UAE Company Launches Twin Rotor Helicopter
UAE-based Quest Helicopters, a new entrant in the rotorcraft industry, launched a tandem-rotor, light-twin helicopter–the AVQ–at the Dubai Air Show on Sunday. The $2.95 million rotorcraft, which will be designed in the Ukraine but manufactured in the UAE, features two counter-rotating four-blade rotors in tandem configuration and an ejection capsule for the occupants. First flight is planned for early 2013. The AVQ will be powered by two 450-shp, Fadec Progress DB/Motor Sich A1-450M turboshafts, though Quest is also considering Rolls-Royce engines. “This is a testbed,” noted Mike Creed, Quest’s commercial and deputy project program director. Thanks to the dual-rotor, twin-engine configuration, “we can add plugs into the fuselage.” Therefore, the company might decide its first production model will be “a four-seater or a fifteen-seater,” depending on flight-test results and market response. The ejection capsule is the main innovation on the AVQ. The cockpit and cabin separate from the rest of the airframe as one, and two parachutes bring the capsule back to earth. Quest says the capsule can be safely be jettisoned at heights as low as 300 feet.