Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison said that the price of the company’s new short light single (SLS) helicopter would be pegged near $1 million. Bell is expected to reveal a mock-up of its re-entry into the light single market at its booth on Tuesday at 11 a.m.
The amount of Rockwell Collins avionics products in helicopters continues to grow and the company is a significant supplier for AgustaWestland, Airbus Helicopters, Aviacopter, HAL, Russian Helicopters and Sikorsky. To leverage its rotorcraft capabilities, Rockwell Collins developed the HeliSure family of products, designed to help improve pilots’ situational awareness, especially in “congested and hazard-filled airspace,” according to the company.
Busy times for helicopter manufacturers bringing new rotorcraft to market are keeping engine maker Pratt &Whitney Canada (P&WC) busy as well. Among the new turboshafts approaching certification is its PW210A engine for AgustaWestland’s new AW169 twin. At the same time, the PT6C-67E will soon be powering the service entry of the new Airbus Helicopters EC175.
Helicopter manufacturers will deliver between 4,800 and 5,500 new turbine-powered civilian models in the next five years, Honeywell (Booth No. 6502) predicts in its annual market forecast.
The Australia Helicopter Industry Association (AHIA) has announced that the new Rotortech 2014 show will be held from May 24 to 25 at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort in Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. Space is available for 20 small helicopters or 15 medium helicopters at the show site, according to the organizers, and there are 25 display booths for exhibitors in the main conference area, many of which have already been booked.
Tiger Tugs Helicopter Transport’s newest helicopter mover–the Model 12.0–can handle helicopters weighing up to 12,000 pounds. The Model 12.0 is ideal for handling aircraft such as the Bell 212 and 412 safely and easily, according to the Bend, Ore.-based company.
Tiger Tugs (Booth No. 7616) claims to have developed a new concept for moving helicopters safely and efficiently. “We took a fresh look at the tug market, interviewed users of other tugs, then set out to design a safer and easier-to-use vehicle,” the company explained.
Prompted by industry demand, the FAA is considering approving the installation and use of TCAS II aboard helicopters but is concerned about certification challenges. Major operators have been successfully using TCAS II for several years in regions such as the North Sea.
Air Methods, the largest helicopter EMS operator in the U.S., is expanding its international operations, growing its heli-tourism division and has expanded its fixed-wing operations into jet ambulances.
CEO Kurt Robinson said he is focusing on keeping his family’s helicopter company “lean and mean to provide a good product at a competitive price” to bring value to its customers. “We’re going to keep our pencils sharpened,” he told AIN. Robinson Helicopter posted another strong year in 2013, producing 523 helicopters, up from 517 in 2012 and a long climb from the 2010 rate of 162. As was the case in 2012, the piston-powered R44 continues to be the top seller, with 289 produced in 2013; but the $839,000 turbine-single R66, with 192 already delivered, remains the company cash cow.
Bell Helicopter has sold two Bell 412EPIs and two 407GXs to Chongqing General Aviation, marking the first Bell helicopters to be used in China for parapublic missions, including firefighting and search-and-rescue. The four aircraft will serve the Chongqing Fire Fighting Department. “We are pleased to collaborate with Chongqing in its efforts to further its parapublic offerings,” said Chris Jaran, managing director for Bell Helicopter in China.