New Engine for AStars
New Engine for AStars
Eurocopter test pilot Didier Delsalle (center) and president and CEO Fabrice Brégier (right) accepted the world record verification from Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) representative Jacques Escaffe (left) for landing the first helicopter on top of Mount Everest (elevation 29,035 feet). Delsalle performed the feat last May in a production Eurocopter AS 350B3 AStar.
As demand for new helicopters surpasses the manufacturers’ ability to deliver, marketing consultant HeliValue$ said that prices are increasing dramatically for virtually all used helicopters. This year many used helicopters could sell for more than new copies of the same model. In fact, this has already occurred with the Bell 407.
If deals closed are the standard by which a trade show’s success is measured, Heli-Expo 2006 was an unqualified triumph. During the event, held in Dallas on the last three days of February, the major manufacturers announced sales approaching $700 million.
Ukraine’s Aviant and Russia’s Voronezh Aircraft JSC (VASO) plan to assemble 24 Antonov An-148 regional jets over the next two-and-a-half years, Aviant director general Oleh Shevchenko told the Russian media last month. Production schedules call for delivery of three airplanes this year, seven next year and 14 in 2008.
Slower-than-anticipated growth of regional air transport markets in Asia has apparently reached the consciousness of market prognosticators at Embraer, whose latest 20-year forecast for deliveries of small commercial jets reflects a less optimistic outlook for both China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.
After several delays, Siberian regional airline UTAir finally expects to begin flying passengers aboard a pair of Avions de Transport Regional ATR 42-300s this month, marking the first use of Western-built turboprops in scheduled airline service in Russia.
Northwest Airlines has extended the deadline for regional partner Pinnacle Airlines to pay another $21.7 million in aircraft sublease security deposits to April 15, as the sides continue to negotiate the terms of “their future business relationship.” In September Northwest requested that Pinnacle pay the additional funds by March 1, but the Memphis-based regional has refused.
A tentative labor accord reached last month between Northwest Airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association includes scope-clause language that would allow the airline to establish a new regional subsidiary, but only to fly airplanes certified to carry between 51 and 76 seats.
Members of the executive board of the local Teamsters chapter representing Comair’s 818 flight attendants unanimously passed a resolution to authorize a strike after the company asked a bankruptcy court judge to void their contract. The bankrupt regional airline has asked for $8.9 million in annual cost concessions from the group, which last month ended negotiations while it prepared for the March 27 to 29 hearings in New York City.