, manage, and optimize high-value assets in real time anywhere in the world for improved safety, reliability, and operational efficiency. Headquartered in San Diego, California, with dealers in over 50 countries, the company holds Anatel certification and maintains offices in São Paulo, Brazil, and Scottsdale, Arizona. Learn more: www.blueskynetwork.com.
Blue Sky Network is an Iridium service partner and VAM.
Setting quality standards since 2000, Flightcell is a leader in the global aviation communications systems and hardware industry, leveraging strong strategic relationships with aircraft manufacturers, industry partners and government. Flightcell’s trusted products are highly configurable for operational requirements, with focus on providing solutions to rotorcraft, VLJ and turbo prop fixed wing aircraft that specialize in aerial firefighting, air medical, search and rescue, law enforcement, and military.
GPMS’s Foresight MX offers a next-generation, predictive Health and Usage Monitoring System that goes beyond HUMS. Foresight MX is designed to give equipment operators the power to “Know it before it matters” providing Machine Condition Monitoring, optimized Rotor Track and Balance, and Fleet Data with Exceedance Monitoring in one powerful system. Fully predictive, Foresight MX offers insights needed to optimize maintenance, safety, and operations. GPMS has re-engineered the HUMS category to put its advantages within reach of every operator, making all platforms smarter and more connected.
GPMS already has STCs for Foresight MX on a range of helicopter platforms including Bell 407 GX/GXP/GXi, Bell 429, Bell 412/212, MD530, and Airbus H125/AS350 B3. The company has also completed the system for the Mi- Series helicopters and expects STC’s for the H135, the AS350 B2, analog Bell 407, and the UH-60A (Blackhawk)soon.