Bell Helicopter signed a memorandum of understanding with Van Horn Aviation to develop a composite tail rotor blade for the Bell 212 and Bell 412. Under the agreement, Van Horn will design, certify and manufacture the rotor blades, with Bell Helicopter Engineering participating in the design and certification processes. When certified, the blades will be distributed under Bell Helicopter’s Aeronautical Accessories brand.
Bell Helicopter delivered the first Bell 429 light twins to customers in Nigeria last week. They are also the first Bell 429s to be shipped to operators on the African continent. One of the helicopters was handed over to the Nigeria Police Air Wing (NPAW) and the other went to the Nigeria Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). The NPAW will use the Bell 429 for general law enforcement, surveillance and force projection, while the NEMA will fly the aircraft for disaster relief and humanitarian support missions.
Boeing continues to assert full confidence in the design and airworthiness of the 787, notwithstanding U.S. aviation authorities’ move last Friday to launch “a comprehensive review” of all “critical” systems following reports of a string of incidents involving the Dreamliner, most notably Monday’s fire within the aft electronics bay of a Japan Airlines airplane parked at Boston Logan Airport.
Able Aerospace Services announced the availability of a new Bell 206 main rotor strap fitting and pin PMA replacement part. Operators of the Bell 206 series can now further reduce operating costs by using the exclusive FAA-certified PMA parts. The main rotor strap fitting and pin are components of the Bell main rotor hub. The strap fitting replaces Bell Part Number 206-011-150-105 and the strap pin replaces Bell Part Number 206-011-125-105. Parts are available immediately at up to 50 percent less than OEM parts, according to the company.
A Bell 412 helicopter played a key role in the December 2 celebration of the United Arab Emirates National Day, towing the world’s largest banner–the UAE national flag–along the seaside Corniche. The banner was visible from 20 kilometers as the Falcon Aviation Services helicopter towed the massive 4,600-sq-m flag. The celebration also included hot air balloon rides, aerial aerobatic demonstrations and fireworks.
A Russian company called Satellit-Development has plans to develop a heliport between Saint Petersburg’s “beltway” and Pulkovo airport. Dubbed Heli-Drive, it is said to be the first commercial heliport in the country. “I hope our project will help medical and rescue services, as well as private enterprises and guests of Saint Petersburg,” said co-owner Vladimir Skigin.
Bell Helicopter announced purchase agreements for 15 new helicopters at the recently concluded Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai. The agreements cover two Bell 429s, 11 Bell 407GXs and two Bell 206L4s. Also at the show, Bell announced the signing of a MoU with Guangzhou Civil Aviation College to assist with the establishment of a maintenance training facility for the Bell 206L and Bell 407. In addition, it appointed Shanghai Kingwing General Aviation Co. and H&P General Aviation Service Co. as authorized customer service facilities.
Bell Helicopter announced at EBACE that it completed deliveries of six of its newest helicopters in Europe over the past month. Three Bell 407GXs, the first of its kind in Europe, were delivered in Belgium, Denmark and, most recently, Iceland. Bell also shipped three Bell 429s in Russia and Ukraine. Bell showcased a Bell 429 medium twin outfitted for corporate missions at the European show. The helicopter on display is midway through a European demo tour, with upcoming stops in Belgium, Czech Republic the UK and Serbia.
For flight academies training the next crop of Chinese pilots, a flight simulator or training device can make the training process much more efficient and effective. Simulator manufacturer Frasca International is here at ABACE 2012 (Booth H509) to promote simulators and flight-training devices for flight-training organizations, and to add to the more than 20 Frasca devices already in use in China. The next five to 10 years will see rapid growth of aviation in China, said Niu Tao, Frasca’s chief representative for China. Tao is based in Frasca’s office in Beijing.
Bell Helicopter and Eurocopter both claimed victory in a ruling by the Federal Court of Canada on Tuesday. The case centered around a Eurocopter-patented landing gear design that was apparently used on two Bell 429 prototypes. While the court dismissed 15 of the 16 claims filed against Bell, it did find that the Texas-based company violated Eurocopter’s patent on the two 429 prototypes.