Advanced human-machine interfaces now making their debut on business jets are finding their way into helicopter cockpits.
Aviation International News » February 2005
Oil-rig support company Seacor Holdings has completed a $118.1 million purchase of Era Aviation. The company will combine Era’s helicopter division, which had been based in Anchorage, with its own Tex-Air Helicopters unit and relocate it to Lake Charles, La. According to Era president Chuck Johnson, the helicopter division will fly under the Era name.
Representative Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) supports efforts to establish a new center for rotorcraft innovation (CRI) in Pennsylvania. Congress has allocated initial funding of $2.5 million from U.S. Army funds for the project. Rande Vauss, executive director for the new laboratories, told AIN that the facility would be set up at the Delaware County Campus of Penn State University.
Meanwhile, the Helicopter Association of Australia (HAA) has set up a disaster committee that will help local and international agencies quickly pinpoint the helicopter resources nearest to disaster areas.
Engineers from British consortium FBH (Bristow Helicopters and FR Group) are maintaining two Bell 212s that have been sent from Brunei to Sumatra, to support the disaster relief program following the December earthquake and subsequent tsunamis.
The year since Heli-Expo 2004 has not been a bad one for the helicopter industry, all things considered. The industry put on a confident face at Heli-Expo in March last year, with companies logging a record number of deals at the show. Bell announced its intention to claw back market share from Eurocopter and within 48 hours had taken walk-up orders for 11 copies of the just-launched IFR version of its 427 light twin.
ATR landed its biggest sale in recent memory last month when Indian budget airline Air Deccan agreed to take delivery of 30 new 72-seat ATR 72-500s over the next five years. The contract, disclosed during a joint press conference held January 6 in Bangalore, calls for Air Deccan to buy 15 airplanes and lease the other 15. It also calls for delivery of six used airplanes–three ATR 42-500s and three ATR 72-500s.
Perhaps the most vital component in Bombardier’s C Series of single-aisle commercial jets will consist not of metal, pneumatics or electrical circuits, but money. By the end of last month the company expected to know the stakes governments would risk, as its February deadline for all to ante up approached. Unwilling to tip his hand, C Series program head Gary Scott wouldn’t reveal the number of U.S.
Cases of complete failure of the Honeywell Primus Epic avionics display triggered an emergency AD from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for all Embraer 170s in late December. The AD raised the airplane’s minimum approach decision height to 500 feet above runway threshold elevation and increased the minimum runway visual range for takeoff to 1,969 feet (600 meters).
No one said it would be easy, but Embraer seems to have hit its stride after struggling early on to meet development and certification targets for its new four-airplane series of commercial jets.