Rotorcraft

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

July 17, 2014 - 12:15am

Textron’s Bell Helicopter brought four helicopters to its Farnborough Airshow display (Exhibit Area L2), including a mockup of the Bell 525 Relentless outfitted in search-and-rescue configuration and a mockup of the 505 Jet Ranger X, which just concluded a three-month European tour.

A 407GX is also on the Bell static display, as is a 429 in emergency-medical service configuration. The 429 also just finished a three-month demonstration tour. During FIA14, a corporate-configured Bell 429 is flying demonstration flights.

July 16, 2014 - 12:10am

Among the eight AgustaWestland helicopters on display outside Finmeccanica’s pavilion (Static Display L1) at Farnborough Airshow 2014, half of them–the new, multi-role AW149, the 4.5-tonne class AW169 configured for emergency medical service along with the mockup of a military AW169, and the 8-tonne class AW189–illustrate the dual approach to helicopter configuration that AgustaWestland has embraced in the development of its newest rotorcraft. In particular, the two AW169s being shown here handily illustrate the results of this dual-approach concept.

July 15, 2014 - 2:25pm

The UK Parliament’s transport committee has released a report on offshore helicopter safety that indicates passenger culture can be intimidating and crash survivors feel uncomfortable about their relationship with investigators. The report touches on “troubling evidence about a macho bullying culture,” with reports that offshore workers concerned about helicopter safety were told they should leave the industry.

July 15, 2014 - 2:05pm

Textron subsidiaries Bell Helicopter and TRU Simulation + Training announced an agreement today for TRU to complete the design, development, manufacturing, installation, testing and certification of the Bell 525 Relentless level-D full-motion flight simulator. The simulator for the new “super-medium” twin-engine helicopter will employ TRU’s ultra-high-definition visual system with 240-degree horizontal by 80-degree vertical field of view.

July 15, 2014 - 12:50am

AgustaWestland, a division of Finmeccanica (Outdoor Exhibit 1), congratulated Waypoint Leasing here at the Farnborough Airshow 2014 on the rotor leasing firm’s first year of operation, which kicked off in March 2013 with an order for GrandNew, AW169, AW139 and AW189s from the OEM.

July 13, 2014 - 3:00pm
The continued boost in the oil and gas industry is driving the need for offshore helicopters, such as this Sikorsky S-92, and advanced simulators to train the flight crews.

Irrespective of political turmoil in land-based energy supplier regions, oil and gas exploration and production is rising, especially offshore where drilling technology advances have made extraction more efficient. This is driving demand for helicopters and simulators.

July 10, 2014 - 3:50pm

The first Bell 525 Relentless super-medium twin helicopter is moving closer to final assembly at Bell Helicopter’s plant in Amarillo, Texas. Matt Hasik, Bell’s senior vice president of commercial programs, told AIN that the three main cabin sections will be joined within the next few weeks. He also said that the first carbon-fiber, all-composite main rotor blade for the 525 has been completed and is undergoing testing.

July 10, 2014 - 3:10pm

Marenco Swisshelicopter is still preparing to fly its SH09 SKYe single-turbine helicopter. The company is finalizing testing of the major systems, a spokesman told AIN. “We have done a number of trials on the aircraft,” he said. In addition, the “whirl tower” test bench is running at full speed with the main rotor head and gearbox. Certification of the 5,840-pound-mtow rotorcraft is expected in the second half of next year.

July 10, 2014 - 3:00pm

The first level-D flight simulator for Airbus Helicopters’ EC175 medium twin received EASA certification this week, thus allowing the manufacturer to use it to train customer pilots. Designed by Spain-based Indra and located at the Helisim training center adjacent to Airbus Helicopters’ factory in Marignane, France, it features a 210-degree by 80-degree continuous field of view. Another EC175 full-motion simulator will be installed in the U.S.

July 10, 2014 - 7:28am

The Brazilian Navy gave AgustaWestland a $160 million-plus contract for the upgrade of eight Super Lynx Mk 21A helicopters. The Navy has operated the Lynx since 1978, receiving nine Mk 21s followed by nine Mk 21As. Five of the Mk 21s were later upgraded to Mk 21A.

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