Bell’s Model 505 Jet Ranger X is making its Brazilian debut here at the LABACE show, at least in full-scale mock-up form. The company expects to fly the light single helicopter by the end of the year, and hopes that it can repeat the success of the original JetRanger that became a true “classic” of the rotary-wing world. The 505 is intended for a wide range of tasks, such as training, law enforcement, corporate/VIP transport and utility work, for which a 1,500-pound cargo hook is fitted.
Genesys Aerosystems’ HeliSAS helicopter stability augmentation system (SAS) and autopilot is now available for retrofit installation in Robinson R44 helicopters. The former Cobham subsidiary, which makes Chelton EFIS and STEC autopilot systems, was bought out by management in April. Here at LABACE, Genesys is exhibiting with Greenwich Aero Group subsidiary DAC International, which is one of its distributors (Booth 4003).
Russian Helicopters (Booth 4030) has come to LABACE to promote its extensive portfolio of civil rotorcraft, which it claims are well suited to a variety of private, corporate and industrial uses. This year, one of the group’s key subsidiaries, Rostvertol, is celebrating its 75th anniversary–emphasizing Russia’s strong pedigree in helicopter production.
The FAA plans to formally reexamine the certification standards for helicopters under Parts 27 and 29 of the FARs, the agency announced. Currently, Part 27 helicopters must weigh 7,000 pounds or less and have nine or fewer passenger seats. Helicopters that weigh more than 7,000 pounds and have 10 or more seats fall under the more stringent Part 29 rules.
The FAA is issuing an Airworthiness Directive for Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France) EC130B4 and EC130T2. The AD requires repetitive inspection of the fenestron-to-tailboom junction frame for a crack. This AD is prompted by reports of a crack propagating through the junction frame on two EC130B4 helicopters. These actions are intended to detect a crack and to prevent failure of the junction frame, which could result in loss of the fenestron and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
The FAA is publishing a new Airworthiness Directive (AD) for certain AgustaWestland AB139 and AW139 helicopters. It requires repetitive inspection of the main rotor (M/R) rotating scissors for play of the lower half scissor spherical bearing and removing the bearing if there is play beyond allowable limits. It also requires removing all affected bearings. This AD is prompted by reports of certain bearings dislodging from certain M/R rotating scissors.
The U.S. Army will assemble a panel later this month or in September to explain the flight-test phase of its joint multi-role technology demonstration (JMR TD) to develop a future vertical-lift aircraft. The service has said that it plans to select two proposed designs to advance to fabrication and flight-testing.
Aircraft maintenance plan provider JSSI is pushing harder into the red-hot helicopter market. The company recently hired Ray Weiser as its new helicopter program specialist and will soon unveil several programs aimed at the helicopter market, according to CEO Neil Book.
North Sea helicopter operators expect to deploy improved emergency breathing systems (EBS) progressively, beginning in the middle of this month, to comply with CAA rules issued to improve the safety of offshore helicopter operations in the North Sea. The Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG) expected the first batch of approved equipment to arrive soon after the UK CAA approved the system, which had not taken place as of early last month. Training will be based on a classroom session lasting a maximum of 90 minutes.
Bell Helicopter is applying systems designed for its 525 Relentless commercial medium twin to the V-280 Valor third-generation tiltrotor technology demonstrator it is developing for the U.S. Army as part of its Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Program for Future Vertical Lift (FVL).