On Monday, Italian helicopter maker AgustaWestland revealed that it has been secretly flying an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing demonstration aircraft powered by twin-electric, direct-drive tiltrotors. The “Project Zero” tiltrotor was designed and built in six months by the company’s advanced concepts group and has been flying since 2011.
Robinson Helicopter revealed its intention to obtain approval to operate its R44 and R22 piston-engine helicopters on unleaded fuel this week at Heli-Expo. According to Robinson CEO Kurt Robinson, engine maker Lycoming needs to obtain FAA approval to burn unleaded fuels in its engines while Robinson must perform airframe testing with the fuels on board for each of its relevant helicopter models.
Parker Aerospace (Booth No. C2329) announced at Heli-Expo ’13 that it recently received STC/PMA from EASA on fuel pumps for a variety of Eurocopter models.
The new components–for the AS332L and L1; AS355/Twin Star; SA365 and SA365N/Dauphin 2, SA365N1 and N2; and AS355E, F, F1 and F2–were previously approved by the FAA and are now available for European operators, according to Jeff Kelling, service center manager for Parker’s fluid system division.
Part of the allure of a helicopter is the incredible visibility from inside the cockpit and cabin. Fort-Worth, Texas based Tech-Tool Plastics (Booth No. C3601) introduced a new version of its Cabin Comfort window for the Eurocopter EC120 and EC130 T2 during Heli-Expo ’13.
“The added visibility and room provided by our windows is ideal for the tourist industry,” said Johnny Wilson, founder and president of the company.
An aviation maintenance technician’s self-portrait of his solitary work one evening on the swashplate friction of a large-cabin helicopter was recently awarded top honors in the first-ever photo contest in Rotor magazine, the official publication of Helicopter Association International (HAI).
Pablo Linares of Fort Worth, Texas, used a small digital camera mounted on a tripod to capture his work under the lights. In accepting the grand prize of $500, Linares stated the photo demonstrated that, “Behind a great aviation department, there is always a great maintenance crew.”
The heat is on the Bell Helicopter 429, thanks to an STC issued to Tanis Aircraft Products for a complete heli-preheat system for the light twin-engine helicopter.
Erickson Air-Crane has executed a binding term sheet to acquire the Air Amazonia aerial services business from Brazilian oil and gas exploration and production firm HRT Partcipacoes em Petroleo. The move supersedes a non-binding letter of intent Erickson submitted in September 2012.
Gordon Jiroux, president of Universal Helicopters (Booth No. C1211) and Adam Aldous, CEO of Night Flight Concepts, awarded their first Vision Award, a full scholarship valued at up to $12,000 for night vision certification in the Robinson R44 in conjunction with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Night Flight Concepts. The scholarship includes transportation and lodging, as well as up to eight hours of flight training and 10 hours of ground training in Prescott, Ariz. The winner of the scholarship was determined from a random drawing of candidates who were attending Heli-Expo ‘13.
American Helicopter Society International (AHS International, Booth No. N6304) is marking its 70th anniversary here at Heli-Expo. With 6,100 members from 44 countries, AHS International is dedicated to finding technical solutions for vertical lift, including solving the challenge of human-powered vertical flight. AHS International is offering a $250,000 prize, funded by Sikorsky Aircraft (founded by one of the organization’s charter members, Igor Sikorsky) to the designer(s) of a helicopter that can hover for at least one minute at least 9.84 feet over a 32.8-foot-sided square.
Helitowcart unveiled its new dual-wheel assembly for the Robinson R44 and R66 at Heli-Expo ’13, adding to its line of helicopter handling devices and accessories. Like the company’s other dual-wheel assemblies, the Robinson kit caters to personnel operating on rugged terrain, or who wish to distribute aircraft weight on four tires. The wheel assembly offers two possible heights, is constructed from heavy-duty materials and offers long-arm control to ease rotation. The assembly is also designed to maintain solid contact with the helicopter skid.