The trend toward “plug and play” replacement of legacy electromechanical instrumentation with electronic glass displays continues into the rotorcraft market with an STC won by Aspen Avionics authorizing installation of its EFD1000H flight display system in Bell 206 and 407 panels. A full-function simulator at the Aspen booth (No. 2304) demonstrates the system’s versatility, ease of installation and user-friendly pilot-machine interface.
“Even something as simple as sand ingestion can easily reduce an engine’s time between overhauls by 50 percent or more,” said Bob Stenberg, business development director for Donaldson (Booth No. 2847). The company specializes in the design and development of filtration systems and has recently received an FAA STC for an inlet barrier filter (IBF) system for the Bell 430.
New technology is a main focus of Eurocopter at Heli-Expo 2010. At its booth (No. 3128) the company is showing rotor blade technologies designed to reduce noise and vibration, and an avionics technology that promises to improve pilot situational awareness and safety.
Jetnet is featuring its new market “Views,” at-a-glance summaries of market and aircraft information for its subscribers, at Booth No. 3017. Each View is a summary page that gathers data points from throughout Jetnet’s flagship Evolution service and compiles them into a single screen of organized lists, graphs, photos and tables for easy assessment of marketplace status and trends.
There are surprisingly active developments in the single-engine helicopter field, with new rotorcraft on the way such as the turbine-powered Robinson R66 and Sikorsky S-434. Kit manufacturer RotorWay is even coming to market with a planned certified turbine helicopter, the 300T Eagle, announced at last year’s EAA AirVenture show. The Russian Helicopters Mi-34S2 Sapsan will also offer turbine power.
Bell Helicopter’s XworX special projects and rapid prototyping center exists to give customers added value, according to Nick Lappos, senior vice president for XworX. Lappos says XworX can “be more agile and use non-traditional methods” for things such as blueprint release and purchasing to get the job done faster.
The prototype of the Eurocopter EC 175 made its “official maiden flight” on December 17, almost two weeks after its actual first flight on December 4 in Marignane, France. The flight-test phase is now well under way. The event, attended by customers, employees, suppliers and journalists, was also the opportunity for Eurocopter to highlight the cooperation with China’s Avicopter.
Pre-owned aircraft broker JetBrokers has launched a European operation with offices in the UK and Switzerland. The new company trades in business jets, turboprops and helicopters and is set up to complete deals across Europe. Its portfolio already consists of almost 40 aircraft.
The FAA is adopting an airworthiness directive (AD) for Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (Bell) Model 407s and 427s. It is based on a mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) AD issued by Transport Canada.
Sandel Avionics of Vista, Calif., has begun pre-certification flight testing of a helicopter-specific terrain avoidance warning system based on its fixed-wing class-A TAWS. The system, HTAWS, will meet or exceed performance for any current class-B TAWS for helicopters, company founder and president Gerry Block told NBAA Convention News. Initial flight testing is taking place at San Diego’s Montgomery Field using a Eurocopter AS 350B2 AStar.