Astronics Max-Viz-1500 Approved for Bell 206 and 407 Helicopters Retrofit Applications in China

EAST AURORA, NY, February 26, 2013 — Astronics Corporation’s Max-Viz-1500 enhanced vision system has received approval by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for retrofit installation in Bell B206B/206L-4/407 helicopters.

Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO) is a leader in providing advanced technologies for the global aerospace and defense industries.  Astronics manufactures the Max-Viz-1500 enhanced vision system (EVS), which permits pilots to see much farther than the unaided human eye in many conditions of obscured visibility.

Astronics Executive Vice President Elliott Troutman said, “Astronics concurs with Bell Helicopter’s assessment that China will be the world’s strongest helicopter growth market with a need for 2,000 aircraft during the next decade. We also expect that there will be a tremendous need for enhanced situational awareness and improved safety in the country.  Having the approval of the CAAC for the Astronics Max-Viz-1500 enhanced vision system for these helicopters is an important step in serving that country’s expanding helicopter operations.”

“In some areas in China, atmospheric conditions due to weather and smog present an optimal imaging environment for enhanced vision technology that can help to reduce stress for pilots operating in such obscured environments,” Troutman said. There are far more Astronics Max-Viz enhanced vision systems in service around the world than any other EVS.

Troutman noted that Astronics is pleased that Bell is expanding maintenance capability in China. Bell Helicopter signed a memorandum of understanding to assist with the establishment of a maintenance training facility for Bell 206L and 407 helicopters in Guangdong Province. Bell also appointed Shanghai Kingwing General Aviation Co. Ltd. as a Bell Helicopter authorized Customer Service Facility.

According to Bell’s statistics, only 600 commercial helicopters support 1.3 billion people around China, while more than 8,000 helicopters support about 300 million people in the U.S.  Bell Helicopter, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is a leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft.

The Astronics Max-Viz-1500 is a dual optical field of view enhanced vision system with patented image software.  Designed by pilots for improved situational awareness in all phases of rotary and fixed-wing flight, the Astronics Max-Viz-1500 sets the standard for EVS for aviation. It is the choice for turbine rotorcraft, fixed-wing turboprop and jet market segments. The pilot-selectable dual field of view allows pilots to select wide angle or telephoto views of the world.

The Astronics Max-Viz enhanced vision system will be on display at Heli-Expo 2013, in Las Vegas, March 5-7.

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