Dart Helicopter subsidiary Apical Industries gained EASA approval for its pop-out/emergency floats for the Robinson R44 and R44 II, the company announced. The floats represent a lightweight, easy-to-install option for operators who routinely or even occasionally fly over water, Apical said, adding that the kit is also suitable for installation on the R44 Clipper.
Maintenance and Modifications
News and issues about aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), covering all segments of the aviation industry; and modifications for aircraft and engines. Subjects include product support of aircraft, engines and avionics, MRO company mergers, acquisitions, announcements and personnel, Airworthiness Directives, Supplemental Type Certificate approvals and other topics.
Eurocopter has long dominated the new helicopter sales market, but it has notably lagged behind its competitors in terms of customer service and support rankings within North America. Last year, the company ranked third overall behind Bell and MD Helicopters in a product support survey conducted by Aviation International News, sister publication of HAI Convention News.
PCB Piezotronics, a manufacturer of sensors and instrumentation with 40 years experience in the aerospace industry, announced the formation of a new division focused on the aviation and defense markets. The Depew, N.Y. firm specializes in the manufacture of force, torque, load, strain and acoustic pressure vibration sensors.
AgustaWestland (Booth No. 3039) doesn’t plan on introducing a new helicopter this week, but the company has plenty to say, beginning with the announcement that BERP IV rotor blades for the three-engine AW101 are now available as an option on new civil and military variants or as a retrofit on models already in service.
REB Technologies (Rebtech), Booth No. 4035, is modifying eight Bell helicopters with night-vision-goggle- compatible lighting systems for Med Trans of Lewisville, Texas. The Bedford, Texas-based specialist in night-vision lighting for civil and military aircraft is upgrading the interior lighting of a Bell 206-L1 and seven 407s in a program scheduled for completion next month.
Airwolf Aerospace has been issued an FAA STC for its permanent fix for main rotor blade delamination on the Robinson R22 and R44, an issue covered by Airworthiness Directive 2007-26-12. According to the AD, the blade skins begin to debond at the skin-to-spar bond line near the blade tip, and can separate when the bond line is exposed due to excessive erosion of the blade finish or when corrosion occurs on the internal aluminum tip cap.
American Eurocopter’s rotor blade repair shop recently completed work on its 10,000th blade, this one belonging to an Air Methods helicopter that flew in to Eurocopter’s Grand Prairie, Texas shop for maintenance.
REB Technologies (Booth No. 4035) of Bedford, Texas, inked a contract with Pilot Shop of South Korea for a night-vision lighting modification of a Eurocopter AS 350B3. The helicopter will enter service with the South Korean government’s Fire Aviation Corps. The modification will be performed in Korea in March, said RebTech president Richard Borkowski.
Aerostructures and equipment manufacturer Goodrich (Chalet CD07) tomorrow will inaugurate its new maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility here in Singapore. The facility is now Goodrich’s largest MRO facility in the world. In addition to sophisticated composite repairs, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company is here doing research and development, such as a fan cowl for Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force has begun a three-year research program with three EADS departments to develop advanced capabilities in the field of maintenance for the RSAF’s fleet of AS332 Super Pumas. The RSAF is working with Eurocopter, EADS Singapore Research and Technology Centre, and Eurocopter Southeast Asia.