Commercial, Military, Public Service

Wind Farm Applications to Be “Significant” Part of Collins Aerospace’s Hoist Business

By Frank Wolfe | March 5, 2019
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Cory VanBuskirk of Collins Aerospace demonstrates the company's new Pegasus hoist system with the 'Rescue Randy' dummy

ATLANTA — Wind farm applications in the North Sea and elsewhere are to be a "significant" part of Collins Aerospace's personnel hoist business, company executives said here during Helicopter Association International's Heli-Expo 2019 trade show.

"We're expecting offshore wind farms and our wind farm business will grow exponentially, as we bring safety to the entire operation," said Cory VanBuskirk, the general manager of hoist and winch for Collins Aerospace's Mechanical Systems business unit.

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The company debuted its new Pegasus hoist system at this year's Heli-Expo and is targeting a variety of helicopter applications, including wind farms, offshore oil and gas, utility, paramilitary, search and rescue, and humanitarian operations.

Collins Aerospace wants to take Pegasus to market next year after getting certification from the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency.

"There are a few key differentiators between traditional hoists and Pegasus," said Samir Mehta, the president of Collins Aerospace's Mechanical Systems business unit. "For one, Pegasus has a digital backbone to provide real-time information on friction, heat, and wear on the components and how those affect hoist in order to help operators. With Pegasus, unlike traditional hoists, the barrel moves back and forth, but the cable stays at the same dispensing point, and that prevents what can be dangerous oscillation at the top. Third, Pegasus is a modular design so operators don't have to send it for MRO [maintenance, repair, and overhaul] , if there are repairs needed."

The two major helicopter hoist players in the U.S. market are Collins Aerospace and New Jersey-based Breeze-Eastern. Collins Aerospace's hoist business stretches back 40 years to Western Gear Corp. and Lucas Industries, which became part of TRW in 1999 and then Goodrich in 2002.

The Collins Aerospace rescue hoists are Goodrich designs that became those of Collins Aerospace last November after United Technologies completed its acquisition of Rockwell Collins and merged the latter with UTC Aerospace Systems to form Collins Aerospace.

A number of commercial and military helicopters can use the Goodrich rescue hoists, including the Leonardo AW139, the Airbus AS 350, and the U.S. Coast Guard's MH-60 Jayhawk by Sikorsky. In addition, Collins Aerospace is working to get certification this year of the current hoist on the Army UH-60 Blackhawk.

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