Rotorcraft

News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.

September 18, 2014 - 2:05pm

Sikorsky Aircraft marked 75 years of modern helicopter flight that began Sept. 14, 1939, when 50-year-old chief designer and chief test pilot Igor Sikorsky lifted off the ground “to tabletop height” in an experimental helicopter designated the VS-300. That first flight began a four-year test program that “proved the efficiency of Sikorsky’s single-rotor design, gave birth to a global helicopter industry and forever changed the course of aviation history,” the company noted.

September 16, 2014 - 3:25pm

After a number of delays, Russian Helicopters is reevaluating four helicopter programs that were slated for certification this year or next, namely the Ka-226, Ka-62, Mi-171A2 and Mi-38. The company is conducting “an analysis and assessment of all its new programs to determine more precisely time frames for certification and the start of serial production,” a spokesman told AIN.

September 11, 2014 - 2:53pm

The NTSB is calling on the U.S. Coast Guard to work with the Interior Department to mitigate methane discharges from offshore energy platforms in the Gulf of Mexico when helicopters are present. The recommendation follows two power-loss incidents in helicopters that led to accidents, one in 2011 and the other last year, on or near offshore oil platforms.

September 9, 2014 - 3:15pm

The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch’s (AAIB) just-released final report on the fatal crash of an AgustaWestland A109E in January last year in central London does not suggest new causes, but investigators recommend preventative measures to avoid such collisions with obstacles in future.

September 9, 2014 - 2:45pm

To improve situational awareness and gather more specific data about helicopter movements and helicopter noise, the FAA is requesting that pilots of civil helicopters operating under VFR at or below 6,000 feet in the Los Angeles Basin squawk transponder code 1205 between September 1 and Feb. 27, 2015. Law enforcement and other first-responder helicopters have been asked to squawk 1206. However, both rotary- and fixed-wing pilots should continue to squawk 1201 when flying in the L.A. Special Flight Rules Corridor.

September 6, 2014 - 12:55am

Oceania Aviation’s Airborne Systems subsidiary has received an STC from New Zealand’s CAA for its bike rack on the Airbus Helicopters AS350 Ecureuil. Made of aluminum alloy, the device can hold up to six bicycles (three on each side). The system weighs 120 pounds and trained ground crew can load the bikes in 20 seconds, according to the company. An AS355 STC addition was planned for last month.

September 6, 2014 - 12:25am

Esterline CMC Electronics’ CMA-9000 flight management system and CMA-5024 GPS/Waas landing system have been selected on the Airbus Helicopters EC225e, an extended-range version of the Super Puma slated for delivery in 2016. Both systems had their latest iterations EASA-certified for the AS332L1e and AS332C1e Super Pumas, which recently entered service. Both are offered as retrofit options, too.

September 4, 2014 - 12:24pm

Bell Helicopter announced the signing of two new purchase agreements on the opening day of the JetExpo 2014 show. Two undisclosed Russian private customers each have signed for a Bell 407GX single-engined aircraft. The new contracts were announced on the same day as Bell delivered three other helicopters to Russian clients.

September 4, 2014 - 9:18am

If Russian authorities permit open access to the airspace above Moscow to private and corporate helicopter operations, rotorcraft sales into Russia would increase by between 15 and 20 aircraft from the 2013 total of 28 units. This was the prediction of Airbus Helicopters’s Russian commercial director Artyom Fetisov, speaking at the Business Aviation Forum held September 3 in Moscow on the eve of the JetExpo show.

September 3, 2014 - 9:27am
Boeing CH-47 Chinook

India on August 29 approved industrial offset proposals to acquire 22 Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters for the Indian Air Force, a transaction valued at $2.5 billion.

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