Eurocopter launched its new EC175 helicopter four years ago at the Heli-Expo show in Houston, Texas, showing a fuselage mockup of the new helicopter. Last month, AIN editor-in-chief Randy Padfield had the opportunity to fly one of the EC175 prototypes at Eurocopter’s main facility on Marseille-Provence Airport in France. This is his report of that flight.
Eurocopter unveiled record revenues, with growing service activity offseting sagging helicopter deliveries. The Marignane, France-based company is once again claiming to be the number one in the civil and parapublic market, thanks to a calculated 43-percent market share. Several development programs are under way, notably in the medium-twin segment, including the X4 Dauphin replacement, the EC175 and a shorter version of the AS332 Super Puma, for which performance numbers have just been announced.
Just what is behind the curtain? Nearly a decade of speculation surrounding trademark and patent filings, leaked inter-company memos, and rumors concerning a major new model may be coming to an end for Bell Helicopter. The company is set to make a big announcement at its booth (No. 9846) at 11:30 this morning here at Heli-Expo.
Honeywell’s 14th annual Turbine-Powered Civilian Helicopter Purchase Outlook report was released today and there was little in it that encourages breaking out the champagne or ordering a new Bentley. In short, it was a mixed review: in general, not so good in the short term, not so bad in the long.
While recent order rates have been healthy and near-term purchase plans remain strong, lingering tight credit conditions and significant inventories of used production models for sale continue to cast a pall on the industry.
Air Comm Corp. (ACC), a specialist in the design, production and support of environmental control systems for rotorcraft, is presenting “The Ultimate Guide To Helicopter Environmental Control Systems” today at 10 a.m. in Room C-148. The program is of interest to rotorcraft owners, operators and maintenance personnel.
Component Control, at Booth No. 7321, has released “Remote Inventory,” an inventory management tool for Component Control’s core product, Quantum Control. Its users can set minimum and maximum inventory levels online, then track, manage and bill upon consumption for inventory co-located at any customer facility. The Remote Inventory program accelerates replenishment of stock to keep up with work in progress.
Robinson Helicopter (Booth No. 9840) recently delivered its 100th R66 single-engine turbine helicopter to long-time customer and South African-dealer National Airways Corp. Just 14 months after receiving FAA certification, Robinson has received 380 orders for the five passenger Rolls-Royce RR300-powered R66, 70 percent of those from the export market.
Scott’s-Bell 47 (Booth No. 5309) will launch a Model 47 upgrade program here at Heli-Expo and is also developing composite replacement main rotor blades with IAC Ltd.
The upgrade gives customers the choice of having their existing Model 47 refurbished or purchasing a completed refurbished/upgraded 47G-2A (narrow body) or 47G-2A-1 directly from Scott’s.
The program covers all Lycoming-powered 47G helicopters. Included are new main rotor blades as well as a new instrument panel, new interior and Texas Helicopter STCs, such as No-Bar, Sprag, and Muffler.
Analyst Brian Foley predicts new and used helicopter sales will continue their upward trend. But he also said the purchase justification process will require more detailed research as various market segments exercise increasing cost scrutiny.
Donaldson Aerospace presentation “Engine Protection–Realizing Return on Investment Quickly” today at 10 a.m. in Room C-145 plans to cover the care and preservation of your helicopter investments, highlighting the benefits of keeping your engine’s internal systems clean.