Russian manufacturers Kamov and Mil are developing advanced high-speed helicopter (AHSH) designs with the goal of creating a helicopter that flies as fast as
Israel’s Urban Aeronautics is ground-testing its unmanned Mule fancraft, an unconventional rotorcraft featuring two shrouded main rotors in tandem configuration that should one day have a manned version for rescue missions in cities. The first untethered flight of the Mule, originally scheduled to take place in the spring, has been postponed until September or October.
Sikorsky S-76A, Santa Maria, Calif., June 27, 2008–The pilot’s misjudgment of clearance from an object during a hovering turn for landing was the probable cause of the crash of an S-76A operated under Part 135 by Arctic Air Service, the NTSB has determined. Contributing to the accident was an inadequately marked heliport surface and the close proximity of an obstruction to the landing area.
Bell 222, Milliken, Colo., March 13, 2009–Several parts were seen to fall off the helicopter while in flight, landing in the observer’s yard and the neighboring property. The commercial pilot said he was flying in cruise at approximately 1,500 feet when he felt “a bump on the controls,” heard a bang and thought he had hit a bird. The pilot returned to his departure airport 45 miles away.
The latest variant of Agusta Westland’s AW101 medium-lift helicopter is appearing at the Paris Air Show for the first time here this week, raising the new variant’s international profile and helping the manufacturer promote new business with the likes of Fittipaldi Aircraft, a joint venture between car racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi and investment bank State Capital.
Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) has opened a regional parts facility with Times Aerospace Korea (TAK) at the Gimpo Aerospace Complex in Gimpo City, Gyongg-Do, Republic of Korea. The facility will stock parts for Sikorsky helicopters and may also stock fixed-wing aircraft parts for customers of Derco Aerospace, a SAS company. TAK is an authorized Sikorsky S-76 service center and owns and operates Sikorsky S-92s and S-61s.
Columbia Helicopters has dispatched one of its Boeing 234 Chinook tandem-rotor helicopters to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula to assist with wildfire suppression. The helicopter is based in Cancun on a 30-day contract in partnership with Vertical Aviation of San Antonio and Scala Helicopters in Mexico City. It is Columbia’s first firefighting assignment in Mexico.
As Sikorsky prepares to deliver its 100th medium-lift, twin-engine S-92A, the role main rotor vibration and other past problems with the helicopter’s main rotor gearbox (MGB) played in the fatal crash of a Cougar Helicopters S-92 off Newfoundland on March 12 remains under study by Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB).
Texas Aviation Services has won “a multiple-aircraft contract” from Rotorcraft Leasing to assess, evaluate and conform Bell 206 JetRangers to Rotorcraft Leasing’s requirements. Eleven of the company’s fleet of 80 helicopters are already at the Texas Aviation Fort Worth facility.
Eurocopter is working on a compound helicopter with a single main rotor, a fixed wing with two propellers in puller configuration and no tail rotor, probably in response to Sikorsky’s X2 and Bell/Agusta Aerospace’s BA609 Tiltrotor, which are attempts to create a faster rotorcraft. The Marignane, France-based helicopter manufacturer in May last year filed a patent application at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.