In a surprise move at last month’s Paris Air Show, the much anticipated Bell/Agusta Aerospace AB139 received its type certification from the Italian aeronautical authority, ENAC, which also approved IFR operations.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
In an apparent effort to assuage British pressure to adopt the Anglo-Italian EH-101 as the follow-on to the White House’s aged fleet of Sikorsky VH-3S operated as Marine One for Presidential transport, Sikorsky has quietly agreed to add some British content to the S-92s it would modify for that mission.
The in-service fleet of Sikorsky S-92 medium-twin helicopters reached 100,000 total flight hours, the company announced last month. The first production S-92 was delivered in late 2004. There are now 67 S-92s in service, 11 of which fly an estimated 130 to 170 hours per month. To date, 13 of the aircraft have logged more than 3,500 flight hours.
SkyTrac’s automated flight following and satellite communication system has received FAA STC and Transport Canada Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) approval for installation in Robinson R22s and R44s. SkyTrac is already approved for installation in various AgustaWestland, Bell, Eurocopter and Sikorsky models.
The Polish Ministry of Health has ordered 23 Eurocopter EC 135s for its nationwide EMS network. Deliveries will be spread over 2009 and 2010. The
For Robinson Helicopter, switching from aluminum to stainless-steel skin for main rotor blades has been “a mixed bag,” said company vice president Kurt Robinson, who defended the move on the grounds that the change means lighter and stronger blades with better corrosion resistance. But critics argue that the stainless skins do not hold paint well and that the switch from aluminum
India-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL, here at chalet R1) now has the military utility version of its Dhruv helicopter certified with an IAI-made glass cockpit. “We have delivered 10 to the Indian army,” chief test pilot Chandra Upadhyay told AIN. The Army’s pilots have started training and plan to be ready to operate with the new cockpit within two or three months, he added.
Russia’s Oboronprom Corporation and AgustaWestland announced the signing of a heads of agreement for the joint final assembly of the AW139 medium twin helicopter in a still-to-be-built factory near Moscow. According to Oboronprom director general Andrey Reus, outlined plans call for a production rate of 24 helicopters per year.
Boeing has begun flight-testing the AH-64D Block III, the latest variant of the Apache gunship helicopter. The first flight occurred at Mesa, Arizona, on June 27. The Block III modernization initiative moved forward in response to the cancellation of the RAH-66 Comanche, and uses funds and technology redirected from that program.
Eaton Corporation has signed two new multi-million dollar contracts to produce aircraft hydraulic and fuel systems.
Bombardier selected the Irvine, California-based company to supply the hydraulic system for the new Learjet 85 model, and Sikorsky selected Eaton to supply the hydraulic and fuel systems and cockpit components (control panels and dimming controllers) for the new CH-53K heavy-lift U.S. Marine Corps helicopter.