The FAA plans to formally reexamine the certification standards for helicopters under Parts 27 and 29 of the FARs, the agency announced. Currently, Part 27 helicopters must weigh 7,000 pounds or less and have nine or fewer passenger seats. Helicopters that weigh more than 7,000 pounds and have 10 or more seats fall under the more stringent Part 29 rules.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
Elbit last month launched Skylens, a wearable head-up display for an enhanced flight vision system. The ski goggle-shaped device offers a greater field of view than night-vision goggles (NVG), according to the company. Developed specifically for helicopters, the system also fuses infrared (EVS) and synthetic (SVS) images with flight parameter symbology for improved safety in poor visibility. The symbology will present flight and critical engine parameters.
Aircraft maintenance plan provider JSSI is pushing harder into the red-hot helicopter market. The company recently hired Ray Weiser as its new helicopter program specialist and will soon unveil several programs aimed at the helicopter market, according to CEO Neil Book.
North Sea helicopter operators expect to deploy improved emergency breathing systems (EBS) progressively, beginning in the middle of this month, to comply with CAA rules issued to improve the safety of offshore helicopter operations in the North Sea. The Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG) expected the first batch of approved equipment to arrive soon after the UK CAA approved the system, which had not taken place as of early last month. Training will be based on a classroom session lasting a maximum of 90 minutes.
Bell Helicopter is applying systems designed for its 525 Relentless commercial medium twin to the V-280 Valor third-generation tiltrotor technology demonstrator it is developing for the U.S. Army as part of its Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Program for Future Vertical Lift (FVL).
The FAA has certified the Garmin G1000H all-glass, integrated flight deck for installation in the Enstrom 480B helicopter. It is designated the 480B-G. “Combining the G1000H with the safety and handling qualities of the 480B make this an exceptional helicopter for anything, including personal use, police work and training,” according to Bill Taylor, Enstrom’s director of engineering. “We partnered with RSG Aerodesign during the design phase, and that really helped get the project moving.
Rotorcraft manufacturer Enstrom received FAA certification to install the Garmin G1000H glass cockpit in its 480B helicopter, which will be known as the 480B-G.
Bristow Group obtained UK Civil Aviation Authority approval late last week to place the first two AgustaWestland AW189 medium twins into service. The AW189 launch customer and OGP operator is expected to begin operations shortly with the pair from its base in Norwich to platforms in the Southern North Sea. Bristow has four more AW189s on order.
Airbus Helicopters will lead the design of a compound rotorcraft demonstrator dubbed “LifeRCraft” (low-impact, fast and efficient rotorcraft) as part of Europe’s recently launched Clean Sky 2 Joint Technology Initiative. The LifeRCraft architecture combines a main rotor for vertical takeoff and landing, fixed wings for energy-efficient lift and open propellers for speed. The company will use experience gained on its X3 compound demonstrator between 2010 and 2013.
Second-quarter revenues at Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna and Beechcraft, climbed $623 million year-over-year, to $1.18 billion, reflecting the Beechcraft acquisition in late March and higher jet deliveries. Textron Aviation delivered 70 turbine business aircraft during the quarter–36 Cessna Citations and 34 Beechcraft Kings Airs, up from 20 jets and 14 King Air turboprops in the same period last year.