A look at an HAI member up close and personal.
Based in Cornwall, Vermont, GPMS was founded to improve health and usage monitoring systems (HUMSs) for helicopter operators. The company’s cofounders, Eric Bechhoefer and Jack Taylor, met at aircraft-components maker Goodrich Corp., now Collins Aerospace, a unit of Raytheon Technologies, where they worked on the first generation of HUMS. They saw firsthand the impact these new digital tools could have on aircraft safety, availability, and cost.
Bechhoefer and Taylor founded GPMS to develop a less expensive, lighter solution that would put HUMS within reach of even the light helicopter market. Using new smart sensors, integrated Wi-Fi/cellular connections, improved algorithms, and cloud architecture, they also aimed to improve the technology’s accuracy and usability.
The company launched its landmark product, Foresight MX, in 2018 after extensive testing with the aviation division of power and gas company Duke Energy. Today, GPMS’s condition-monitoring technology is popular in industrial and vehicular applications, but the company remains focused on rotorcraft.
After forging a relationship with Bell on the 407, GPMS has pursued additional certifications. Its product and service now are also available for the Bell 212, 407GX/GXP/GXi, 412, and 429, in addition to the Airbus AS350 B3. Further approvals are expected by the end of 2021 for the MD 530, the Mi-171, and the analog Bell 407/407 HP. The company is also working with eVTOL pioneer Beta Technologies.
Foresight MX is marketed as three systems in, one offering rotor track and balance information, flight data monitoring with exceedances, and engine and component condition monitoring.
Rotor track and balance. With rotor track and balance, the system recognizes and tracks the rotors throughout all stages of the flight from power on to shutdown, averaging 30 acquisitions per hour for monitoring or 4 acquisitions per minute in maintenance mode. They system delivers visual feedback, allowing maintenance teams to optimize track and balance adjustments to reduce vibration and decrease track and balance test flights.
Flight data monitoring. The system’s flight data monitoring function logs over 30 different flight parameters for analysis and replay and captures mechanical and operator-defined exceedances.
Engine and component condition monitoring. Foresight’s cloud-based dashboard is designed to allow users to instantly assess the status of key drivetrain components. The vibration monitoring function alerts the operator to components in need of replacement, providing an estimate of their remaining useful life.
Together these features give operators a complete picture of their aircraft, offering them enhanced safety, reduced maintenance costs, and the capability to modernize a fleet efficiently.