Russian Helicopters is developing a “comprehensive avionics system” for situational awareness, autopilot landing and collision avoidance. It will be installed on all new Russian-made helicopters starting in 2015. The new “intelligent” system will inform pilots about hazards in the landing area. It will even enable the aircraft to hover above a given point and land automatically.
Russian Helicopters, which is redeveloping the Ansat with conventional (as opposed to the original fly-by-wire) flight controls, expects to achieve Russian certification in the fourth quarter, with serial production to start in January. The next step will be EASA certification, expected next year or in 2014. Russian Helicopters is developing a new fuel system to comply with European requirements.
AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters have signed a “preliminary agreement” to jointly develop a new 2.5-metric-ton class (5,500 pound) single-engine helicopter. The aircraft will be smaller and less expensive than the existing AW119Ke Koala. It will compete with the Eurocopter EC130T2.
A little more than a month after suffering a fatal accident involving a demonstration airplane, the Sukhoi Superjet program staged a fairly quick rebound with the sale of six SSJ100-95s to Russia’s second largest airline, Transaero. Announced in late June, the deal includes options on another 10 airplanes, raising the potential value to $566.4 million based on list prices.
Gore Design Completions recently delivered its first aircraft of 2012, an ACJ320-200 for a returning head-of-state customer. The first cabin outfitting project for the unidentified head of state was a Boeing 767 completed in 2008.
The ACJ320-200 represents the first in a string of single- and twin-aisle bizliners scheduled for delivery by the San Antonio-based center this year.
Atlantic Aviation, an FBO at Birmingham International Airport in Alabama, has been chosen by Cessna Aircraft to be the base of operations for a new mobile service unit (MSU). Cessna MSUs provide on-site technical expertise and immediate support for Citation operators. The specially outfitted trucks carry most of the same tools and equipment found in Cessna Citation factory service centers and can perform a variety of procedures up to and including engine exchanges. This latest MSU joins 17 others already in service in the U.S. for a total of 22 throughout North America and Europe.
Dassault Falcon has signed an agreement with Indian charter operator Taj Air to operate a Dassault Falcon authorized line service station at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. The 35,000-sq-ft facility, which is now operational, will provide scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and inspections for all Falcon 2000s. Initially it will serve Indian-registered Falcons but EASA approval is expected early next year.
BAE Systems, not Lockheed Martin, will upgrade the avionics of some 130 Korean air force F-16C/Ds. A spokesman for Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in Seoul that his agency will request the BAE package as a U.S. foreign military sale (FMS).
Two study contracts have been placed with industry after last week’s Anglo-French agreement on further exploration of a joint UCAV development. BAE Systems, together with Dassault Aviation, and Rolls-Royce with Snecma will work on the demonstration program preparation phase (DPPP) of the proposed future combat air system (FCAS). The value and duration of the work were not stated.
The U.S. Marine Corps has extended the deployment of two K-Max unmanned helicopters used for cargo resupply missions in Afghanistan by six months, through March next year. The extension, announced on July 31, is the second this year and includes an option to extend the deployment through September next year.