Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison told AIN that his company is seeking airframe partners on its new 525 Relentless super-medium twin, which was announced last month at Heli-Expo in Dallas. “We’re looking at that. On the airframe side there are some potential partners that we are in detailed discussions with, but it is too early to announce anything yet,” he said.
Boeing has increased the final assembly production rate on the 787 Dreamliner from 2.5 to 3.5 per month in Everett, Washington, a Boeing spokesman Monday. The rate increase took effect on March 1.
“Elements of the supply chain are already moving toward subsequent rate breaks in the future,” said the spokesman.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) granted type approval in late January to Franco-Russian engine maker PowerJet for a more powerful version of the SaM146 turbofan. Designated the SaM146 1S18, the engine offers 16,100 pounds of takeoff thrust, compared with the 1S17’s 15,400 pounds, thereby increasing the Sukhoi Superjet 100-95 LR’s mtow and extending its range to 2,470 nm with a full passenger load.
Toulouse, France-based regional turboprop manufacturer ATR is pressing ahead with plans to increase its production rate progressively over the next three years while preparing to add a larger, 90-seat model to its product line, which now consists of the 50-seat ATR 42-600 and 74-seat ATR 72-600.
328 Design of Munich, Germany, and Turkish Technic of Istanbul have joined forces to work on cabin design jobs, the first of which is a Gulfstream IV major interior.
According to 328 Design, “The skills and experience of 328 Design’s aircraft interior engineers will be used to certify the designs and materials selected by Turkish Technic’s engineering group through an STC issued by 328 Design sister company AMDS.”
Indianapolis-based completion and refurbishment center Comlux America delivered its fourth aircraft–an ACJ319 now in service with Fly Comlux, the charter arm of Comlux The Aviation Group of Zurich, Switzerland–in January.
The FAA has issued what could be an expensive tail-boom inspection airworthiness directive for the more than 100 Eurocopter EC130B4s in service in the U.S., most of them with air-tour operators. The AD mandates inspections for cracks in the region where the tail boom meets the fenestron assembly. If cracks are found the boom must be replaced at an estimated cost of $64,250 per helicopter.
The FAA is moving to redefine what “extremely remote” means when it comes to Part 29 certification provisions regarding loss of helicopter gearbox lubrication. The S-92 originally gained certification after Sikorsky convinced the FAA that complete loss of lubrication was extremely remote. Failure of the main rotor gearbox lubrication system is blamed for the fatal ditching of a Cougar Helicopters S-92A off Newfoundland in March 2009.
Eurocopter has clarified the EC175 certification status, having apparently changed plans. The new medium twin is “on time” for full certification late this year. At one point, Eurocopter was planning a basic type certification late last year, followed by offshore mission equipment certification this year. The company has decided to combine the certifications.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) selected the Becker Avionics DVSC6100 digital audio and intercom system for the agency’s new Pilatus PC-12 Spectre fleet. The Spectre is a special-mission version of the PC-12 with a retractable sensor platform, nine-passenger utility interior and sensor operator’s console. The PC-12 is equipped with Honeywell’s Primus Apex flight deck, and the DVCS6100 replaces the Apex audio control system. The DVCS6100 serves as the audio control system not only for the pilots but also for the mission operator station in the cabin.