Meanwhile, in the U.S. the American subsidiary of Eurocopter picked up some more business. In response to emergency funding initiatives under the Homeland Defense Act with respect to border security, the U.S. Border Patrol has signed a contract with Grand Prairie, Texas-based American Eurocopter for the “immediate” delivery of 13 AS 350B3 helicopters.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
In the latest development of a helicopter program that could best be described as “better late than never,” Indian state-owned aerospace builder Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has delivered its first Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) to the Indian Coast Guard nearly 10 years to the date after the design’s first flight in 1992 (design started eight years before).
Working in its own quiet low-key way, Schweizer Aircraft has revealed its new 300CBi. An enhanced upgrade of the company’s strong-selling 300CB, the new 300CBi features a fuel-injected 180-hp Lycoming HIO-360-C1A engine. Schweizer maintains that throttle correlation is noticeably more precise and engine response is smoother and more immediate than with its predecessor’s carburetor-equipped Lycoming engine.
Three of the eight U.S. Marine Corps officers charged with wrongdoing in the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor scandal have been found liable to some of the administrative charges. The other five officers and men were cleared of charges that they participated in a scheme to falsify maintenance records. (It should be stressed that being found in violation of a charge is not, under the code of military justice, the equivalent of criminal conviction.)
In a world in which one can, by means of a relatively inexpensive handheld GPS, determine one’s position within two feet, there just aren’t a lot of exploration challenges left. And now, thanks to a pair of intrepid Robinson R44 pilots, there’s one less.
More than a decade-and-a-half after PZL-Swidnik introduced it to the Western world in 1985, the Polish helicopter manufacturer’s Ecureuil-like SW-4 turbine single received Polish certification on November 14.
The French Sécurité Civile (the state rescue arm) no longer has a defined entry-into-service schedule for its Eurocopter EC 145 twin-turbine helicopters. It has officially taken delivery of the first three of 32 ordered aircraft (a $150 million contract) during the last six months, two years after the originally planned date.
With the arrival of its new CEO, American Eurocopter also revealed that it is expanding its “footprint” in the U.S. with the investment of $11.9 million in a new facility to be built at Golden Triangle Regional Airport near Columbus, Miss.
Once again, an emergency AD (No. 2002-23-51) has mandated no further flight of the roughly 360 Bell 407 helicopters currently in service. The November 13 AD was prompted by two reported failures of the stud from a swashplate drivelink assembly. One or both swashplate drivelink cup washers may have been installed incorrectly.
In aviation, like most other industries, success breeds regulation. The bigger an industry becomes, the more the government perceives the need to regulate it, often citing reasons such as safety, unfair competition and environmental protection. Yet, in typical Darwinian fashion, most industries adapt–or die. In aviation, hush kits quiet noisier jet engines, airplanes are made RVSM compatible and helicopters are flown neighborly.