Thales announced that its Scorpion helmet-mounted sight and display system (HMSD) had been selected for all new weapons systems sales and upgrades by Airbus Helicopters. The unusual sole-source selection had been made “following a full and open competition,” Thales said. The Airbus Helicopters military product line that could be sold with the HMSD consists of seven helicopters, including the Tiger attack helicopter and the Cougar transport/combat SAR machine.
MD Helicopters (MDHI) has selected Precision Aviation Services (PAS) of Peachtree City, Georgia to be an Authorized MD Helicopters Service Center. PAS is approved to provide factory authorized service, including airframe maintenance, component overhaul parts and accessories sales, including parts and labor for warranty replacements. The approval covers MD 900/902 Explorer helicopters and 500- and 600-series helicopters, the complete line manufactured by MDHI.
Airbus Helicopters will lead the design of a compound rotorcraft demonstrator dubbed “LifeRCraft” (low-impact, fast and efficient rotorcraft) as part of Europe’s recently launched Clean Sky 2 Joint Technology Initiative. The LifeRCraft architecture combines a main rotor for vertical takeoff and landing, fixed wings for energy-efficient lift and open propellers for speed. The company will use experience gained on its X3 compound demonstrator between 2010 and 2013.
The pilot of an MBB-Kawasaki (Eurocopter) BK117B2 flying a trauma recovery mission at 5,000 feet agl in South Australia last year saw a number of hydraulic fluctuations on the helicopter’s system indicators just before the aircraft experienced an uncommanded and violent pitch up. That excursion was followed closely by a left roll and descent, according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).
The number of U.S. helicopter accidents dropped 17 percent during the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year, according to data from the United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST). From January through the end of June this year, there were 62 civil helicopter accidents compared with 75 during the same period last year. During the first six months of this year, nine helicopter accidents resulted in 15 fatalities, compared with 18 fatal accidents that resulted in 41 fatalities during last year’s first half.
DRS Technologies, part of the Finmeccanica group (Outside Exhibit 1), is promoting a flight data recorder that deploys upon impact in the event of a crash. The system has been used for many years in military aircraft and helicopters operating in the offshore industry, and has been put to the test many times. The need for a system for commercial aircraft that can be easily and quickly recovered has been brought into sharp focus following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in March.
Sikorsky (OE3, OE4) here on Monday announced that it has begun delivering S-76 medium twin helicopters equipped for executive transport and search-and-rescue (SAR).
Among the features that executive transport operators will enjoy, the company said, is the ability to keep the rotors static, i.e. not rotating, while running an engine to power the air-conditioning. It also claims its active vibration control and Quiet Zone transmission technology provide smooth and quiet cabin conditions, allowing normal conversations.
Airbus Helicopters will lead the design of a compound rotorcraft demonstrator dubbed “LifeRCraft” (Low Impact Fast & Efficient RotorCraft) as part of Europe’s Clean Sky 2 Joint Technology Initiative, which was formally launched last week in Brussels. Preliminary studies, architecture and specification activity will start this year, with development and testing of components and subsystems envisioned in the 2016-2018 timeframe. Flight evaluations could start in early 2019.
Textron’s Bell Helicopter brought four helicopters to its Farnborough Airshow display (Exhibit Area L2), including a mockup of the Bell 525 Relentless outfitted in search-and-rescue configuration and a mockup of the 505 Jet Ranger X, which just concluded a three-month European tour.
A 407GX is also on the Bell static display, as is a 429 in emergency-medical service configuration. The 429 also just finished a three-month demonstration tour. During FIA14, a corporate-configured Bell 429 is flying demonstration flights.
Textron subsidiaries Bell Helicopter and TRU Simulation + Training announced an agreement today for TRU to complete the design, development, manufacturing, installation, testing and certification of the Bell 525 Relentless level-D full-motion flight simulator. The simulator for the new “super-medium” twin-engine helicopter will employ TRU’s ultra-high-definition visual system with 240-degree horizontal by 80-degree vertical field of view.
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