Just what is behind the curtain? Nearly a decade of speculation surrounding trademark and patent filings, leaked inter-company memos, and rumors concerning a major new model may be coming to an end for Bell Helicopter. The company is set to make a big announcement at its booth (No. 9846) at 11:30 this morning here at Heli-Expo.
All HAI 2012 News
Agusta Westland Tilt Rotor Co. (AWTR) flew an AW609 (née BA609) tiltrotor at Arlington Municipal Airport yesterday. The company also provided an update on the program, which comes in the aftermath of AgustaWestland’s taking over full ownership of the 609 project when former partner Bell Helicopter relinquished its half last November.
AgustaWestland established AWTR to complete certification and bring the AW609 to market, with its U.S. headquarters based at AWTR’s new office-hangar complex at the airport.
Airwolf Aerospace of Middlefield, Ohio (Booth No.10243) announced it has received FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval for its recently PMA-approved Torsion-Tension-(TT) Straps for Bell 206 JetRanger, 206L LongRanger and OH 58 helicopters, as well as STCs from the European Aviation Safety Association (EASA), Brazil’s Agencia Nacional de Aviacao Civil (ANAC) and Transport Canada.
These STCs will allow installation of the straps in regions of the world that do not otherwise permit use of PMA parts for flight critical components.
Honeywell’s 14th annual Turbine-Powered Civilian Helicopter Purchase Outlook report was released today and there was little in it that encourages breaking out the champagne or ordering a new Bentley. In short, it was a mixed review: in general, not so good in the short term, not so bad in the long.
While recent order rates have been healthy and near-term purchase plans remain strong, lingering tight credit conditions and significant inventories of used production models for sale continue to cast a pall on the industry.
A Bell Helicopter spokesman said the company is “working on” solutions to deal with the aftermath of an FAA Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) that could impact 697 of its 206L series helicopters on the FAA registry.
On February 1, the FAA issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (2012-02-51) that mandates the immediate replacement of main rotor blades on select Bell 206L, L-1, L-3 and L-4 helicopters after 1,400 hours, as opposed to the current 3,600-hour time-in-service limit, due to concerns about fatigue cracking.
Air Comm Corp. (ACC), a specialist in the design, production and support of environmental control systems for rotorcraft, is presenting “The Ultimate Guide To Helicopter Environmental Control Systems” today at 10 a.m. in Room C-148. The program is of interest to rotorcraft owners, operators and maintenance personnel.
The families of the two Colombian men killed in the July 2011 crash of a Robinson R66 have hired the high-profile Los Angeles law firm, Baum Hedlund, to represent them. Last month the law firm issued a press release featuring photos of the men with their families and blasting Robinson for placing “profit over passenger safety.”
North Flight Data Systems (Booth No. 7841) has announced it will integrate and certify its lightweight aircraft recording system (Lars) in the Bell 407. In cooperation with helicopter services giant PHI and Rolls-Royce, North Flight will be integrating its voice, video and flight-data recording systems into a Bell 407 airframe.
Component Control, at Booth No. 7321, has released “Remote Inventory,” an inventory management tool for Component Control’s core product, Quantum Control. Its users can set minimum and maximum inventory levels online, then track, manage and bill upon consumption for inventory co-located at any customer facility. The Remote Inventory program accelerates replenishment of stock to keep up with work in progress.
Robinson Helicopter (Booth No. 9840) recently delivered its 100th R66 single-engine turbine helicopter to long-time customer and South African-dealer National Airways Corp. Just 14 months after receiving FAA certification, Robinson has received 380 orders for the five passenger Rolls-Royce RR300-powered R66, 70 percent of those from the export market.