Eurocopter will make its EC 145 available with certified night-vision goggle (NVG) capability in Europe, Canada and the U.S. The NVG configuration will be available for new helicopters and as a retrofit for those already in service. Eurocopter said it plans to extend NVG capability to the EC 135 next and to other models “on customer request.”
Aviation International News » August 2007
Eurocopter logged orders for 114 civil and military helicopters worth E1.2 billion at this year’s Paris Air Show and says it is on track to sell 700 helicopters this year. This summer the company also logged more orders from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which bought eight additional American Eurocopter AS 350B3 AStars in July.
Sikorsky is confident its upgraded medium twin, the S-76D, will make its first flight in the fourth quarter of next year, said Bruce McKinney, v-p for Europe. Sikorsky engineers are building the all-composite blades for the main rotor. Pratt & Whitney Canada has been running three PW210S development engines. Wind-tunnel tests have been performed to check engine inlet icing.
Sikorsky is readying its X-2 demonstrator for flight tests late this year. The hybrid design, which looks like a helicopter with two contrarotating coaxial main rotors and one tail propulsor, already had its fly-by-wire system tested in a Schweizer 333. The actual X-2 has undergone engine and drive-train ground tests. Preliminary performance figures call for a 250-knot cruise speed and range of 500 nm.
Retrofit technology that could turn the Pentagon’s fleet of Black Hawks and other helicopters into 200-knot, high-altitude speedsters, and later be applied to the civil market, is one step closer to reality.
Most pilots by now are aware that at some point in the future, today’s ATC system is expected to morph into something called NextGen, Administrator Marion Blakey’s term for what was previously known as the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS).
Jack Pelton, chairman, president and CEO of Cessna Aircraft, and John Rosanvallon, president and CEO of Dassault Falcon, have been elected to the board of Corporate Angel Network, the nonprofit that arranges free flights for cancer patients using empty seats on business aircraft. Dassault Falcon also announced the promotion of Jeff Habib to senior vice president of U.S. sales.
McDonnell Douglas MD-369D, Volcano, Hawaii, June 15, 2003 – The commercial pilot and three passengers were killed when the MD-369D lost power and crashed onto a rugged hardened lava flow in the Volcanoes National Park. The NTSB determined that the loss of power, and the accident, was caused by the fatigue fracture and separation of the compressor coupling adapter.
Swearingen SA-26AT, Jacksonville, Fla., Nov. 27, 2003 – The NTSB concluded that the commercial pilot of the SA-26 that crashed on an ILS approach to Craig Airport descended below decision height in low ceilings and fog. A factor was the pilot’s decision to attempt the instrument approach with weather below the prescribed minimums.
Bombardier CL600-2B19 CRJ, Asheville, N.C., March 19, 2006 – The NTSB found that company maintenance personnel improperly installed the pilot’s windshield on the Pinnacle Airlines jet, which resulted in flame and smoke in the cockpit and the subsequent emergency landing.