Rotorcraft

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

May 8, 2014 - 1:40am

The parent company of Bell Helicopter has formed TRU Simulation + Training to provide pilot and flight crew training to the military and commercial markets. TRU was formed by combining two recent Textron acquisitions–Mechtronix, located in Montreal, Quebec, and Opinicus, located in Lutz, Fla.—with a portion of Textron Systems unit AAI Logistics of Goose Creek, S.C. Annual revenue for the new business is expected to exceed $100 million. TRU CEO James Takats said the unit will help Textron become “a major force” in the rapidly growing training and simulation business.

May 8, 2014 - 1:15am

Russian Helicopters has disclosed numbers on its financial and commercial performance last year. Revenue grew by 10 percent, to RUB138.3 billion ($3.9 billion), while earnings (Ebitda) rose 27 percent to RUB26.3 billion ($737 million), representing a margin of 19 percent. Deliveries, however, declined slightly, at 275 aircraft. CEO Alexander Mikheev attributed the negative change to rescheduling of deliveries. The backlog, as of December 31, totaled 808 helicopters, a 5.5-percent decrease.

May 7, 2014 - 5:50am

The Avincis group is to purchase Scandinavian Air Ambulance (SAA) for SEK707 million ($108 million). SAA employs 160 and operates a fleet of 22 aircraft (including 14 helicopters) across Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Under the agreement, SAA founder and CEO Henry Hansen will continue to lead SAA and all Avincis’ emergency services in Scandinavia. Regulatory approvals are expected by the end of next month.

May 7, 2014 - 5:30am

Engineering support specialist Babcock International has entered a conditional agreement to acquire the Avincis group, the parent company of operators Inaer, Bond, Australian Helicopters and Norsk Helikopterservice, for £920 million ($1.5 billion). Completion of the proposed acquisition, from a vehicle owned mainly by KKR and Investindustrial, is conditional on approval by Babcock shareholders and antitrust authorities. The actual transaction is expected to take place this year.

May 7, 2014 - 4:55am

Menominee, Mich.-based Enstrom signed a deal to deliver sixteen 480B turbine singles over the next 18 months to the Venezuela Ministry of Defense. The helicopters will be used for flight training.

May 7, 2014 - 4:25am

Oil & Gas UK, the lobbying association that represents UK oil and gas companies–especially the ones operating production platforms in the North Sea–has expressed doubts about the review the UK CAA published in February.

May 6, 2014 - 3:10pm

Robinson Helicopter received EASA certification for its R66 on Wednesday, four years after the FAA approved the turbine helicopter. With this latest approval, Robinson said it is now able to begin delivering R66s in its current backlog of European orders and focus on strengthening its presence in this market. Two-thirds of the company’s sales typically come from non-U.S.

May 6, 2014 - 5:10am

Robinson Helicopter has delivered its 500th R66 five-seat turbine single three-a-and-a-half years after receiving FAA certification.

The 500th helicopter was delivered to Aviamarket, one of three R66 dealers in Russia, and will be on display at the Heli-Russia Exhibition in Moscow from May 22 to 24. In April last year Aviamarket pilots landed R66 S/N 0040 at the North Pole and in September the company organized a successful, six-week around-the-world expedition using two R66s.

May 6, 2014 - 3:55am

The CAE/AgustaWestland Rotorsim joint venture has received EASA and Italian ENAC approval for its CAE Series 3000 AW189 full-motion simulator to level-D qualifications. The new simulator will be based at AgustaWestland’s new simulation building at the A. Marchetti Training Academy in Sesto Calende, Italy.

May 4, 2014 - 2:25am

Sikorsky is proceeding with the second phase of flight-testing for its Sara demonstrator, an S-76 fitted with special equipment to expand operational automation.

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