Scott’s-Bell 47’s (SB47) quest to put a revised edition of the iconic Bell 47 back into production is now a step closer. The Le Sueur, Minn.-based company recently received orders for 38 of its Rolls-Royce RR300-powered 47GT-6 helicopters from a diverse customer list, the majority of which are from authorized dealers for exports into Asia/Australasia.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
The joint venture between Tata Advanced Systems and Sikorsky has delivered its first fully indigenous S-92 cabin. The Indian operation is now not only assembling cabins but also producing more than 5,000 associated precision components. At the Hyderabad factory, the capacity has reached four S-92 cabins per month and the 50th was produced in October.
Last month the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia invalidated Bell Helicopter’s claims against Iran for manufacturing and selling knock-offs of the JetRanger. Iran has been manufacturing a look-a-like helicopter without authorization since 2002 under various names. Federal Judge Judith Rogers ruled there was a “lack of evidence that Iran’s commercial activity caused a ‘direct effect’ in the United States.”
The U.S. Transportation Command (USTranscom) has awarded hundreds of millions of dollars worth of new contracts for companies providing helicopter support in Afghanistan. Recipients include AAR Airlift, $151 million; Columbia Helicopters, $87 million; Construction Helicopters, $33 million; and HNZ Group, $6 million.
Russian Helicopters has delivered an Mi-26T to Kazakhstan’s Emergencies Ministry. It is the first of the type–capable of carrying a 44,000-pound payload–to enter service in the country. The helicopter was delivered after an overhaul and modifications at a repair facility in Novosibirsk, Russia. Kazakhstan has commissioned Russian Helicopters to overhaul and modify two Mi-26 military helicopters, which had previously been in storage for 20 years. They will be used for diverse operations, including fire fighting and evacuations, the manufacturer said.
Heli USA, the third largest helicopter tour operator in Las Vegas, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month in a move the company asserts was triggered by a commercial dispute with AgustaWestland over leased helicopters. Heli USA had stopped making lease payments after it claimed the Italian airframer failed to deliver a trio of helicopters with ordered equipment, including sightseeing windows and in-flight entertainment systems. Heli USA filed for Chapter 11 in a bid to stop AgustaWestland from repossessing the aircraft.
A new artist rendering of the in-development Eurocopter X4 medium-twin helicopter appeared today during a presentation made at the EASA Rotorcraft Symposium in Cologne, showing design changes made since 2011. A horizontal empennage with a two-level lifting surface is visible on the tailboom, forward of the shrouded tail rotor. The fuselage, aft of the cabin, includes a “skirt,” the role of which is still unknown.
Marenco Swisshelicopter unveiled the first prototype of its all-composite SKYe SH09 light single helicopter on Thursday at Mollis Airport in Switzerland. First flight is expected early next year and production should start in 2015, the company said.
Targeting the higher end of the light single segment, the SH09 features a carbon-fiber airframe, a five-blade main rotor to cut vibration and a 1,020-shp Honeywell HTS900-2 turboshaft. A compact instrument panel and extended transparencies afford the helicopter exceptional visibility for the crew and passengers, Marenco said.
Bell Helicopter recently unveiled a version of the 429 light twin with wheeled landing gear and plans to begin deliveries in the first half of next year. The $6.17 million Bell 429WLG has a top speed of 152 knots, about five knots faster than the $5.8 million standard skidded variant. Although the retractable gear and fairings add approximately 250 pounds to empty weight, the drag reduction takes the 429WLG’s range to 412 nm, an increase of 1 nm.
India’s newly acquired status as a host for one of each season’s Formula One Grand Prix car races has provided a prime opportunity for the country to demonstrate its readiness to embrace business aviation. The world’s highest profile auto sport has continued to be a strong magnet for private and corporate jets, and the race in Delhi on October 27 was no exception.