It wasn’t just the great Texas barbeque that put smiles on the faces of Heli-Expo visitors. A hot market for helicopters ensured that the show’s first trip to Houston would go down a record-setter.
Amid feverish speculation that the 2005 show might be rattling around the mighty Excel exhibition centre in London’s docklands, this year’s Helitech, held in late September, rolled back its sleeves and got on with the job in hand. During a week of beautiful late-summer weather, the biennial event attracted more than 6,500 trade visitors and some 300 helicopters to Duxford Airfield.
Norwegian operator Norsk Helikopter yesterday celebrated the 5,000th fleet hour of its Sikorsky S-92(R) (Serial No. 11) helicopter. The aircraft reached the milestone on February 5, a little more than two months after the Norsk S-92 fleet reached its 20,000th flight hour.
It was much ado about something as Eurocopter unveiled its new EC 175 medium twin yesterday at its booth (No. 631) in the main Heli-Expo hall. As the curtain dropped and the spotlights came up, the full-scale mockup was revealed in shades of gray and carrying 16 passengers dressed as offshore oil workers.
American Eurocopter and the Bristow Group’s Air Logistics unit have partnered separately with “augmented reality solutions” provider Appareo Systems (Booth No. 4537) to develop a low-cost device that is intended to provide some of the safety and training benefits of fully certified cockpit voice and flight data recorders.
Bristow Helicopters is suing Sikorsky and its parent company, United Technologies, for negligence over a crash in which a Sikorsky S-76A plunged into the North Sea last July, killing all 11 people on board. In a lawsuit brought before a London court, Bristow alleges that faulty repair work was performed on a main rotor blade three years before, when that blade was hit by lightning while on another S-76A, also operated by Bristow.
Bristow Helicopters’ insurance companies have started legal action against Sikorsky Aircraft over the July 16, 2002 crash of an S-76A in the UK sector of the North Sea. The aircraft crashed as it was approaching Shell UK’s Santa Fe Monarch drilling rig in its Leman gas field, 45 miles north of Lowestoft. All 11 people on board were killed in the accident, which occurred at 7:44 p.m.
A well known name is returning to British skies with creation of a new rotorcraft operation to support North Sea oil and gas exploration and production activity. The name is Bond, Bond Offshore Helicopters (BOH), and it will be licensed to fly.
Small but noteworthy helicopter equipment manufacturers found a suitable showcase for their products at Helitech 2007 in Duxford, England, early last month. Big OEMs Agusta-Westland, Bell, Enstrom, Eurocopter, MD Helicopters, Robinson and Sikor- sky (along with accompanying subsidiary Schweizer) were either present or represented, and they had sales to announce.
The recently EASA-certified Eurocopter EC 225 Super Puma has a new anti-vibration system that brings more performance, simplicity and lightness to the helicopter. Othertechnological innovations on themedium-twin helicopter include a new autopilot–with an engine-failure mode–and a new cockpit, which the company describes as providing a more intuitive man-machine interface.