Rotorcraft

News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.

April 11, 2014 - 10:45am
Bell Helicopter’s Jet Ranger X

Bell Helicopter is stepping up efforts to bring its “short light single” helicopter to market, having formally unveiled the new model as the 505 Jet Ranger X at the Heli-Expo show in Anaheim, California, in February. Here at ABACE, the company is exhibiting with its Chinese distributor Aerochine (Booth P529) and is also promoting its new twin-engine Bell 525.

April 10, 2014 - 1:15pm

Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) and China’s Avicopter, partners in thedevelopment of the EC175 and AC352 medium-twin helicopters, signed an agreement last month for the production of 1,000 of the two models. The agreement is valued at $21 billion over 20 years, with each airframer expecting to assemble approximately 500helicopters.

April 8, 2014 - 3:00am

The Squadron’s new iFrat flight risk assessment tool for the iPad uses a color-coded risk scale and breaks down flights into five elements: planning, environment, assets, communications and event. Pilots record an assessment of each element, based on their flight experience and knowledge; iFrat then generates a simple pictorial report exportable via email. New FAA rules require helicopter EMS pilots to conduct a risk assessment before each flight.

April 8, 2014 - 2:40am

Russian Helicopters is launching a new phase of modernization at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant to re-tool and upgrade the factory. The first stage involves modernizing and expanding the production of protective coatings. “Project development started last year, to meet the need to increase efficiency and to ensure the products made are of the highest possible quality,” said Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev. As a result, the plant will be ready to start production of the Mi-171A2, an upgraded version of the Mi-8/171.

April 8, 2014 - 1:55am

Chartright Executive Helicopters will operate a depot for AgustaWestland in Toronto that will stock parts for the AW109, AW119 and AW139s. Chartright is an authorized AgustaWestland service center.

April 8, 2014 - 1:40am

ExecuJet Europe is launching helicopter charter and management services from its London Cambridge FBO, having received a helicopter AOC from the UK CAA. The company’s managed and charter fleet includes two Airbus EC155s based at Cambridge Airport, and negotiations for two more contracts have been under way since September. ExecuJet is telling managed helicopter customers they will benefit from its buying power for items such as fuel and insurance. Operations director John Brutnell said he expects charter demand for both business and leisure travel.

April 5, 2014 - 3:10am

On March 4 the FAA issued its final rule on Stage 3 helicopter noise certification standards for new helicopter type design and the upgrade of Stage 1 and Stage 2 helicopters when upgrading to Stage 3 via supplemental type certificate (STC). The rule standardizes FAA regulations with those adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2002 and follows the issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on the topic issued in 2012.

April 5, 2014 - 3:10am

On March 4 the FAA issued its final rule on Stage 3 helicopter noise certification standards for new helicopter type design and the upgrade of Stage 1 and Stage 2 helicopters when upgrading to Stage 3 via supplemental type certificate (STC). The rule standardizes FAA regulations with those adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2002 and follows the issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on the topic issued in 2012.

April 1, 2014 - 1:15pm

Marenco Swisshelicopter signed 11 letters of intent for its all-composite light turbine helicopter at Heli-Expo in February, the company announced on Friday. These signings brought the total number of LOIs for its single-engine SKYe SH09 to 59 units, for deliveries ranging from 2015 to 2017. The Swiss startup helicopter manufacturer brought its prototype to the show, which further delayed its first flight. Swisshelicopter said the SKYe will make its maiden flight “in the coming weeks.”

April 1, 2014 - 5:40am

The UK CAA has unveiled a series of dramatic measures stemming from the review it launched last September to improve the safety of offshore helicopter operations in the North Sea. Its primary goal is to improve the odds of passengers and crew surviving a ditching, but the exhaustive 293-page report also addresses pilot training, helidecks and a host of other safety topics.

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