Cobham Aerospace Communication’s Digital Audio Control System (DACS) has been selected for Life Flight Network’s 15 new AgustaWestland AW119Kx helicopters. The Aurora, Ore.-based aeromedical transport provider is the launch customer for the AW119Kx and will be taking delivery of its first aircraft this year. According to Cobham, the DACS is a compact and lightweight unit that “distributes and controls aircraft audio to/from all transceivers, receivers and audio warning systems.” Software in the DACS allows customization of the system to fit customer needs.
Bristow Helicopters, the largest global helicopter provider, is set to become the U.S. launch customer for the not-yet-certified Eurocopter EC175. Representatives of the operator and manufacturer are expected to sign the purchase agreement at Eurocopter’s Heli-Expo booth (No. C2922) at 3 p.m. this afternoon, here in Las Vegas.
Global demand for helicopters is expected to increase over the next five years, according to the results of Honeywell’s Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook survey, released here at Heli-Expo ‘13. Deliveries of new civilian-use helicopters will total between 4,900 and 5,600 units during 2013-2017 according to the survey, with strong demand focused in the first three years of the period and reflected in every region of the world. This is 35 percent higher for this three-year period than was recorded in last year’s survey.
Taking into account both civil and military markets, the yearly delivery value of rotorcraft is comparable to the $18 billion business jet industry, according to aviation analyst Brian Foley. In fact, he is forecasting some 24,000 rotorcraft deliveries over the next 10 years, including 12,000 civil turbines, 6,000 military turbines and 6,000 piston helicopters valued at roughly $250 billion–roughly the same outlook for business jet billings.
Garmin’s touchscreen GTN series GPS navcoms have been optimized for helicopters, with new features that eliminate the need for rotorcraft operators to install the fixed-wing GTN version. The new helicopter-optimized GTN comes in five configurations that meet vibration and temperature testing standards and offer optional NVG compatibility and optional H-Taws.
Universal Helicopters will award its Vision Award, a full scholarship valued at up to $12,000 for night-vision goggle (NVG) certification in a Robinson R44, to one lucky Heli-Expo attendee on Wednesday. The company’s NVG certification program–which is conducted at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Ariz. campus–includes a maximum of seven hours flight and 10 hours of ground training. Those who wish to be in the drawing must hold an FAA commercial rotorcraft helicopter certificate, enter at Universal Helicopters’ booth and be present to win.
The aircraft modification segment of Butler National’s wholly owned subsidiary Avcon (Booth No. C3004) is exhibiting at Heli-Expo for the first time. Avcon is armed with a novel concept design for a skid-mount portable system for Lidar system operations in rotorcraft. Avcon modifies business and cargo aircraft, both fixed-wing and rotorcraft, in Newton, Kansas, and provides many FAA-approved solutions to a variety of operators.
Steve Hickok is understandably proud of the work his company has done to bring safe and reliable GPS-enabled lateral navigation (LNAV) and localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches to helicopter operators across the U.S. In fact, every helicopter Waas LPV approach approved since 2008 has been developed by Hickok & Associates (Booth No. N6204.)
For the fifth year running, Heli-Expo “appears to be setting records” for attendance and exhibitors, Matthew Zuccaro, president of show organizer Helicopter Association International (HAI) told AIN on the eve of Heli-Expo ‘13 here in Las Vegas. “We anticipate more than 23,000 attendees, we have approximately 750 exhibitors and 60 helicopters on display,” Zuccaro said.
Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI, Booth No. N5704), provider of hourly cost maintenance programs for the business aviation industry, announced its new airframe programs for the Eurocopter EC135 and EC145 series at Heli-Expo ’13.
“We are excited about providing the option for additional airframe coverage this year, just two years after providing engine coverage for the Eurocopters,” said Walter Given, 16-year JSSI veteran and helicopter program manager for the company.