Elettronica has become a leader in the development of electronic warfare systems to protect many different types of military aircraft as well as warships. The company’s experience in the use of solid-state technology for the design and production of passive electronic support measures for use with laser warners and missile approach warners is evident on Stand C209.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
The recent delivery of the last of 16 AgustaWestland Super Lynx 300 helicopters to the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) has boosted export prospects for a program that is extending the life of a highly successful design. Oman has bought the Super Lynx, powered by two Rolls-Royce/Honeywell LHTEC CTS800 engines, to replace aging single-engine Bell 205s–an application that should be of interest to other operators of the venerable Huey.
The first Bell/Agusta BA609 tiltrotor performed its first full conversion to airplane mode in Texas this past August. The maneuver has become routine, and the ground-breaking aircraft has gone on to pass the 250-knot airspeed milestone.
Television images last May of Saudi commandos dropping from a Kawasaki-Vertol KV 107IIA helicopter in a dramatic rooftop assault to free hostages from terrorists has underscored the importance of rotary-wing aircraft to Middle Eastern governments. The current heightened security state, with its emphasis on anti-terrorist operations, has made helicopters the airborne assets of choice for close-in, fast-reaction operations.
Iranian customers have recently placed orders for 15 locally built Shahed-278 light helicopters, but suppliers from around the world see Iran as a market ripe for development. The interest reflects the growing demand for modern rotorcraft to support Iran’s flourishing oil, shipping and construction business industries, as well as for medevac and VIP travel.
The Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) has announced the launch of a new 13-week rotary-wing flight test course set to begin next August. The program will be held at the home of the UK’s joint Ministry of Defence (MOD)/QinetiQ aircraft test and evaluation center at Boscombe Down.
Under a memorandum of agreement (MoA) between Bell Helicopter and Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) signed yesterday, the latter is to begin production of airframes for the Bell 429 light twin IFR helicopter. With an estimated value of more than $150 million, the agreement is projected to cover all Bell 429 airframes for the next 10 years.
European helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland is developing a palletized airborne mine countermeasures (AMCM) system for installation on the three-engine, fully marinized EH-101.
AgustaWestland has sold its first A109 Grand light twin helicopter to a private operator in the Philippines, joining 10 earlier A109 models already in service in the country. Orders for nearly 60 aircraft have been placed since its launch in July 2004. Initial deliveries commenced in mid-2005 following European certification. Deliveries to the U.S. will commence this month.
The Eurocopter EC 120B Colibri has been selected as the training platform for a 20-year rotary-wing program in Singapore, the European helicopter manufacturer announced here on Monday. Under the contract, Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST Aerospace) will receive an unspecified number of EC 120B single-engine light helicopters on which Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) pilots will be trained.