Universal Helicopters (UHI, Booth No. C1211) is putting its money on safety in 2013, in a way that could benefit one lucky Heli-Expo attendee. The company has five training outlets in three states in the U.S., and is the exclusive provider of helicopter flight training to students at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Arizona campus. At Heli-Expo 2013 UHI is offering its Vision Award, a full scholarship valued at up to $12,000 for night-vision goggle (NVG) certification in the Robinson R44 at the Prescott campus and in conjunction with Embry-Riddle and Night Flight Concepts.
Eurocopter released financial results for 2012 last month, logging another year of growth despite continuously eroding deliveries. Services, such as maintenance and training, are set to become Eurocopter’s number-one revenue producing activity, surpassing helicopter production. And during the next five years, the European manufacturer is betting on growth in emerging countries.
The Medallion Foundation is focused on changing the culture and attitude of commercial air operators and pilots flying in Alaska. The verdict? So far, so good. Fatal controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) accidents among commercial air carriers have been reduced 57 percent from 2000 to 2009, according to a paper recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
BellHelicopter Asia,Bell’s maintenance service facility in Singapore,has received Part 145 approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS). This certification allows the company to repair, perform completions, maintain and customizeBellhelicopters that are based in Asia.
Eurocopter held an inauguration event last month to celebrate its new manufacturing center of excellence in Querétaro, Mexico. The facility is located at the Aerotech Industrial Park. In addition to manufacturing tail booms for Ecureuil helicopters, the center also makes structures for Airbus doors and houses a new 11,000-sq-ft Ecureuil maintenance facility. Eurocopter has been active in Mexico for 50 years and also celebrated the 30th anniversary of its Eurocopter de Mexico subsidiary. In Querétaro, Eurocopter will create about 200 jobs.
Turbomeca (Booth No. C3901) is ramping up production of its turboshaft engines this year. Simultaneously, the company’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) activity is growing, too. In new developments, Turbomeca is busy with helicopter engine upgrades to the Arriel family and the new TM800 that will power the Eurocopter X4 medium twin.
The Flight Safety Foundation is highlighting rotorcraft topics at Heli-Expo. “Our mission is to be advocates of the best aviation safety practices in the world,” said president and CEO Kevin Hiatt. “Based on what we’re observing at the foundation, we need to understand more about helicopter operations as a whole and to foster a safety-centric culture.”
Russian-owned outsize cargo specialist Volga-Dnepr has many years experience moving all types of helicopters around the planet, whether in support of contracts or on delivery flights for manufacturers. The company (Booth No. C702) was founded in 1990 and can transport anything from MD 500s up to Mil Mi-8s/17s and Sikorsky CH-53s or S-64s.
The diesel engine demonstrator, which may replace turboshafts in light helicopters, is on track for flight tests on a Eurocopter EC120 in the second half of next year. It will feature a power-to-weight ratio between those of a general aviation diesel and a turboshaft. The engine is part of the Green Rotorcraft integrated technology demonstrator (ITD), itself part of Clean Sky, the European Union’s €1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) joint technology initiative.
Van Horn Aviation (VHA) of Tempe, Ariz., wants to put more life into legacy helicopters by developing products that increase performance and lower direct operating costs by focusing on composite main and tail-rotor blades. At Heli-Expo’13, VHA is showing five examples of its work, all with different stories: tail-rotor blades for the Bell 206, UH-1 and 212/214; and main rotor blades for the MD Helicopters MD530F and Bell 206B.