Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft

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

November 2, 2013 - 3:10am

ExecuJet Europe has plans to launch commercial helicopter charter operations from the company’s London Cambridge FBO later this year, the company announced at Helitech in September. ExecuJet Europe expects to receive a helicopter air operator certificate (AOC) from the UK Civil Aviation Authority next month.

It will not operate its own helicopters but rather use those it has under management contracts. The company’s managed fleet already includes two Eurocopter EC155s based at Cambridge Airport, with another two contracts in the final stages of negotiation.

November 2, 2013 - 2:50am

Oxford-based A2B Heli Maintenance is expanding the portfolio of helicopter types it works on. It plans to add Bell and AgustaWestland types to the current Sikorsky S-76 and Eurocopter EC120, AS350/355, EC135, AS365, EC155 and BO105. A2B, which holds EASA Part 145 approval, offers a range of services, from line maintenance to pre-buy survey and training.

Director Andy Bloxham expects to service 10 to 15 aircraft per yearas the three-year-old company becomes established. Under its airworthiness management activity, it already oversees 21 helicopters. A2B has seven employees.

November 2, 2013 - 2:30am

HeliMedia was at Helitech displaying its video mission box (VMB), a portable unit able to transmit live video over more than 100 nm thanks to microwave technology. For example, an Italian operator, Helica, has connected it to a full-HD 1080p camera.

Inside the helicopter, the VMB replaces one seat, using existing mounting points. It is easily transferrable from one aircraft to another, explained Steve Watson, business development manager of the Cheltenham, UK-based company. With two technicians the process takes approximately two hours, he estimated.

November 2, 2013 - 1:55am
Eurocopter EC145T2

Certification of the EC145T2, an upgraded version of Eurocopter’s light twin, is now expected next spring rather than this year, as originally planned. Program leader Manfred Merk attributed the delay to longer-than-expected aerodynamic and avionics development work.

“It took us one month to solve a problem that was appearing in sideways flight,” Merk said. The helicopter was shaking, a certification red flag, so the engineers recontoured the edge of the vertical tail fin and the mod proved successful.

November 2, 2013 - 1:40am
Sigmund Lockert

The European helicopter industry must educate operators about the benefits of Sesar, the European Union’s next-generation air traffic management (ATM) systems and procedures, if it is to derive any benefits from the system, according to several speakers at a conference on “The future of the rotorcraft sector” at Helitech.

November 2, 2013 - 12:25am
AgustaWestland AW189

AgustaWestland expects its AW189 and AW169 medium twins to achieve certification by the end of next year.

November 1, 2013 - 4:05am

In its report on a 2011 incident in which a Sikorsky S-92 nearly crashed off the Canadian coast, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada implicates the pilots’ poor understanding of automation, insufficient basic flying skills and a misleading flight manual, which it says caused an inadvertent, vertiginous descent.

October 24, 2013 - 7:50pm

Members of United Auto Workers Local 218 have ratified a new five-year contract with Bell Helicopter (Booth No. C9343). The five-year pact covers 2,500 machinists and other manufacturing workers in Texas.

Union members had been working at Bell since June without a contract as negotiations over health care and pension benefits bogged down. They staged a one-day strike September 5.

October 23, 2013 - 12:45pm

The Bell 412EPI will be cleared for more procedures at elevated helipads early next year, according to Bell Helicopter, which is launching an upgrade program next month to incorporate improvements to increase operational flexibility for CAT A Part B procedures. The program will cover the use of circular and rectangular elevated heliports and should be finished in time for initial deliveries of the 412EPI in the first quarter of 2014, said the company.

October 18, 2013 - 11:33am
Sikorsky-Boeing JMR proposal

Companies proposing either tiltrotor or compound helicopter designs have won contracts from the U.S. Army for its joint multi-role technology demonstration (JMR TD) Phase 1 program to develop a next-generation vertical-lift aircraft.

 
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