Bowing to some inevitable delays after September 11, Bell/Agusta Aerospace reports assembly of the first two BA609 tiltrotors is nearing completion, with engine runups slated to begin this month. First flight is still scheduled to take place at Bell’s Arlington, Texas flight research center before the end of the year, although industry observers have expressed skepticism that this deadline can be met.
Citing a need to realign its executive lineup in the face of an economy that was already softening before it was rocked by the events of September 11, Textron has dismissed Bell Helicopter chairman and CEO Terry Stinson, filling his former position with John Murphey, Bell president and COO.
The only survivor of an August 10 sightseeing helicopter crash at the Grand Canyon has filed suit against Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters of Grand Canyon, Ariz., its four principals and a mechanic, as well as American Eurocopter (maker of the AS 350B2 helicopter), Turbomeca Engine Corp. and Zuni LLC, a Washington-based helicopter retailer.
Closed by a ban on operations within three nautical miles of the World Trade Center site since September 11, Manhattan’s three public-use heliports were partially reopened on October 12, but only to Part 135 operations. The announcement came as good news for air-taxi operators but disappointed the large local population of Part 91 corporate operators.
It should come as no surprise that citizen groups opposing helicopter operation over Manhattan are using the aftermath of September 11 to lobby lawmakers for further restrictions. Excerpts from a letter recently sent to members of the Helicopter Noise Coalition of New York City (HNCNYC) and New York Sens. Chuck Schumer (D) and Hillary Clinton (D) and Reps.
Taking its battle against high-priced OEM repair and technical manuals and their revisions to a higher level, Extex has placed all of the pertinent tech data for the Rolls-Royce 250 turboshaft engine, including inspection requirements, wear limits and repair procedures, on its Web site (www.extex.com). Extex is the first company of its kind to do so. The reasons behind this move are several.
The fifth and final prototype Sikorsky S-92 medium-twin transport helo, this one incorporating customer-inspired design changes and a new Rockwell Collins glass cockpit, made its first flight October 5 at Sikorsky Aircraft’s flight-test field in Stratford, Conn.
It was a hectic and somber time for delegates to the 22nd World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) Annual Conference and Exhibition, which was held in mid-September in Brisbane, Australia. Some 840 delegates registered for the event, where 170 companies promoted their capabilities and displayed equipment. Airlines sent 164 delegates and vendor companies 676 delegates.
Boeing Business Jets said it plans to install the Rockwell Collins Flight Dynamics Head-up Guidance System (HGS-4000) as standard equipment in all BBJs and BBJ2s. In addition to traditional HUD functions, the HGS-4000 provides improved low-visibility takeoff guidance as well as runway deceleration cueing, readout of remaining runway length and unusual-attitude recovery cues, said BBJ chief pilot Mike Hewett.
Canada’s CMC Electronics, the former Canadian Marconi, reported it has completed a second set of flight trials of its enhanced vision system, which uses a small infrared camera to capture a real-world view outside and ahead of the airplane and overlay it on a HUD.