Press Release List

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

StandardAero and Thales Announce Launch Customer for Revolutionary Advanced Autopilot System for the H125/AS350

ANAHEIM, Calif. – January 28, 2020 – Today, StandardAero and Thales announced WeatherTech as the launch customer for their advanced 4-axis Compact Autopilot System for the Airbus Helicopters H125/AS350 platform.  Derived from certified transport category solutions, the Lightweight Compact Autopilot brings advanced, state-of-the-art 4-axis capability, performance and enhanced levels of safety to the light helicopter market, while eliminating the need for a traditional dedicated flight control computer.  David MacNeil, Founder and CEO of the well-known automotive accessories company WeatherTech, has decided once again to confer his aircraft upgrades to StandardAero by selecting Thales Compact autopilot for his fleet. 

“I have been pleased with the support received from StandardAero in modifying our H125 helicopters, and as we look to make additional safety and avionics upgrades to enhance these machines, the decision to include the Thales unique Compact Autopilot technology was an easy one to make,” said MacNeil.

StandardAero’s and Thales’ world-class engineering and Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) design partnership team will begin ground and flight testing for the new autopilot system on these aircraft beginning in early 2020.  Various equipment upgrades on each of the aircraft will allow for greater compatibility testing and eventual certification with a number of aftermarket modifications common to the popular H125 (B3e) and later model AS350 series of helicopters.

“We are happy to be working with Mr. MacNeil once again as a launch customer for the Thales 4-axis Compact Autopilot System, one of the pillars of our SAFECRAFT portfolio for the H125/AS350 series,” said Elvis Moniz, StandardAero’s Vice President of Business Development for Airframes and Avionics Solutions.  “This system will not only provide unparalleled safety to the light helicopter market based on a proven robust design developed and fielded by global technology leader, Thales, but it will also provide a truly modern solution with a smooth ride quality and advanced functionality that our business and private aviation customers desire.”

Attendees of the annual HAI Heli-Expo trade show in Anaheim, California on January 28 – 30 can visit the StandardAero booth (#2824) to learn more about the SAFECRAFT portfolio of products, including the new autopilot system.  A product demonstration of the autopilot system and other SAFECRAFT avionics equipment will take place in the StandardAero booth at 11 a.m. each day of the show.




StandardAero is one of the world's largest independent providers of services including engine and airframe maintenance, repair and overhaul, engine component repair, engineering services, interior completions and paint applications.  StandardAero serves a diverse array of customers in business and general aviation, airline, military, helicopter, components and energy markets. StandardAero is owned by The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG), a global investment firm with deep industry expertise that deploys private capital across four business segments: Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Credit and Investment Solutions. With $222 billion of assets under management as of September 30, 2019, Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of our investors, portfolio companies and the communities in which we live and invest.  For more information, go to www.standardaero.com.

Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global technology leader shaping the world of tomorrow today. The Group provides solutions, services and products to customers in the aeronautics, space, transport, digital identity and security, and defence markets. With 80,000 employees in 68 countries, Thales generated sales of €19 billion in 2018 (on a pro forma basis including Gemalto).

Thales is investing in particular in digital innovations — connectivity, Big Data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity — technologies that support businesses, organisations and governments in their decisive moments. www.thalesgroup.com