Bell Helicopter has unveiled three refined mock-ups of its new, five-seat “short light single” (SLS) helicopter and officially named the new helicopter the “505 Jet Ranger X.” Bell previewed the SLS concept with an announcement and renderings at the 2013 Paris Air Show.
Lease Corporation International (LCI) of Dublin, Ireland, announced signing orders for helicopters here at Heli-Expo 2014 worth almost $1 billion: the orders include a contract with AgustaWestland for as many as 18 helicopters valued at more than $280 million and a contract with Airbus Helicopters for as many as 21 new rotorcraft valued at some $645 million. Adding up the new orders and others since its launch in 2012, LCI has ordered more than $1.3 billion worth of rotorcraft.
New Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury and the head of its U.S. arm, Marc Paganini, were visibly penitent when discussing the company’s traditionally problematic customer service at today’s annual company press breakfast here at Heli-Expo. Faury left no doubt that he is committed to focusing more company resources and attention on product support. “It is time for new priorities,” he said. Paganini echoed that sentiment, admitting, “We need to do better.”
New models, new orders and of course, deliveries are what the excitement is all about at Heli-Expo 2014. MD Helicopters (Booth No. 6922) could celebrate a little of all that this week. Company CEO Lynn Tilton unveiled not just the existence of its new MD 530G armed aerial scout helicopter, but that it is flying and on the fast track to completion in the second quarter, with deliveries slated for the third quarter. The company is now taking orders for the $4- $5 million single-engine helicopter.
Ramco Aviation (Booth No. 326) announced Tuesday at Heli-Expo 2014 that longtime customer Columbia Helicopters (Booth 4706) recently began the transition to Ramco’s Solution 5.6 integrated suite of maintenance, finance, human resources and payroll tracking software.
Sikorsky Aircraft highlighted its past achievements, and their influence on the company’s current direction, in introducing its theme of “Technology Meets Tradition” at Heli-Expo 2014 on Tuesday.
Deliveries of the Airbus Helicopters EC135 T3/P3, an upgraded variant of the EC135 light twin, will begin in the fourth quarter of this year, instead of early 2014 asannounced last year,according to an Airbus Helicopters spokesperson.
The new helicopter offers several improvements over the current EC135 T2i/P2i, yielding a 66-pound increase in mtow and improved hot/high performance–an additional 440 pounds of payload at about 5,000 feet, ISA+20.
Aviation industry data provider JetNet has released its year-end statistics for the pre-owned helicopter market, which show that retail sales for used turbine and piston rotorcraft experienced double-digit declines of 11.8 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively, in 2013 compared with the previous year. Turbine helicopters saw an 11.4-percent increase in the number listed for sale year-over-year, with the percentage of the available in-service fleet increasing from 6.1 percent to 6.4 percent, while the average number of days on market declined by 18 days over the previous year, to 414.
Since announcing its partnership with Europe’s Heli Asset and its new rotorcraft sales and acquisition service at the NBAA Convention last October, Annapolis, Md.-based aircraft brokerage Avpro (Booth No. 1411) is here at Heli-Expo, ready to help operators buy and sell VIP and utility configured helicopters.
In a choreographed display of lights and music, Bell Helicopter unveiled three refined mock-ups of its new, five-seat “short light single” (SLS) helicopter–now officially renamed the “505 Jet Ranger X”–this morning at Heli-Expo in Anaheim, Calif. The company previewed the SLS concept with an announcement and renderings last year at the Paris Air Show.