Flight testing of BLR Aerospace’s Bell 212 FastFin modification has demonstrated improved performance that will allow the 212 to carry more weight to higher altitudes than standard 212s, according to BLR. The Everett, Wash. company conducted the flight tests at the 9,927-foot airport in Leadville, Colo., late last year.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) has added 200 production workers and is opening a new assembly line for the PT6T TwinPac, the engines that power the Bell 212 and 412, at its Saint-Hubert, Quebec plant. The Saint-Hubert facility will also continue to operate as a major overhaul and repair facility.
Bell 212, Guipuzcoa, Spain, June 13, 2007 – The two commercial pilots flying the Spanish-registered Bell 212 from Santander Airport to Alicante Airport in Spain were killed when the twin-engine helicopter crashed in unknown circumstances. Instrument conditions prevailed throughout the area. Spain’s Comision de Investigacion de Accidentes e Incidentes de Aviacion Civil is investigating the accident.
FAA certification of the Bell 210, a single-turbine medium helicopter derived from the military UH-1H Huey, could happen this month, Bell CEO Mike Redenbaugh said at the Paris Air Show this week. “Our flight testing is complete, FAA pilots have flown the helicopter and now we’re just waiting for approval of the paperwork,” he added.
Bell 212, 412 and 412EP operators now have FAA STC approval to install Max-Viz’s EVS-1000 enhanced vision system. The certification allows the more than 200 U.S.-registered Bell 212s and 412s to be fitted with EVS, which offers crews improved situational awareness at night and in poor visibility.
Bell 205s, 212s and 412s are the subject of an FAA special airworthiness information bulletin recommending compliance with an Aug. 27, 2002, manufacturer safety notice calling for inspections of the tail rotor at 25-hour intervals to detect excessive corrosion damage. The November 5 bulletin said there have been two tail rotor failures on the Bell 212 and five on the Bell 412 since 2002.
Helitanker operators may have thought they would profit after the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Department of the Interior (DOI) terminated contracts for 33 fixed-wing large airtankers due to airworthiness concerns last May, but a quiet fire season and a decrease in profitable call-when-needed deployments mitigated the potential windfall.
San Diego’s city council voted unanimously to extend the lease on its fire helicopter for six months. The Bell 212HP is operated by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, but paid for by the county.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration certification of the Bell 210, a single-turbine medium helicopter derived from military UH-1H Huey, is imminent and could happen this month, Bell CEO Mike Redenbaugh said yesterday at the Paris Air Show. “Our flight testing is completed, the FAA pilots have flown and now we’re just waiting for approval of the paperwork,” he said.
Television images last May of Saudi commandos dropping from a Kawasaki-Vertol KV 107IIA helicopter in a dramatic rooftop assault to free hostages from terrorists has underscored the importance of rotary-wing aircraft to Middle Eastern governments. The current heightened security state, with its emphasis on anti-terrorist operations, has made helicopters the airborne assets of choice for close-in, fast-reaction operations.