French companies Turbomeca and Microturbo have built a new turbine engine manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in the UK near Fareham, Hampshire, on England’s south coast. The new structure, built at a cost of $7.7 million, adds 50,000 sq ft of office and factory space, doubling the previous available area.
Aviation International News » May 2005
Eurocopter is celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of its most popular helicopters–the Sud-Aviation (SA) 318 Alouette (Skylark). In May 1955, the second prototype of Sud-Aviation’s new turbine single took to the air for the first time near Paris. The next month, test pilot Jean Boulet took the new helicopter to a record (at the time) altitude of 26,932 feet.
Spanish operator Helisureste has inaugurated a replacement service between the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo, using a Bell 412. An earlier operation using two Bulgarian-registered Mi-8s closed last year after the islands’ entry into the European Union brought them under new EASA rules.
Australia has started a three-year research program to investigate the effectiveness of aerial “bush-fire” suppression. The Bush-fire Cooperative Research Centre (BCRC) will look at factors such as the level of aerial and ground suppression required for a fire suppression job and the upper intensity limit for effective suppression from different resources.
Police Aviation Services (PAS), UK distributor of the MD 902 to police forces, has denied British media reports that the helicopters are being grounded for lack of spares.
Regional airlines in Europe last month lodged a formal protest alleging that civil servants had misrepresented legislation about passenger compensation for canceled or delayed flights. The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) has filed a complaint with the European Ombudsman in an attempt to prevent administrators from encouraging ungrounded expectations through misinformation released to the public and media.
An-148–The first Ukrainian airplane built with CAD-CAM technology continues to defy the odds, and not only in a technical sense. The only aircraft built in the former Soviet Union without direct public funding, the 70-seat An-148 flew for the first time on December 17 in the midst of the Orange Revolution, raising a symbol of stability in a country rocked by political unrest.
Last month’s decision by United Airlines to cut loose Air Wisconsin Airline Corp. (AWAC) from its stable of regional affiliates might not have come as a surprise to Geoff Crowley and company, but the drawn-out divorce will no doubt leave a wound that might take more than the comfort of a new partner to fully heal.
Regional jet manufacturer AvCraft Aerospace GmbH could end up in the hands of a new owner next month following the second bankruptcy involving the Dornier 328Jet. Dr. Martin Prager, the preliminary administrator charged with finding a solution to the German company’s financial problems, characterized opening discussions with potential investors as “very encouraging.”
Xi’an Aircraft Factory has landed the first sale of its new Pratt & Whitney Canada-powered MA 60 outside China with Air Zimbabwe’s order for a pair of the 56-seat turboprops. Air Zimbabwe air and ground crew expected to finish training at Xi’an by the end of last month, in time for the start of new domestic service this month from Harare International Airport.