Rotor Blades (RBI) of Broussard, La. (Booth No. 400), a subsidiary of Edwards and Associates of Bristol, Tenn., has arrived at Heli-Expo with an announcement of its expansion into Europe.
The specialist in rotor blade repair has secured and staffed a facility in southern England and is building a new facility in Warminster. Said Troy Penny, director of operations for RBI, “This is our second expansion in as many years, furthering our ability and commitment to serve operators throughout the world.”
The RBI UK facility is expected to open for business in the third quarter of this year. It will support all Bell models and pursue approvals to repair rotor blades for Sikorsky, Eurocopter and AgustaWestland helicopters.
Edwards (Booth No. 1901 and Static Display No. 6 and 7), an affiliate of Bell Helicopter Textron, a leading Bell Helicopter dealer and an approved customer service facility, also provides aircraft completions and refurbishments. In this capacity, it has agreed to work jointly with Chelton Flight Systems, part of the Cobham Avionics and Surveillance Division, to obtain STC approval for installation of Chelton’s new helicopter autopilot system in the Bell 206 and 407.
According to Paul Schreuder, vice president of marketing for Edwards, the Chelton HeliSAS “can be installed in one quarter of the time [about 40 hours] and for less than half the cost of a competitive autopilot.” Chelton and Edwards have a long-standing partnership to provide EFIS installations on Bell 407s. The HeliSAS can be installed in any helicopter with hydraulically augmented flight controls.
Another Edwards subsidiary, Aeronautical Accessories (Booth No. 1801) of Piney Flatts, Tenn., announced it has just received FAA certification of its High Visibility doors for the Bell 407. Rick Lewis, vice president of marketing for AAI, said the new doors would be particularly appealing to law enforcement and air-tour operators.