Honeywell, which provides SmartView synthetic-vision systems (SVS) for Gulfstream business jets with PlaneView avionics, Falcon jets with EASy II flight decks and Pilatus PC-12 NG turboprops with Apex cockpits, is far along in its development of a combined vision system (CVS), which marries forward-looking infrared to SVS, for helicopters.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
A federal judge has allowed buffalo herding by helicopter, in response to a lawsuit filed by an environmentalist group that had obtained a restraining order against such operations in Yellowstone National Park last year, alleging the practice adversely affects grizzly bears. Helicopters have been used for more than a decade to steer wandering bison back into Yellowstone each spring.
The Columbus, Ohio police temporarily grounded its MD500 fleet and hired an independent maintenance company to inspect the helicopters in April after discovering “gaps” in maintenance records.
Russian Helicopters has delivered two Mi-171s to Siberian operator Skol Airline. They are fitted with special lifting and transport equipment, including an on-board boom and winch able to lift loads of 330 pounds and an external hoist rated for 8,800 pounds. The new helicopters will “help Skol strengthen its position in the international air-freight market.”
Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), working at Turbomeca’s test facilities in Bordes, France, have managed to measure the noise inside a helicopter engine. They used new hot-gas microphone probes in an environment of high pressure (up to 12 bar) and high temperature (up to 1,200 degrees C). The microphones were installed at various places inside the engine and around the exhaust. Their signals were recorded simultaneously. Analysis of the noise field enabled the DLR to explain how noise is generated and how sound propagates.
Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee has granted approval to the Robinson R66 turbine single, clearing the way for deliveries there. Russian customers have ordered nearly 50 copies of the model.
Eurocopter Japan has delivered a Eurocopter AS365N3 Dauphin retrofitted with a high-speed, real-time satellite transmission system to the country’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency. The helicopter satellite communication system enables direct transmission to relay satellites, without being interrupted by the helicopter’s moving rotor blades. Mitsubishi Electric developed the system, intended for use when ground-based networks are unavailable.
Russian Helicopters reported an increase in revenues, to RUB125.7 billion ($4 billion), for last year on the strength of a 10.7-percent increase in deliveries. “Last year we delivered 290 helicopters of nine different types to our clients from 19 countries,” said CEO Dmitry Petrov. The backlog stood at 817 helicopters, worth RUB350 billion ($11 billion) as of December 31.
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) recently filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals seeking to eliminate the mandatory North Shore Route for helicopters over New York’s Long Island. The FAA mandated the route in July last year after political pressure from U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). HAI has long argued that the North Shore Route is unsafe and that its imposition violates several laws.
The first quarter proved a mixed bag for Bell and Cessna, according to numbers released last month by parent company Textron.
Bell delivered 40 commercial helicopters in the first quarter, compared with 30 during the same period last year. Sales were also strong, with signing of orders for 50 new commercial helicopters, including an agreement with Air Medical Group to deliver 30 helicopters over the next several years.