The iconic bubble-canopied Bell 47 helicopter is coming back. Scott’s-Bell 47 announced yesterday at Heli-Expo that it will build new Bell 47 helicopters, dubbed the 47-GT6, powered by the Rolls-Royce RR300 engine. The aircraft will be built from scratch, not remanufactured, and will be based on the 47G-3B-2A type design, taking advantage of the 3,200-pound max gross weight with external load that model was originally designed for. Internal useful load will be 1,400 pounds and external load 1,650 pounds.
News and issues concerning general aviation, specifically airplanes and helicopters powered by piston and alternative engines (i.e., non-turbine powered aircraft). Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
Helicopter Association International (HAI) president Matt Zuccaro fired back at the White House following its late February call for an end to the alternate depreciation tax plan for corporate aircraft. The tax plan allows buyers of general aviation aircraft to depreciate their purchases over five years rather than the seven-year depreciation mandated for commercial aviation.
Global demand for helicopters is expected to increase over the next five years, according to the results of Honeywell’s Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook survey, released here at Heli-Expo ‘13. Deliveries of new civilian-use helicopters will total between 4,900 and 5,600 units during 2013-2017 according to the survey, with strong demand focused in the first three years of the period and reflected in every region of the world. This is 35 percent higher for this three-year period than was recorded in last year’s survey.
For the fifth year running, Heli-Expo “appears to be setting records” for attendance and exhibitors, Matthew Zuccaro, president of show organizer Helicopter Association International (HAI) told AIN on the eve of Heli-Expo ‘13 here in Las Vegas. “We anticipate more than 23,000 attendees, we have approximately 750 exhibitors and 60 helicopters on display,” Zuccaro said.
With the biennial reshuffling of the U.S. Congress comes the task of reorganizing the general aviation caucuses in both the House and Senate. The GA caucuses are made up of representatives and senators who recognize and support the benefits that GA provides to the nation.
The 17,811 airplanes delivered in 1978 marked a bubble, and it’s no use looking back. What counts now for the lighter end of aviation is making the best of the new reality– fewer pilots, buying fewer airplanes, flying less.
Craig Fuller, president and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, announced today that he intends to step down from his position and from the group’s board. According to AOPA, Fuller plans to remain in his current role until a successor is in place. The board will conduct a national search for his successor. Fuller took office Jan. 1, 2009, and is only the fourth president of AOPA since the association’s founding nearly 75 years ago. He will assist with the search for a new president and the transition to a new administration.
Piper Aircraft ended 2012 with nearly $149 million in annual revenue from new aircraft sales, up more than 13 percent from the previous year. This revenue increase was the result of a 16-percent rise in deliveries last year to 158 aircraft, 22 more than in 2011. Piper delivered 93 of its top-line M-Class aircraft–including 39 Meridian turboprop singles–compared with 82 the previous year, which also helped the annual revenue mix. Meanwhile, the company named Jack Mill as vice president of engineering today.
Mahindra Aerospace, currently India’s only manufacturer of light aircraft for private/utility use, is preparing to open its new 270,000-sq-ft facility near Bangalore. This will be used for manufacturing metal components, aircraft assemblies and aerostructures, according to executive director and global CEO Arvind Mehra.
This morning at the opening session of NBAA’s 24th annual Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen looked to the start of the new session of Congress and used his podium to issue an impassioned plea for show attendees to contact their representatives, requesting they join the general aviation caucus.