UK Royal Air Force (RAF) crews have begun training on the Eurocopter Puma Mk 2, although the two squadrons will not be cleared for service until 2015. Under a contract signed in 2009, Eurocopter is upgrading 24 of the 40-year-old helicopters with new engines, glass cockpits, digital autopilot and other improvements. Seven have been redelivered to date.
India’s twice-bid reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter (RSH) competition has been delayed again. An oversight committee is now scrutinizing the latest bids to inquire into allegations of improper conduct by an army officer during flight trials of the finalists. The Kamov Ka-226T and Eurocopter AS550C3 Fennec are competing for an Army and Air Force requirement for 197 helicopters.
Russian Helicopters has delivered an Mi-26T to Kazakhstan’s Emergencies Ministry. It is the first of the type–capable of carrying a 44,000-pound payload–to enter service in the country. The helicopter was delivered after an overhaul and modifications at a repair facility in Novosibirsk, Russia. Kazakhstan has commissioned Russian Helicopters to overhaul and modify two Mi-26 military helicopters, which had previously been in storage for 20 years. They will be used for diverse operations, including fire fighting and evacuations, the manufacturer said.
Helicopter engine manufacturer Turbomeca announced that the Ardiden 3C/WZ16, which was jointly developed with China’s Avic Engine, made its first run at the French firm’s test facility in Bordes in southwest France. The successful ground test confirmed the turboshaft engine’s aeromechanical behavior and performance, according to Turbomeca.
Marenco Swisshelicopter unveiled the first prototype of its all-composite SKYe SH09 light single helicopter on Thursday at Mollis Airport in Switzerland. First flight is expected early next year and production should start in 2015, the company said.
Targeting the higher end of the light single segment, the SH09 features a carbon-fiber airframe, a five-blade main rotor to cut vibration and a 1,020-shp Honeywell HTS900-2 turboshaft. A compact instrument panel and extended transparencies afford the helicopter exceptional visibility for the crew and passengers, Marenco said.
A Eurocopter EC135T2i light twin helicopter, operated by Bond Air Services for Police Scotland, crashed into a busy pub in Glasgow on Friday night, killing nine and injuring more than 30. Among the nine fatalities are the helicopter’s three occupants–a Bond pilot and two police officers.
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is investigating, along with Eurocopter engineers. Eurocopter asserted that since the four main rotor blades are still attached to the main rotor mast, a crack in the mast is unlikely to have caused the accident.
The Eurocopter EC175 medium twin has set two new time-to-climb records as it zeroes in on certification, four years after its first flight. It climbed to 6,000 meters (19,670 feet) in 6 minutes 54 seconds and to 3,000 meters (9,840 feet) in 3 minutes 10 seconds. The Fédèration Aéronautique Internationale ratified both records, said Eurocopter.
Washington, D.C.-based Potomac Solutions entered into a multi-year relationship with Phoenix Heliparts of Mesa, Ariz. The agreement will bring a range of aviation maintenance and repair organization capabilities and technologies to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Potomac Solutions specializes in platform and systems acquisition, modification and integration, third-party logistics and distribution. Phoenix Heliparts, a specialist in MD 500, Bell UH-1, Bell 407 and AH-1 Cobra helicopter maintenance, is expanding its target area to serve clients in the MENA region.
Bell Helicopter (Chalet A48) is aiming for the first flights of the Bell 525 Relentless and Bell SLS late next year, and the two engineering teams working on the new helicopters are engaged in a friendly race, CEO John Garrison said here on Monday.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s final report on the 2011 crash of a Eurocopter AS355F2 cites spatial disorientation as one of the reasons the pilot lost control of the helicopter and crashed into terrain, killing all three people aboard. The helicopter was being operated under visual flight rules in an area east of Lake Eyre in South Australia, the lowest point in the country at 50 feet below sea level.