Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft

News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.

December 6, 2013 - 1:20am

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.”

December 6, 2013 - 12:50am

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.

December 6, 2013 - 12:30am

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.

December 6, 2013 - 12:15am

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.

December 5, 2013 - 3:43pm
Eurocopter X4

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.

December 3, 2013 - 3:20pm

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.

December 3, 2013 - 1:55am
Bell expects to begin deliveries of the 429 with wheeled landing gear in next year’s first half.

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.

December 3, 2013 - 12:15am

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.

December 2, 2013 - 1:40am

Lyon, France-based fuel-leak repair specialist Sunaero (also known as Aerowing in the U.S.) is offering its services to the helicopter industry, pledging significant time savings over conventional detection and repair methods.

Increasingly complex fuel-tank shapes have raised new challenges, Sunaero vice president Thierry Regond told AIN. Small but serious leaks, whether they originate from vibration wear or manufacturing defects, are difficult to locate and can force missions to be scrubbed, as one European country’s police force recently discovered, Regond said.

November 19, 2013 - 11:30am

Marenco Swisshelicopter will roll out its SKYe SH09 single-turbine light helicopter on November 28 in Mollis, Switzerland. An offshoot of a machine-tool specialist, the company is emphasizing the SH09’s carbon-fiber airframe, which for prominence on the prototype it has left unpainted in “key areas, such as the tailboom and shrouded tail rotor.” The 5,800-pound aircraft was announced in 2011, at which time its first flight was planned for 2012.

 
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