Focusing on the needs of the corporate user, Sikorsky Aircraft used last month’s NBAA Convention to outline a series of fresh improvements applicable to its entire S-76 product line, including stainless-steel landing-gear rod ends that eliminate reliance on corrosion preventive compounds, thereby reducing maintenance; a “smart” electrical contactor to better manage electrical system switching; fuzz-burn engine chip detectors for Turbomeca Arri
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
Sikorsky’s S-92 medium-twin program has passed another milestone on its way to certification as prototype number four performed two flawless autorotational landings to touchdown recently at the company’s flight development center in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Beset with stagnant civil sales, a stymied multi-billion-dollar, investment-intensive defense project and a dearth of new programs in the pipeline, Bell Helicopter Textron has decided, like the beer world, to take a chance on a “lite” product, in this case a new lightweight, lower-cost turbine single helicopter.
The second of three AgustaWestland AW139s that CHC Helicopter will use for search-and-rescue operations off the south coast of England on behalf of the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) was delivered to the agency’s Lee-on-
Solent base last month.
Helicopter manufacturers are exploring a number of technologies to reduce noise, both that perceived from the ground and inside the cabin. European manufacturers are working on several demonstration programs to reduce noise by changing the helicopter’s airframe dynamics.
Anti-noise Advocates Lose Grand Teton Appeal
It seems summer is the time of year for somnolent helicopter programs to wake up and stretch their rotors toward the sun…and certification. According to sources within Polish rotorcrafter PZL-Swidnik, that company has presented the certification documentation for its five-seat SW-4 to Polish aeronautical authorities.
Bell/Agusta Aerospace engineers working on the BA609 Tiltrotor have stepped up their certification efforts, now working with the FAA and the EASA (via Italian authorities) and planning on more than 100 hours of flight testing this year. That goal represents a major acceleration; the company has logged only 300 hours since 2003. However, the first flight of the third prototype has been delayed again.
Bell Helicopter Textron announced the recent deliveries of three helicopters–a Bell 412, 206B-3 and 430–to customers in vastly different industries and took orders for two 407s in September. The Fort Worth, Texas-based manufacturer also inked a deal at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., last month on the sale of an AB139, jointly developed with AgustaWestland.
Robinson Helicopter delivered its first R22 piston single in October 1979. Exactly 24 years later, the Torrance, Calif. manufacturer delivered its 5,000th helicopter. This milestone represents the production of 3,489 R22s and 1,522 four-seat R44s. The 5,000th machine, an R44 Raven II, was shipped to National Airways, a Robinson dealer based in Lanseria, South Africa.