In the five years since opening its customer Contact Center, Embraer Executive Jets has seen its worldwide fleet grow to a size five times as large as it was back then in 2009. So at a press conference here in São Paulo yesterday, the manufacturer announced it has opened new facilities and expanded the Contact Center to accommodate the growth in customer care needs.
Bell’s Model 505 Jet Ranger X is making its Brazilian debut here at the LABACE show, at least in full-scale mock-up form. The company expects to fly the light single helicopter by the end of the year, and hopes that it can repeat the success of the original JetRanger that became a true “classic” of the rotary-wing world. The 505 is intended for a wide range of tasks, such as training, law enforcement, corporate/VIP transport and utility work, for which a 1,500-pound cargo hook is fitted.
Aviation Partners, Inc. (API) will this week start installing the first set of its high-Mach blended winglets on a Brazilian-registered Dassault Falcon 50. An existing U.S. FAA supplemental type certificate has been approved by Brazil’s ANAC agency. The U.S. company received FAA approval for the modification earlier this year.
Viking Air (Outdoor Exhibit 5122) is seeing growing demand in Latin America for its Series 400 Twin Otter utility aircraft. This has spurred the Canadian company to make plans to expand its sales network in the region and an announcement on this subject is expected fairly soon.
Pilatus rolled out the first example of its new PC-24 business jet on August 1, just over a year after launching the new model in May 2013. The aircraft is expected to make its first flight by year-end en route to European and U.S. certification in early 2017.
Russian Helicopters (Booth 4030) has come to LABACE to promote its extensive portfolio of civil rotorcraft, which it claims are well suited to a variety of private, corporate and industrial uses. This year, one of the group’s key subsidiaries, Rostvertol, is celebrating its 75th anniversary–emphasizing Russia’s strong pedigree in helicopter production.
Elbit Systems of America provided more detail on the Center Pedestal Display (CPD) it is providing to Lockheed Martin for the F-16V upgrade. Along with a new AESA radar, the CPD is a key element of the upgrade, which is proceeding for 150 Taiwanese F-16A/Bs, while the U.S. Air Force struggles to fund the improvements for its own fleet.
Faced with a worsening security situation in Ukraine, Poland has issued a requirement for new attack helicopters that could be worth more than $1.3 billion. Meanwhile, however, the country’s choice of 72 new multirole helicopters worth nearly $2.7 billion remains undecided. Budget shortfalls continue to frustrate the armed forces’ desire for new equipment. Earlier this year, Poland decided to retain one squadron of aging Su-22 strike aircraft for up to 10 more years, since it cannot afford a replacement.
Madrid-based charter operator Suraviation has signed an agreement with Marshall Aviation Services to provide MRO and technical support for Suraviation’s seven Cessna Citations, predominantly Mustangs, plus one CJ2. Marshall has 40 years’ experience with the Citation line and operates FlairJet, a Europe-based charter and management company operating a Cessna Mustang, Excel and Bravo as well as an Embraer Phenom 100 and King Air 350s.
The FAA is issuing an Airworthiness Directive for Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France) EC130B4 and EC130T2. The AD requires repetitive inspection of the fenestron-to-tailboom junction frame for a crack. This AD is prompted by reports of a crack propagating through the junction frame on two EC130B4 helicopters. These actions are intended to detect a crack and to prevent failure of the junction frame, which could result in loss of the fenestron and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.