Gardner Aviation Services is offering a general aviation fixed-wing and rotorcraft product support catalog that features avionics, instruments and pilot supplies, including the latest in digital displays, communications and ADS-B technologies. The new catalog serves as a buyer’s guide for selecting equipment designed for both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. Product photos and descriptions identify hundreds of items and their function.
Two gunmen attempted a daring daylight helicopter prison break from a maximum-security prison in Saint-Jerome, Quebec, on Sunday.
The Robinson R44 Raven I, owned by Heli-Tremblant and operated by Quebec Helicopters, was hijacked by two gunmen during a sightseeing flight shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday and directed to fly to the prison. There, a rope line was lowered for the escapees, who were then flown to a getaway car near Mont-Tremblant, where the helicopter and pilot were located by police.
Sikorsky disclosed its 2012 performance last week, and it appears the U.S. helicopter manufacturer has a $2.2 billion backlog for commercial helicopters. The released charts lack precision, but AIN estimates civil sales totaled approximately $800 million last year and are forecast to increase to around $1.3 billion this year. A major geographical shift is under way, as developing markets are seen accounting for approximately half of Sikorsky’s civil helicopter deliveries in 2020.
Helicopter pilots unexpectedly straying into IFR conditions and losing control of their aircraft has been identified as the cause of the greatest number of rotorcraft fatalities, according to the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST). The group, which is focused on greatly reducing helicopter accidents by 2016, has reported that NTSB figures from 2011 indicate that 45 of 52 such accidents proved fatal to occupants. “That means the chances of surviving an inadvertent encounter with IFR are just 14 percent,” according to IHST.
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.