The FAA is moving to redefine what “extremely remote” means when it comes to Part 29 certification provisions regarding loss of helicopter gearbox lubrication. The S-92 originally gained certification after Sikorsky convinced the FAA that complete loss of lubrication was extremely remote. Failure of the main rotor gearbox lubrication system is blamed for the fatal ditching of a Cougar Helicopters S-92A off Newfoundland in March 2009.
FOCUS on…AUTOROTATION TRAINING “Infrequent autorotation training is dangerous,” said Chad Oakley, chief pilot at the Bell Academy, yesterday at a Heli-Expo training session called, “Autorotations, Reality Exposed.” Other participants at the one-hour session–pilots, instructors, and representatives from the FAA, NTSB, OEMs, and several fleet operators–agreed.
Jeffrey Pino, CEO of Sikorsky Aircraft was all smiles as he delivered the State of Sikorsky Briefing at Heli-Expo 2012. Orders are up overall, as of December 2011, and with the worldwide fleet of large helicopters now averaging 30 years old, or older, he expects more helicopter orders are imminent. Here are a few of the highlights from Pino’s briefing.
* Sikorsky sold $7.4 billion in helicopters in 2011.
Bond Aviation Group signed a contract to purchase 16 Sikorsky S-92 helicopters at Heli-Expo 2012, the largest single order for S-92s ever recorded. Sikorsky will begin delivering the aircraft in groups of four-to-five a year starting in the second quarter of 2013.
Carey Bond, chief marketing officer for Sikorsky, welcomed the Bond (no relation) aviation group to the Sikorsky family with a celebratory contract signing and a toast at the Sikorsky exhibit booth (No. 6148).
Garmin announced the new G5000H helicopter avionics suite at Heli-Expo yesterday, coinciding with Bell’s launch of its largest-ever helicopter, the 525 Relentless. The new helicopter is the launch customer for the G5000H.
The Bell 525 will feature a four-display system and incorporate Bell’s new awareness, react and control (ARC) cockpit. Demonstrations of the G5000H in a 12-inch screen configuration are available at Garmin’s Heli-Expo booth (No. 9432). G5000H displays are also available in 14-inch size.
Eurocopter launched its new EC175 helicopter four years ago at the Heli-Expo show in Houston, Texas, showing a fuselage mockup of the new helicopter. Last month, AIN editor-in-chief Randy Padfield had the opportunity to fly one of the EC175 prototypes at Eurocopter’s main facility on Marseille-Provence Airport in France. This is his report of that flight.
Sikorsky has selected GE Aviation (Booth No. 1217) to provide the GE YT706-GE-700R engines and engineering support for Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider program. The Raider is the military version of the experimental X2, a single-engine rotorcraft with coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and a pusher propeller. The Fadec-controlled GE engine offers 2,500 to 3,000 shp and is based on the GE700/CT7 family. GE said it developed the GE3000 for medium-lift applications and this engine could be incorporated into the Raider in the future.
HAI will present its Salute to Excellence Awards tonight in the categories of safety, maintenance, law enforcement, communications, flight instructor, pilot and Lifetime Achievement.
UAE-based Quest Helicopters, a new entrant in the rotorcraft industry, launched a tandem-rotor, light-twin helicopter–the AVQ–at the Dubai Air Show on Sunday.
The only rotorcraft on display at Jet Expo 2011 was the Bell 429, of which the first example to be delivered to Russia arrived in June. The helicopter came in crates and was assembled at the Moscow aircraft repair plant with help of Russian rotorcraft maker Kazan.