Engine manufacturers Honeywell and Rolls-Royce expressed tempered optimism about the helicopter marketplace at February’s Heli-Expo, where each released its annual industry forecast. Both predicted a dip in deliveries and offered caveats reflecting the precarious state of the economy.
Aviation International News » April 2009
The UK’s Home Office has announced funding for six new police Eurocopter EC 135s. The £5 million ($7 million) capital grant for air support is part of the first joint procurement by six UK police forces. The Police Air Support Units in Suffolk, Cheshire, North Wales, Cleveland, Midlands and Chilterns will each receive a new Pratt & Whitney Canada-powered EC 135P2i.
Eurocopter is offering an EC 135 helicopter flight simulator at its training facility in Donauwörth, Germany. The simulator features a full-motion system with six degrees of freedom. It can display daylight, twilight and night conditions as well as any weather situation, according to the helicopter maker. Its mission spectrum includes rescue operations in snowy mountains.
Minutes before a Cougar Helicopters Sikorsky S-92 fell into the Atlantic March 12, one of the pilots radioed that the helicopter had “zero” main gearbox (MGB) oil pressure. Two pilots and 16 offshore oil workers were aboard the helicopter when it either crashed or ditched 47 miles East of St. John’s Newfoundland.
Daher Socata launched a TBM 850 co-ownership program dubbed “Fly And Share your TBM” (Fast), with guaranteed operational availability for owner-pilots. For each one-third share of the turboprop single, 100 days of availability per year are guaranteed. Devised for two or three co-owners, the program calls for the partners to agree on time sharing. There is no management fee and no commitment for a number of flight hours.
Just two days after the second Rolls-Royce RR300-powered Robinson R66 made its first flight in February, Robinson Helicopter CEO Frank Rob- inson still had little good to say about small turbine-powered helicopters.
Seven adults and seven children aboard a Pilatus PC-12 (N128CM) were killed when the turboprop single crashed at approximately 3 p.m. local time on March 22 while on approach to Bert Mooney Airport in Butte, Mont. The group was reportedly headed from California to Bozeman, Mont., for a skiing trip, but the pilot diverted to Butte for an unspecified reason.
Bombardier finally received its long-awaited first order from Deutsche Lufthansa for its C Series airliners, the Canadian manufacturer announced last month. The contract includes a “firm purchase agreement” for 30 of the smaller, CS100 (formerly C110) version of the 110- to 145-seat pair of jets, valued at $1.53 billion.
The used business jet market has not yet reached equilibrium. That was the general consensus among industry experts at the National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA) forum in Dallas at the end of February.
Asia Jet Partners Limited of Hong Kong has developed its Chartercard program designed specifically for Asia. The company teamed with Metrojet and its parent company, the Hong Kong Aviation Group, because “they have been operating in Asia since 1978 and have established, first-class infrastructure and personnel in place,” Justin Lee Firestone, founder and CEO of Asia Jet Partners Limited told AIN.