Pietro Venanzi took the left seat in the BA609 during the tiltrotor’s return to flight status, at Bell’s XworX center near Fort Worth, Texas, on June 3. The 80-minute hop in aircraft one (A/C1), witnessed by AIN, was not the Italian test pilot’s first time at the controls of the tiltrotor. He had taken them on several occasions alongside project test pilot Roy Hopkins, during the first flight-test phase between February and June 2003.
Aviation International News » July 2005
BAE Systems in England has developed an active collective for helicopters that can be configured to provide infinitely variable levels of feedback to the pilot.
At last month’s American Helicopter Society forum in Grapevine, Texas, several OEMs unveiled entirely new projects or reported major progress on projects under development. Two of those new projects are based on original designs that first flew more than 50 years ago. Of particular interest, given recent history, is that all but one of the designs are the result of American research and development.
The relaunched helicopter service between the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo carried more than 500 passengers in its first month of operation.
Helisureste from Spain officially took the reins from Malta Aircharter in March.
The company’s EASA-compliant Bell 412 can carry 13 passengers on as many as nine flights per day.
The American Helicopter Museum of West Chester, Pa., has opened a new toddler learning area for children ages six and under. The play zone features a big yellow seven-sided control tower with knobs to turn, a radar screen, voice-activated LED displays and a radio as well as puzzles and other fun activities. Call (610) 436-9600 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
After making a dawn raid on an airport, armed gunmen stole a government-owned Bell 206L in eastern Venezuela. According to the local governor, it was the second helicopter to be stolen from the airport at Ciudad Bolivar in less than a year.
Enstrom has received certification for new elastomeric dampers for its 480B. The dampers, from Lord Corp., are being incorporated on productionaircraft and can also be retrofitted. They replacehydraulic dampers and, says Lord, improve ground operation, ride and handling qualities. They are also expected to cut maintenance costs.
The first A119 Koala built in the U.S. (destined for ERA Helicopters of Anchorage, Alaska) has flown for the first time. Seven months after opening its production facility in Philadelphia, Agusta rolled out the A119 for what proved to be a routine first flight.
Compared with the mass of modern Bells and Eurocopters that fly for the myriad law enforcement agencies protecting and serving Californians, the air unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) emerges as something of a one-off. In addition to a fleet of 12 AStar B2s, which provide day-to-day support to the officers in the black-and-whites, the largest sheriff’s flight department in the nation also fields four aging ex-U.S.
Bombardier’s Q400 turboprop continues to steal the spotlight from the company’s regional jet offerings, most recently drawing a firm order for another four examples from Flybe during last month’s Paris Air Show. The option conversion, coupled with an order for 20 Q400s announced in January, will increase Flybe’s Q400 fleet to 45 aircraft.