The U.S. Army could issue a formal request for proposal (RFP) early next year for what could become a helicopter armed aerial scout (AAS) program. The AAS–which might encompass at least 300 helicopters–is a potential $5 billion bonanza for the winner and could have significant implications for civil helicopter manufacturers, not just in terms of revenue but also with regard to driving, or not driving, new technologies such as the Sikorsky X2.
Aviation International News » October 2010
The resurrected Twin Otter Series 400 received Transport Canada certification in late July after three years of work by Viking Air. The first 400 to be delivered was handed over to Switzerland’s Zimex Aviation at the Farnborough airshow in July.
The Kestrel single-engine turboprop, whose developers had been seeking funding, has found new life under the leadership of Alan Klapmeier, cofounder and former chairman of Cirrus Design. Klapmeier’s new company, Kestrel Aircraft, is based in Brunswick, Maine, and plans call for an investment of more than $100 million in the program.
Eurocopter late in August signed an agreement with China’s Tongji University in Shanghai to integrate it into the helicopter manufacturer’s “family of partner universities.” Tongji thus becomes the first university in Asia to join the
Germany’s Ruag Aviation received EASA certification for the Do-228NG on August 18, two-and-a-half years after the company launched the program to bring the Do-228 back into production. The Oberfaffenhofen factory built more than 200 Dornier Do-228s before production ended in 2002. Ruag holds the original type certificate for the airplane and continued to provide aftermarket support for the 150 aircraft still operating.
Bristow Group extended an existing North Sea contract with the Integrated Aviation Consortium for six Sikorsky S-92s and inked a new deal covering four more S-92s in Norway with Statoil. The deals are worth more than $1.3 billion.
Delta Air Lines has directed regional subsidiary Comair to shed more than half of its Bombardier CRJs over the next two years, according to a September 1 memo to employees from Comair president John Bendoraitis. The Cincinnati-based regional airline plans to cut 49 fifty-seat CRJs from next year through 2012, leaving it with 16 fifty-seat CRJ200s, 15 seventy-seat CRJ700s and 13 seventy-six-seat CRJ900s.
Eurocopter and aviation beacon specialist Kannad are introducing a “new-generation” emergency locator transmitter (ELT) that features antenna redundancy. The jointly developed “emergency distress beacon” for helicopters, called Integra, uses a GPS and an integrated antenna. If the external antenna is broken, the Integra beacon’s integrated antenna automatically takes over.
Spectrum Aeromed announced that it is part of a team developing an aeromedical interior for the latest iteration of the AW109 light twin. AgustaWestland announced the Grand New at February’s Heli-Expo.
Eurocopter and Thales have agreed to install a full-flight simulator for the Dauphin AS365 N3 at Eurocopter’s Singapore facilities by mid-2012. The company expects to operate the simulator 3,500 hours per year, on the strength of the 170 AS365 N3s flown by 700 pilots in the Asia-Pacific region. The cockpit uses an “advanced reconfigurable concept,” which enables modifying the cockpit for different missions in four hours.