Dart Helicopter’s Apical Industries has received EASA approval for its Tri-Bag Emergency Float System on the AgustaWestland A119/AW119 Mk II. The system includes two forward and two aft bags and a baggage compartment reservoir option. It is available with or without external life rafts and is compatible with ground-handling wheels. With bags deployed, the helicopter can be water towed at speeds up to 10 knots.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
AgustaWestland has announced a weight upgrade and Russian assembly plans for the AW139 medium twin, while new helicopter models are in development and a series of efforts is launched in customer support.
Ice road truckers could be out of business soon. Boeing and SkyHook are developing a hybrid heavy-lift helicopter/blimp capable of hoisting a 40-ton sling load and moving it 200 miles without refueling. The JHL-40 will be capable of transporting equipment and materials to remote drilling and mining locations in the Canadian Arctic and Alaska. The helium “envelope” will support the vehicle while the four main rotors will lift the payload.
South African-based maintenance specialist Thunder City is offering for Eurocopter Pumas a modernization program that the company claims extends the life of the medium twin. The program consists mainly of a P4 structural check and the installation of a five-display glass cockpit made by Chelton Flight Systems. The company claims the program ensures the mechanical soundness of the helicopter and provides improved pilot situational awareness.
Thirty-eight months after Sikorsky’s formal announcement of the X2 “technology demonstrator,” the compound helicopter made its first flight yesterday at the Sikorsky-Schweizer rapid prototyping facility in Horseheads, N.Y. During the 30-minute flight, Sikorsky chief test pilot Kevin Bredenbeck conducted slow forward flight, hover and hover turn maneuvers.
Sikorsky announced this week that it has sold two S-92 helicopters to the International Handling Co. (IHC). The contract includes the option to purchase four additional S-92 helicopters configured for offshore oil missions.
Delivery of the first aircraft is expected to take place in 2010. IHC, an Azerbaijan-based operator, plans to expand its service to the growing offshore oil industry based in Eurasia.
Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling issued a prediction here this week that Eurocopter’s market share in 2008 will stay above 50 percent. “The only market that is suffering a bit is the corporate/VIP one in the U.S.,” he said. The company expects turnover to grow by 6 to 8 percent over last year’s e4.17 billion ($6.5 billion). It expects the number of deliveries to approach 550.
Just a few years ago Eurocopter scored a major coup at an HAI Heli-Expo show, amazing the crowds by introducing a new helicopter as a completely certified aircraft instead of a promise-laden prototype encumbered with the usual waits for first flight, inflated claims of launch customers and delays in FAA approval. Instead, Eurocopter presented its EC 130 as a done deal.
Eurocopter now hopes to obtain certification for its EC 225 by early next year instead of in the third quarter of this year, as previously stated. According to the Franco-German helicopter manufacturer, the civil EC 225 is planned to be certified before qualification of its military sister, the EC 725, both of which are upgraded variants of the AS 332L2 Super Puma.
Safe Flight Instrument Corp. has announced that Aeronautical Accessories, an affiliate of Bell Helicopter Textron, has obtained an STC allowing installation of Safe Flight’s Exceedence Warning System for the Bell 206B JetRanger. Safe Flight’s Exceedence Warning System continually monitors torque and exhaust gas temperature and provides pilots with a tactile annunciation when limits are being reached or exceeded.