In a choreographed display of lights and music, Bell Helicopter unveiled three refined mock-ups of its new, five-seat “short light single” (SLS) helicopter–now officially renamed the “505 Jet Ranger X”–this morning at Heli-Expo in Anaheim, Calif. The company previewed the SLS concept with an announcement and renderings last year at the Paris Air Show.
AINalerts » February 25, 2014
The third annual Abu Dhabi Air Expo, which opened today at Al Bateen Executive Airport, has become a prominent fixture of the Arabian Gulf general aviation sector, with about 13,000 visitors and 170 exhibiting companies at this year’s event. Air Expo is sponsored by Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Abu Dhabi Aviation and the UAE Ministry of Transport.
The European Business Aviation Association is pleased with the European Commission’s recent decision that continues operating aid for regional airports in Europe. Under the updated state aid guidelines, airports receiving less than 700,000 passengers per year will “continue having a range of funding options available to them.” The EC earlier considered limiting operating aid to a lower threshold of 300,000 passengers per year, which EBAA said could have led to the closure of several regional airports across Europe.
Lease Corporation International (LCI) of Dublin, Ireland, inked a contract today at Heli-Expo 2014 with AgustaWestland for as many as 18 helicopters worth more than $280 million. The order includes up to 14 AW139 intermediate helicopters and up to four twin-engine AW189s. The helicopters will be delivered from 2014 through 2018, if all options are exercised.
Aviation industry data provider JetNet released its year-end statistics for the pre-owned helicopter market, which shows that retail sales for used turbine and piston rotorcraft experienced double-digit year-over-year declines of 11.8 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively, in 2013.
Turbine helicopters saw an 11.4-percent increase in the number listed for sale year-over-year, with the percentage of the available in-service fleet increasing from 6.1 percent to 6.4 percent, while the average number of days on market declined by 18 days over the previous year, to 414.
Dassault Aviation delivered nine Falcons in the Middle East last year, pushing the regional Falcon fleet to 69 jets. “We are on a trend to increase our fleet by 10 percent. That is what we managed to do last year,” said Renauld Cloatre, Dassault’s Dubai-based Falcon sales director, speaking today at the Air Expo show in Abu Dhabi. “This year, we are into very strong negotiations on many different projects. It’s very good. We are very happy.”
Hartzell received FAA STC approval for its swept composite five-blade propeller for the Daher Socata TBM 700/850. Hartzell already has taken orders for the propellers and deliveries to TBM owners are expected to begin “shortly.” With the new propeller, the TBM’s takeoff acceleration from zero to 90 knots is 10 percent faster, climb rate is improved by several hundred feet-per-minute and cruise is increased by two knots. The five-bladed prop is also quieter, Hartzell said.
In-flight catering provider Air Culinaire Worldwide opened an owned-and-operated kitchen in Miami, just three miles from Miami International Airport. The new kitchen becomes the third Air Culinaire Worldwide kitchen in Florida and brings the total number of owned-and-operated kitchens in the company’s network to 19. “Our new kitchen will provide fresh, regional cuisine and familiar favorites to clients operating to Miami for major events or operating to and from the U.S.
VistaJet extended its partnership with MedAire to strengthen travel safety protocols and offer enhanced benefits to its passengers. In addition to offering medical assistance to passengers and crew in flight and at their destination, VistaJet’s new MedAire travel safety solution includes access to aviation travel security briefs. It also provides information and advice to mitigate risks at destination and access to the MedAire global network of security experts, local providers and logistics personnel.
Jet Aviation Dubai will move its business operations to Dubai World Central throughout the planned runway rehabilitation project this summer at Dubai International Airport. As such, it will support full FBO, line maintenance and AOG services at its Dubai World Central facility from May 1 through July 21. Following completion of the runway construction project, Jet Aviation will resume full maintenance and FBO operations at Dubai International Airport.