Representative Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) supports efforts to establish a new center for rotorcraft innovation (CRI) in Pennsylvania. Congress has allocated initial funding of $2.5 million from U.S. Army funds for the project. Rande Vauss, executive director for the new laboratories, told AIN that the facility would be set up at the Delaware County Campus of Penn State University.
“The U.S. rotorcraft industry has fallen behind because of lack of funding and interest,” William Retz, rear admiral USN (ret.), told AIN. “We need to get behind the industry and move it forward again.” Retz is the executive director of operations for the proposed Center for Rotorcraft Innovation (CRI).
Progress is being made toward the goal of rotorcraft taking their place in the national transportation infrastructure, according to presenters at January’s American Helicopter Society (AHS) infrastructure convention in Carmel, Calif. The most significant announcement was a congressional requirement in the 2004 federal appropriations bill for the FAA to prepare a document–a technology road map–to define how the U.S.
On October 29, AgustaWestland introduced the A119 Koala at its new home in Philadelphia, which includes 43,000 sq ft of hangars, avionics bays, manufacturing and completion space. The new facility, which hugs the suburban Northeast Philadelphia Airport, was built in a record seven months for $6.8 million, while employees trained in Vergiate, Italy. Total investment, including relocation, will exceed $12 million.