Dhruv gains interest as offshore ops helo

 - October 16, 2006, 8:43 AM

India’s Dhruv medium twin has reportedly impressed state oil corporation ONGC, which manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) says has a pressing need for a medium-class helicopter, for use in its offshore operations. Early last month the helicopter demonstrated Performance Class I criteria with 14 passengers on board, at all stages of a sector from Juhu, Mumbai, to Bombay High South Field, 80 miles off the coast. Temperatures at this time of year in India can climb as high at 104 degrees F.

First civil deliveries of the Dhruv are imminent, according to an HAL spokesman in Bangalore. The first of two helicopters for the regional government of Jharkhand is ready, with the second due for completion later this year. As it turns out, a reported order for 20 civil airframes, from Mumbai-based offshore operator Azal Aviation, never advanced beyond a memorandum of understanding. However, the spokesman told AIN that a recent change of management at Azal might present new opportunities.