Russian Helicopters is here at the Singapore Airshow (Stand U87) exhibiting three models: the Ka-32A11BC medium twin in rescue and firefighting configuration; the Ka-226T light twin with a medical module; and the Mi-38 heavy twin, which is primarily designed for passenger and cargo transportation.
The EASA has certified the Airbus Helicopters EC175 medium twin, issuing the type certificate last Thursday. On January 28, the airframer announced it had completed the certification process and was expecting the certificate within days, which the EASA qualified by indicating the document would be delivered in the first quarter. An EASA spokesman confirmed yesterday that the final paperwork was completed more quickly than anticipated.
Russian Helicopters delivered 303 civil and military rotorcraft last year, a slight increase on the previous year’s 290. The backlog, as of December 11, stood at 772 helicopters worth RUB370 billion ($11 billion). The order book is full for this year, 73 percent for next year and 25 percent for 2016. The company has undertaken a modernization project, installing “more than 800 new pieces of machinery” in its factories last year. Output per employee increased by 12.4 percent, to RUB3.4 million ($100,000).
The Netherlands Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Association has chosen operator Noordzee Helicopters Vlaanderen (NHV) for search-and-rescue (SAR) services. The contract took effect January 1 and has a minimum duration of six months. NHV will operate from Den Helder Airport with two Airbus Helicopters AS365N Dauphins. The supplemental availability of AS365Ns from the Botlek area means that in emergencies at least three helicopters can be operational simultaneously, providing the capacity to rescue crews operating in the Dutch continental shelf area.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) says he wants the FAA to apply noise rules to all helicopters transiting the Los Angeles basin, including those flown by emergency services. “Not all law-enforcement flights are emergencies,” Schiff said during an interview with SoCal public radio station KCRW.
The rarefied offshore energy market continues to be the prime driver for development of new civil helicopters, but the training and entry-level market is also heating up, with Bell and others announcing or hinting at new models.
While the worldwide deepwater offshore energy boom fuels an increase in civil helicopter sales, that will translate into only modest sales gains within the U.S. market, research consulting firm Frost & Sullivan (F&S) predicts. In a recently released study, F&S predicts U.S. civil helicopter purchases will rise to $1.07 billion by 2020 from $890 million in 2012, accounting for approximately one-third of worldwide demand.
Three people (the pilot and two passengers) aboard a Bell 206 died January 27 near Silt, Colo., when their power line patrol helicopter crashed after striking a wire at about 11:20 a.m. Rifle, Colo.-based DBS Helicopters operated the aircraft.
In 2009 offshore-energy helicopter operator Bristow Group bought 42.5 percent of Brazil’s Lider Aviação Holding for $174 million. “Bristow is happy with its investment in Lider,” Bristow executive vice president Mark Duncan recently told AIN. “It was a bold and strategic move and it was the right move.”
Helicopter manufacturers, suppliers and operators are preparing for their annual pilgrimage to the Helicopter Association International (HAI) Heli-Expo, held this year in Anaheim, Calif., which should provide a welcome break from the brutal winter weather that has battered most of the U.S. The show officially opens on February 24, and exhibit hall days are February 25 to 27.