The FAA has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) aimed at reducing noise generated by new helicopters and supplemental type certificate (STC) modifications for new helicopters certified under Part 36 (noise standards) of the federal aviation regulations (FARs).
The FAA is proposing an Airworthiness Directive for the Eurocopter AS332C, L and L1 to require initial and repetitive inspections of the outer skin, butt strap and fuselage frame for a crack and modification of the helicopter. The proposed AD is prompted by an AD issued by the EASA that states a crack was discovered in a fuselage frame during a daily check.
Bell Helicopter has delivered two Bell 407GXs, the first of that model operated in a sightseeing capacity, to Helicopter Flight Services, a New York-based operator. Helicopter Flight Services flies a fleet of five Bell 407s and the two new 407GXs, offering tours, charters, aerial photography, lift work and custom projects.
Helicopter pilots need to take more ownership of a steadily increasing number of accidents, according to the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST). In the seven-day period between October 10 and October 17 the industry reported four accidents that took the lives of seven people. Two accidents on the same day, October 10, claimed two lives, one in northeastern Pennsylvania and the other in central Louisiana.
Three contenders for the U.S. Army’s as-yet-undefined armed aerial scout (AAS) requirement–Bell Helicopter, Boeing and EADS North America–have just completed a series of flight demonstrations for Army evaluators who are studying alternatives to the aging OH-58D Kiowa Warrior for manned reconnaissance. They reported the results at the Association of the U.S.
A French court recently ruled that the Bell 429 light twin helicopter production skid gear does not infringe Eurocopter’s landing skid gear patent, following a complaint filed by the European helicopter manufacturer.
“Integrity is woven into the fiber of our company,” said Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison, praising the decision. The French court also ordered Eurocopter to pay Bell Helicopter and Bell Canada, each, the sum of €65,000 ($85,000) in costs. A spokesperson for the European manufacturer told AIN Eurocopter now plans to lodge an appeal.
Eurocopter plans to design a fly-by-wire (FBW) control system for light helicopters, according to a job offer the company published yesterday. The manufacturer is looking for an engineer who would initially be tasked with writing specifications for the FBW system, which seems to indicate the entry into service of such a rotorcraft would take place after that of the still-under-wraps X4. A Dauphin medium-twin replacement, the fly-by-wire X4 is planned to enter into service in 2020.
The FAA granted type certification last Friday for the Sikorsky S-76D medium-twin helicopter, a protracted program that was launched in 2006. Deliveries, which were originally slated to start in late 2010, are now planned to begin later this quarter, as the backlog is “approaching half a billion dollars.”
According to Sikorsky Global Helicopters vice president Ed Beyer, “The S-76D will offer a higher cruise speed than its predecessors, coupled with more efficient fuel burn, making the S-76 more productive than ever.” Deliveries of the original S-76 began in 1979.
The diesel engine demonstrator aiming to replace turboshafts in light helicopters, which could cut fuel burn by about 30 percent, is said to be on track for installation and ground tests on a Eurocopter EC120 in the first quarter of 2014. Some components have been tested in laboratories and critical design reviews conducted last week were successful, according to project officer Sébastien Dubois.
Scott’s Bell 47 (SB47) and Rolls-Royce have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the application of the RR300 turbine engine in the SB47 multipurpose light helicopter. Scott’s acquired the type certificate for the Model 47 from Bell Helicopter in 2010 and is currently supporting the helicopter and offering complete refurbishment and updates for the aircraft. The company’s ultimate goal is to place the helicopter back into new production.