Eurocopter (Chalet No. 33) is expecting that the Middle Eastern and North African markets will continue to grow in the coming years. Here in the Gulf region, the European manufacturer has sold its first EC 135 Hermès luxury twin.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
Start-up manufacturer Hélicoptères Guimbal delivered its first Cabri G2 two-seater to French-based operator Ixair on September 19. The company claims this aircraft brings new technology to the Robinson R22 and Schweizer 300 market, notably in terms of safety.
Authorities say VFR flight into IMC appears the culprit in a spectacular pre-dawn helicopter crash in late September. Both pilot and passenger were killed when their Robinson R44 II crashed through the roof of a home on approach to Kenosha Airport, Wis. September 21 at 5:30 a.m. The aircraft sliced through the roof, fell down the stairway of the two-story home, exited the front door, and ended up on a neighbor’s driveway.
Despite a recent executive shake-up at Bell Helicopter, company executives insist that the new $4.865 million (2007) Model 429 light twin will receive certification approval early next year and that first customer deliveries will begin shortly thereafter.
The BA609 tiltrotor program continues to move forward, according to Bell/Agusta Aerospace. Four BA609s will be used in the development and certification flight-test program–two of which are flying now, one with Bell in Texas and the other with AgustaWestland in Italy. The aircraft have flown 365 hours to date. Three more years of flight and certification tests are planned, with 2011 as the current time frame for certification.
The new Bell 429 light twin will have a faster top cruise speed than the previously published 142 knots, program director Neil Marshall told AIN. He declined to specify just how much faster the 429 will be, saying only that the higher speed “would be pleasing” to customers.
Bell/Agusta Aerospace Co. is showing a new six-place VIP interior in its BA609 tiltrotor mockup here in the Orange County Convention Center (Booth No. 5519). Featuring leather seats, two beverage consoles, a flat floor and foldaway tables, the tasteful interior brings “the comfort of a corporate jet to an aircraft that can go places where others cannot,” said Don Barbour, Bell/Agusta executive marketing director.
The BA609 tiltrotor program continues on track, according to Bell/Agusta Aerospace Co. Four BA 609s will be used in the development and certification flight-test program–two of which are flying now, one with Bell in Texas and the other with AgustaWestland in Italy. The aircraft have flown 365 hours to date. When completed, Ships 3 and 4 will join the flight-test program.
All 10 copies of the Eurocopter AS 332L2 at Bond Offshore Helicopters will now fly the Blue Sky Network Model D1000A modem unit for flight-following service. Carlton van Putten, Blue Sky’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, said 11 of the units have just shipped to cover Bond’s entire fleet along with a spare. Bond Offshore flies missions for crew change, VIP charter, and search and rescue from Aberdeen, Scotland.
Sikorsky’s futuristic X2 is up and flying, but it could be a decade before the technology is applied commercially, according to program manager Jim Kagdis.