Oceania Aviation’s Airborne Systems subsidiary has received an STC from New Zealand’s CAA for its bike rack on the Airbus Helicopters AS350 Ecureuil. Made of aluminum alloy, the device can hold up to six bicycles (three on each side). The system weighs 120 pounds and trained ground crew can load the bikes in 20 seconds, according to the company. An AS355 STC addition was planned for last month.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
Esterline CMC Electronics’ CMA-9000 flight management system and CMA-5024 GPS/Waas landing system have been selected on the Airbus Helicopters EC225e, an extended-range version of the Super Puma slated for delivery in 2016. Both systems had their latest iterations EASA-certified for the AS332L1e and AS332C1e Super Pumas, which recently entered service. Both are offered as retrofit options, too.
Bell Helicopter announced the signing of two new purchase agreements on the opening day of the JetExpo 2014 show. Two undisclosed Russian private customers each have signed for a Bell 407GX single-engined aircraft. The new contracts were announced on the same day as Bell delivered three other helicopters to Russian clients.
If Russian authorities permit open access to the airspace above Moscow to private and corporate helicopter operations, rotorcraft sales into Russia would increase by between 15 and 20 aircraft from the 2013 total of 28 units. This was the prediction of Airbus Helicopters’s Russian commercial director Artyom Fetisov, speaking at the Business Aviation Forum held September 3 in Moscow on the eve of the JetExpo show.
India on August 29 approved industrial offset proposals to acquire 22 Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters for the Indian Air Force, a transaction valued at $2.5 billion.
Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison wants more “national investment” to develop advanced rotorcraft to keep U.S. OEMs globally competitive.
Speaking at the Aero Club of Washington on July 29, Garrison noted, “Industry investment, coupled with a regulatory environment that keeps pace with innovation, will go a long way to meeting the growing demands [for helicopters]. But the final component of innovation is national investment and a sustained investment in technology.”
Is the honeymoon over for Airbus Helicopters and big innovation? Despite the news that the company will build a successor to the X3 compound demonstrator by 2019 (see AIN, August, page 57), Guillaume Faury (who was appointed CEO 16 months ago) seems to have a more cautious approach than his predecessor, Lutz Bertling, and some signs suggest the OEM will scale back its forays into brave new territory.
The FAA is moving ahead with a plan to expand the services offered by Houston Center in the Gulf of Mexico by September 2016. As part of the plan, the FAA will install three more ADS-B radios in Mexico to enhance surveillance over the Gulf with a 60- to 80-nm coverage overlap between Houston Flight Information Region and Merida and Monterrey ACC airspace.
Bell Helicopter has started building the facility in Lafayette, La., where it will assemble the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X light single. The $26.3 million, 82,300-sq-ft hangar, to be completed by June, is being built on a 14.5-acre site leased from Lafayette Regional Airport.
Ostend, Belgium-based helicopter operator NHV will take over Norwegian competitor Blueway, the two firms announced today. The merger will create a 650-employee group, operating 59 helicopters and generating $270 million in annual revenues.