L-3 Avionics is at Booth No. 2526 demonstrating the GH-3001 electronic standby primary flight display, which the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal has ordered for the CH-47F Improved Cargo Helicopter fleet program. The open-ended contract valued at approximately $9.2 million will run through early 2013.
Italian manufacturer AgustaWestland’s helicopters address what has become a sweet spot in today’s economy, the medium helicopter segment. And according to AgustaWestland CEO Giuseppe Orsi, the company is faring well during the worldwide economic downturn.
How is the world economy affecting AgustaWestland?
As part of a global strategy to deploy new simulator facilities on three continents by 2011, Eurocopter is displaying for the first time anywhere an avionics trainer it has developed for the Eurocopter EC 135. The device uses touch screens to control all avionics functions and is available for hands-on demonstrations at Booth No. 2754.
Improved hover performance in high and hot conditions for the Bell Huey and its derivatives is the promise of the FastFin tail-rotor enhancement and stability system from Boundary Layer Research (Booth No. 2970) of Everett, Wash. The company recently delivered its 100th UH-1 FastFin and announced that Wildcat Helicopters, Kelowna, British Columbia, will become the first fleet customer to install the system on the Bell 212.
The fundamentals driving the helicopter industry remain intact, even as tight credit and a global recession compound to put the brakes on helicopter sales. Eurocopter’s order backlog stands at more than $18 billion–including a number of large military contracts. Eurocopter CEO Dr.
Sikorsky Aircraft has completed the first round of flight tests of the new X2 demonstrator and is on target to reach 250 knots by year-end, according to Jim Kagdis, Sikorsky’s manager of advanced programs.
Indian helicopter requirements provided the only real news at this month’s Aero India event in Bangalore. Indian officials confirmed the relaunch of the competition for nearly 200 armed light helicopters, a requirement that is now called the reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter (RSH). Eurocopter has proposed the AS 550 C3 Fennec, with license-manufacture by Hindustan Aeronautics.
Defense business accounts for nearly half the turnover of Eurocopter, and recent export orders should help the EADS subsidiary overcome a downturn in commercial orders. Over the past two months, a major deal to supply 50 EC 725 Cougars to Brazil has been announced, followed by 15 more to Greece for SAR duties.
Intense speculation surrounds the Obama Administration’s Fiscal Year 2010 U.S. defense budget submission, which is now being deliberated in secret within the Pentagon. According to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, difficult choices must be made. The spotlight has fallen on two aerospace programs: whether to buy any more F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, and whether to abandon the VH-71 Presidential helicopter program.
Sikorsky’s S-76D made its first flight on Saturday at the company’s West Palm Beach, Fla. test facility. The helicopter taxied, hovered, made hover turns and achieved a top forward speed of 40 knots during the 30-minute flight. The flight came three years after Sikorsky began development of the latest S-76 variant. “The next generation of the S-76 helicopter begins today,” said program manager Jason Durno.