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.
Celebrating PHI’s 60 years of helicopter operations, Sikorsky Aircraft yesterday recognized the well-known operator at the Sikorsky booth (No. 1740) at Heli-Expo’09. Within its diverse fleet, PHI operates 43 S-76 and 10 S-92 helicopters, the largest number of Sikorsky machines in its history. The operator has logged more than 10.5 million helicopter hours since its founding in 1949 through December 2008, flying in some 43 countries.
Sikorsky Aircraft (Booth No. 1740) announced at Heli-Expo’09 the creation of Sikorsky Global Helicopters, a new business unit made up of the manufacturer’s commercial products, including the S-76, S-92 and H-92 platforms, as well as the Schweizer helicopter line.
Hughes 269A, Bremen, Ohio, Aug. 23, 2008–The pilot said that the helicopter’s main rotor rpm was too low as he flared for landing, when practicing a quick-stop maneuver.
Rotorcraft Leasing has acquired 53 Bell 206 single-engine helicopters and related assets operated by the Bristow Group in the Gulf of Mexico for $65 million. The deal includes spares; bases at Rockport, Texas, and Abbeville, La.; and offshore fueling equipment. Most of Bristow’s affected employees are expected to be offered positions
The first two prototypes of the Bell/Agusta BA609 civil tiltrotor had covered around 60 percent of the certification flight-test program in more than 350 flight hours and 225 hours of ground running by the middle of last month, in the process reaching the type’s maximum operating altitude of 25,000 feet, its certification speed of 310 ktas and G loadings of +3.1 and -1.0.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is giving Boeing $9 million over the next two years to investigate the feasibility of developing a disc-rotor compound helicopter capable of achieving forward speeds of up to 400 ktas while retaining all the maneuverability of a traditional helicopter. The disc-rotor would have a rotating circular wing with retractable blades that extend from the disc edge for takeoff and landing.
At a small airfield near Horseheads, N.Y., Sikorsky is slowly expanding the flight envelope of its X2 technology demonstrator. After a first flight at the end of August, the coaxial rotor helicopter is currently midway through the first of four flight-test phases that should enable it to reach a forward speed of 250 knots by the middle of next year.
New York and Las Vegas are two of the most rarefied helicopter markets in the country. While the winds of fortune can be lucrative for operators and service providers in both places, the environments also feature cut-throat competition, congested airspace, an aggressive amount of multi-level government oversight and regulation and robust anti-noise litigation from an affluent citizenry and their environmentalist allies.