Schweizer has won FAA certification for an increased takeoff horsepower rating on its Model 333. The maximum five-minute takeoff power limit is now raised from 252 shp to 280 shp.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
Bell Helicopter announced last month a supplemental type certificate (STC)–free to operators–that increases the maximum takeoff weight of its 206B-series JetRanger to 3,350 pounds from 3,200 pounds.
Southwest Nebraska will receive its first-ever air ambulance in May–a Bell 407 operated by MedStar. Under current arrangements, hospitals or EMS agencies have to summon airborne services that are based nearly 100 miles away. The new flight service will be permanently based at McCook, Neb.
Following the first Bell/Agusta AB139 delivery to Helilario, production is now ramping up to meet deliveries to international customers later this year. The company said it already has a “sizable” order book for the helicopter, corresponding to two years of production. Preparation of AB139 customer-support and training activities is on target to meet introduction-into-service dates.
The past 12 months have not been the most thrilling, it has to be said, for anyone on the lookout for new Western helicopters. Apart from the first look at an intriguing new European tiltwing design, there has been little to report in terms of new initiatives from the major manufacturers. Most of those seeking certification, with the honorable exception of the AB139, inch toward their goal with all the alacrity of a snail on Prozac.
Clovis, Calif.-based Heavy Lift Helicopters is currently converting the first commercially owned Sikorsky CH-53D Sea Stallions for firefighting operations. Readying the first “Fire Stallions” for this year’s fire season, Heavy Lift is installing its own 2,400-gallon water tank and snorkel system in one of six 42,000-pound-mtow CH-53Ds the company purchased from the U.S. Navy in spring last year.
One million hours equals more than 114 years, 11.5 decades or nearly 42,700 days. No matter how you describe it, one million hours is a lot of time, and Bell said its 407 turbine single achieved this milestone late last year. The FAA certified the 407 in February 1996, and today there are 548 of them operating worldwide.
Nearly six years after its launch at the 1999 Paris Air Show, Bell/Agusta’s AB139 medium twin-turbine helicopter has gained FAA IFR certification. The helicopter, which achieved Italian IFR certification in 2003, is equipped with a four-screen Honeywell Primus Epic EFIS. Three aircraft have been delivered to date. The order book currently stands at more than 80 aircraft slated for delivery to more than 40 customers, according to Bell/Agusta.
With this year’s Heli-Expo scheduled for February 6 to 8 in Anaheim, Calif., more than four weeks earlier than last year, news from exhibitors was surprisingly thin at the end of last year. AIN
A New Zealand air ambulance trust has bought a second Sikorsky S-76 to meet a growing demand for emergency medical flights in Auckland. The Northland Emergency Services Trust expects the helicopter to enter service at its Whangarei base in the first quarter of this year.