Maybe it was pent-up demand. Maybe it was part of a desire to party before the war. Maybe times aren’t as hard as the pundits say they are. No matter the reason, this year’s staging of the Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo was a success far beyond anyone’s expectations.
McAlpine Helicopters is now owned entirely by Eurocopter, which has renamed the company Eurocopter UK. Eurocopter previously held 10 percent of the Oxford-based distributor. Eurocopter UK provides various services, including maintenance, repair and overhaul, to civil and military customers in the UK
Archrivals AgustaWestland and Eurocopter will join forces on a major environmental research program that will include integration technology demonstrators (ITDs) for a greener helicopter. The project–part of the larger E1.6 billion ($2.2 billion) Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative–is expected to yield innovations such as smart blades for the main rotor and electric drive for the tail rotor.
Scandinavian countries are famous for going their own way and it seems only fitting that one of what was originally four nations participating in the Nordic Helicopter Program (NHP) did just that in selecting its new rotorcraft.
Russian defense export agency Rosoboronexport is expected to announce a $2.2 billion order from Saudi Arabia for Mi-17 and Mi-35 military helicopters today.
The deal translates into another of a humiliating series of lost contracts for the French defense industry, which now appears certain to undergo a re-evaluation of its export policy.
Eurocopter (Stand C220) expects the long-anticipated growth in demand for civil helicopters in the Middle East to materialize now and it believes the market’s emergence will have been worth the wait. According to regional marketing manager Xavier Hay, the helomaker expects to sell at least 20 civil rotorcraft per year in this part of the world.
Eurocopter and Hermès, two companies with distinctly different disciplines, have launched an effort that will blend their respective skills and creative genius in l’Hélicoptère par Hermès. It is, according to Eurocopter, “a reappraisal of the helicopter’s potential as a form of personal transportation.” The EC 135, a light, multi-mission, twin-engine Eurocopter, was selected for the maiden effort.
Bell and Eurocopter posted large orders at the recent Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC) held in Tampa, Fla., in September, selling a combined 50 helicopters. Bell received orders for 27, while Eurocopter sold 23.
Bell wrote orders for sixteen 206L-4 LongRangers from Air Evac Services,
The latest market projection for the civil helicopter market: red-hot. For the OEMs, it means big delivery backlogs, which translates to waiting times of up to four or five years for customers. While the demand for medevac and offshore support rotorcraft is accelerating, the popularity of executive helicopters is also on the rise as urban surface traffic grows ever worse.
Eurocopter last month announced that its EC 225 Super Puma firefighting system is undergoing a certification process, with deliveries pegged to start next year. The main component of the retrofittable system is a flexible 4,000-liter (1,060 U.S. gallon) tank attached to the cabin floor. The system also includes a water scoop and jettison kit. It can be installed or removed in 20 minutes, according to Eurocopter.