AgustaWestland and Eurocopter have confirmed “their joint commitment to the NH90 program,” the two companies announced here at Heli-Expo’07. They will ensure that commitment is reaffirmed during meetings planned during the next few weeks between the NATO Helicopter Management Agency and government representatives. The NH90 backlog stands at 445 firm and 100 options ordered by 18 armed forces in 14 countries.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
Marking the company’s third consecutive Sikorsky S-92 purchase in five months, VIH Aviation Group, based in Victoria, British Columbia, yesterday signed for the sixth S-92 the company will place in the fleet of its subsidiary, Cougar Helicopters. Shown here following the signing at Heli-Expo are company executives (from left) Didier Moinier, international manager; Ken Norie, president; and Charles Hodgins, CFO.
Senior Táxi Aéreo of Brazil plans to begin operating three AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters in an off-shore transport role beginning in May. It will mark the entrance of the medium-twin, with a passenger capacity of 15, in support of the Brazilian offshore oil and gas market. Senior Táxi Aéreo, based in Rio de Janeiro, operates a fleet of medium-size helicopters and is one of the leading operators in the Brazilian off-shore transport market.
Bell Helicopter has initiated an engineering study with a number of partners for a rather unconventional aircraft that designers say would be especially well suited to urban operations. The Bell X-Hawk would feature two shrouded main rotors in tandem configuration, fore and aft, and two smaller shrouded rotors acting as thrusters. Although Bell is targeting military applications, a civil variant is under consideration by its partners.
Expert groups at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) are designing new rules for helicopter IFR procedures and heliport construction. Developed primarily with Europe in mind, the guidelines are expected to be released sometime next year, according to ICAO officials.
European Air-Crane, an affiliate of Erickson Air-Crane, has assisted Vestas Wind Systems of Denmark in erecting a dozen three-megawatt wind turbine generators near the Italian mountain village of Ricigliano.
Kaman Aerospace has sold a K-Max helicopter for oil and gas exploration to Central Copters of Belgrade, Mont. The company provides construction, fire suppression, personnel transport and natural resource exploration services. Mark Duffy, owner and president of Central Copters, said the K-Max lift performance “offers a unique capability that we need.”
After a year in which only 29 EC 225 Super Pumas were sold, industry leader Eurocopter announced yesterday two separate deals for the helicopter, totaling 19 aircraft in all with an option for an additional eight. CHC Helicopter Corp. of Vancouver, British Columbia, ordered 16, while the Bristow Group of Houston bought three and took options for eight more.
The Suffolk County Police Department in New York took delivery of a Eurocopter EC 145 yesterday in a brief handover ceremony here at Heli-Expo 2007. The EC 145 will supplement two Eurocopter AS 350B2 AStars the department now operates, as well as one MD 900. (The SCPD is trading in another MD 900 to Eurocopter as part of its purchase of the new EC 145.)
For years, Robinson Helicopter president and CEO Frank Robinson has delighted in leaking tidbits of information on the subject of his next helicopter, the R66. This year the company’s amiable founder all but launched the program by admitting that he has begun detailed design work and selected an engine supplier.