China not only wants to be the world’s largest consumer of helicopters, it intends to be the largest producer. This is a lofty goal for a country that had less than 100 civil-use helicopters five years ago. Yet as early as 2000, executives who ran China’s state-owned aviation companies predicted that the country would be one of the foremost helicopter manufacturers by 2030.
Offshore oil and gas helicopter company CHC is selling its training operations to Montreal-based CAE for an undisclosed price. The deal includes the transfer of 32 employees, four simulators and two training facilities to CAE as well as the ongoing training of 1,000 CHC pilots and another 1,000 maintenance personnel. The acquired training facilities–in Aberdeen, Scotland and Stavanger, Norway–will also be used to train non-CHC customers.
Sikorsky announced early last month that final assembly of the first production S-76D medium twin has begun in Coatesville, Pa.
Final assembly of the first production Sikorsky S-76D medium twin has begun in Coatesville, Pa., the helicopter manufacturer announced this week. Czech-based Aero Vodochody delivered the helicopter’s fuselage on November 19–a one-month delay, according to a schedule released in June. The fully assembled fuselage arrived with all electric and cockpit systems having passed acceptance tests, Sikorsky said.
Sikorsky S-76C++, Morgan City, La., Jan. 4, 2009–The helicopter was on a Part 135 VFR flight from PHI’s Lake Palourde Heliport to an offshore oil platform when it crashed into a marsh approximately seven minutes after takeoff, killing the two pilots and six of the seven passengers on board.
In its final report on last year’s fatal crash of a Sikorsky S-76++ in Louisiana, the NTSB called on the FAA to develop stricter helicopter windshield bird strike resistance standards. The twin-engine helicopter was seven minutes into a charter flight to an offshore oil platform on Jan.
Last month Louisiana-based helicopter operator PHI settled lawsuits with four crash victims’ families in the wake of the Jan. 4, 2009, fatal crash near Morgan City, La., that killed both pilots and six of seven oil platform passengers aboard a Sikorsky S-76C. The helicopter collided with a red tail hawk at 850 feet agl and was fitted with a lighter-weight replacement windshield.
The Sikorsky X2 technology demonstrator last month unofficially set a new speed record for rotorcraft, as it reached 250 ktas at the company’s development flight center in West Palm Beach, Fla. The aircraft, which features contra-rotating coaxial main rotors and a pusher propeller, took off at 7 a.m. for its 17th flight, which lasted 1.1 hours. At the controls was chief test pilot Kevin Bredenbeck.
New Jersey Bell 430 and Sikorsky S-76B operator HeliFlite recently announced that investors made an equity infusion into the company in exchange for a 60-percent interest.