Kiwi satellite system 'ahead of curve'

00:44, Feb 26 2013
The Nelson based Flightcell team's newest invention is heading to Las Vegas. The Flightcell team: James Glasgow, John Wyllie, Martin Nichols, Hamish Neill, Hazel Twissell and Frog Twissell.

Nelson company Flightcell International representatives are flying out to Las Vegas where they will present their latest product to the world's largest helicopter show.

The company says its compact new Flightcell DZMx is the world's smallest, lightest, and smartest satellite communication and tracking system.

It weighs only 650 grams, and takes up much less space in the cockpit than any other satcom and tracking system in the world.

The company will launch the system at the 2013 HeliExpo next week.

Flightcell chief executive and founder John Wyllie said the Flightcell DZMx took all-in-one satellite/cellular technology to a new level.

"In addition to functionality, weight and size are critical in aviation, so our technical team have developed the smaller, lighter and more advanced Flightcell DZMx, while ensuring we maintain the integrity of the Flightcell DZMx's predecessors," he said.


"We know there is nothing like the Flightcell DZMx in the world, so we are very proud to be ahead of the curve."

By comparison, the product's predecessor,the DZM3, weighed 1.2kg, and other competitors' versions were 2kg-plus, said Flightcell vice-president Hamish Neill. "In helicopters, weight is everything."

At the expo the pair will target helicopter first responder groups such as law enforcement, air medical and fire services, as well as tour operators.

The company has invested five years in developing the systems, with a year spent on the newest version.

One of Flightcell's first clients, Garden City Helicopters, will be the first to install the DZMx when it goes into production in the middle of this year.

Tim Douglas-Clifford, chief pilot from Garden City Helicopter's Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Service, said the DZMx's specifications were impressive.

The system's components are made in Nelson and Christchurch.

"We want to keep it in New Zealand," said Neill.

Wyllie said Flightcell was proud to be a nimble team of innovators, based in New Zealand.

Last year the company was ranked 33rd on the Deloitte Fast 50 list of growing companies, and last week it was awarded for being the 262nd fastest growing technology company in Asia Pacific.

The company last year earned $3 million in exports and is looking to grow that.

While the Flightcell executives will be in Las Vegas, company director Jim Mace will be travelling with a New Zealand trade delegation to South America visiting Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Brazil presenting the company's products to key military and commercial customers.

Prime Minister John Key will lead the delegation next week as part of the Government's increased focus on strengthening bilateral relations, and capitalising on trade opportunities, with the Latin America nations.

He will be the first foreign leader to be hosted by the new President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, and the first New Zealand Prime Minister to make an official visit to Colombia.

The Nelson Mail