Last month the FAA published a proposed NPRM covering new airworthiness standards for composite structures on normal-category rotorcraft under FAR Parts 27 and 29.
Aviation International News » February 2010
Customers will begin to see demonstrably better product support, including hard AOG (aircraft on ground) support, from American Eurocopter by the end of the second quarter of this year, according to a senior executive for the company.
The annual Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo–at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston February 21 to 23–opens at a time of continued uncertainty about the direction of the global economy. Last year, the buzz at the show revolved around how fortunate the helicopter industry was because its members serve such diverse users, including commercial, corporate, government and military customers.
France-based turboshaft manufacturer Turbomeca has delivered its 2,000th Makila engine to Eurocopter. The engine powers an EC225. The latest version of the Makila, the 2A1, offers 2,411 shp at maximum emergency power (one engine inoperative). The engine maker plans a TBO increase, to 4,000 hours.
On December 29 last year, France-based manufacturer Hélicoptères Guimbal completed a €1.8 million ($2.6 million) injection of capital. ACE Management is a new shareholder, as is iXcore. Sofipaca, which already had a stake, contributed, too. Company founder Bruno Guimbal and “other original shareholders” retain the majority. The capital injection is expected to help the company ramp up production of the Cabri two-seater.
In Vergiate, Italy, last month, AgustaWestland delivered an AW139 to VIH Cougar Helicopters. The U.S. operator will use the 12-passenger aircraft for offshore transport missions in the Gulf of Mexico. A few days earlier, Eurocopter handed over two EC145s to Helicopteros Marinos, an Argentinean offshore operator that serves the oil and gas industry in the southernmost area of the country.
The Federal 3rd District Court of Appeals has denied a Florida real estate developer’s bid to use a floating helipad originally built for President Richard Nixon in Key Biscayne. Nixon owned a vacation home there during his presidency. The helipad violates local ordinance; however, Nixon’s use was protected under federal law. The Court ruled that once the federal government abandoned the helipad, jurisdiction reverted to the local government.
One of the few public scheduled helicopter routes in the world, linking Helsinki, Finland to Tallin, Estonia, has been discontinued. Finnish operator Copterline has ceased flying over the Baltic Sea between the two capital cities. In April, it contracted UK-based International Bureau of Aviation (IBA) for the remarketing of two AgustaWestland AW139s. Last month, IBA announced the medium twins had been sold to U.S.-based operator PHI.
Scott’s Helicopter of Le Sueur, Minn., has acquired the type certificate and assumed all aspects of commercial spares support, technical support and continued airworthiness for the FAA type-certified Bell 47 (H-1, 2H1, and 2H3). Henceforth the aircraft will be known as “Scott’s-Bell 47.” The Bell 47 made its first flight on Dec. 8, 1945, and Bell and its licensees built more than 5,600 before production ended in 1974.
The French helicopter industry is endeavoring to catch up with the U.S. in satellite-aided precision approaches, as it strives to enable landings and takeoffs at hospitals in IMC. The ultimate aim is to build a solid network of inter-hospital low-altitude IFR routes, according to participants at a forum held by the Toulouse-based air and space academy late last year.