AgustaWestland has designated Kaigai Aviotech of Japan to sell the AW119 Ke, AW109 Power and Grand in the Japanese commercial market. The two companies also agreed to establish a maintenance and support center for AgustaWestland helicopters in Japan.
Eurocopter will make its EC 145 available with certified night-vision goggle (NVG) capability in Europe, Canada and the U.S. The NVG configuration will be available for new helicopters and as a retrofit for those already in service.
Eurocopter logged orders for 114 civil and military helicopters worth E1.2 billion at this year’s Paris Air Show and says it is on track to sell 700 helicopters this year. This summer the company also logged more orders from U.S.
Sikorsky is confident its upgraded medium twin, the S-76D, will make its first flight in the fourth quarter of next year, said Bruce McKinney, v-p for Europe. Sikorsky engineers are building the all-composite blades for the main rotor.
Sikorsky is readying its X-2 demonstrator for flight tests late this year. The hybrid design, which looks like a helicopter with two contrarotating coaxial main rotors and one tail propulsor, already had its fly-by-wire system tested in a Schweizer 333.
One prediction about which most fractional providers’ executives and consultants agree is that within five years there will be only two strong major providers, with the current majors either being relegated to a niche market or merging into one of the stronger players.
Retrofit technology that could turn the Pentagon’s fleet of Black Hawks and other helicopters into 200-knot, high-altitude speedsters, and later be applied to the civil market, is one step closer to reality.
Ronald Zilberbrand resigned from Chicago-based JSSI International, the company that he co-founded. He was president of the company and executive v-p of 154 West Holdings, a holding company with direct ownership of JSSI. He has resigned to pursue other interests.
Most pilots by now are aware that at some point in the future, today’s ATC system is expected to morph into something called NextGen, Administrator Marion Blakey’s term for what was previously known as the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS).
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