AgustaWestland (AW) performed customer demo flights aboard its prototype tiltrotor AW609 here at Heli-Expo in Anaheim, but with the aircraft still early in the certification process, few potential customers qualified to get on board. The FAA requires such passengers to be appropriately rated rotorcraft pilots, undergo simulator training in the company’s AW609 simulator, conduct a familiarization flight in the aircraft and receive a second-in-command rating. Two lucky attendees went through the process beforehand and took demo flights during the show, staged from Long Beach Airport.
Guarded optimism for the year ahead, despite a number of looming concerns on several fronts, was the dominant theme expressed by leaders of the major general aviation (GA) associations in a town hall forum discussion yesterday morning at Heli-Expo.
Helicopter Association International (HAI) president Matt Zuccaro noted that HAI continues to enjoy robust membership and strong financial health, evidence of a surging rotorcraft community. That said, however, he also expressed concern about restrictive policies targeting helicopter operators.
Airbus Helicopters saw stable revenues and profit last year: €6.3 billion ($8.7 billion) and €397 million ($546 million), respectively, according to the financial results Airbus Group unveiled on Wednesday in Toulouse. The company delivered 497 helicopters and recorded orders for 422 more, compared with 469 the previous year. However, the value of the orders increased year over year, by 7 percent, to €5.8 billion ($7.9 billion). The civil market accounted for 55 percent of revenues. The backlog, as of December 31, stood at 995 helicopters worth €12.4 billion ($17 billion).
Sometimes it’s the personal touch that makes the difference. Sergei Sikorsky, retired vice president of special products for Sikorsky Helicopters (Booth No. 2822) and son of the company’s namesake, Igor Sikorsky, presented an informative history of the search-and-rescue pedigree of vertical lift aircraft during Heli-Expo 2014.
“In December 1938 Igor Sikorsky presented the case to United Aircraft to develop the helicopter,” said Sikorsky. “He told United that, when developed, the helicopter would prove to be a unique instrument for saving human lives,” he continued.
Curtiss-Wright, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C, is here at Heli-Expo 2014 with a wide range of products for application in many of the civil and military helicopters on display. These include an LCD mission display, ethernet switches, an IP router, mission computers, a video management system, a network file server, a digital mapping system, an air data computer module, a data acquisition system and a multi-purpose flight recorder. Curtiss Wright occupies Booth No. 805.
Donald Shinnamon, Sr., the recipient of the MD Helicopters Law Enforcement Award here at Heli-Expo 2014, credits his father with his interest in both aviation and law enforcement. Though not involved in aviation work, during World War II his father was stationed at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland, home of the Naval Test Pilot School, where he acquired his enthusiasm for aviation. After the war, the elder Shinnamon became a police officer in the Baltimore County Police Department.
Safran subsidiary Microturbo of Toulouse, France, and Houston’s Bristow Group announced at Heli-Expo 2014 signing the first support by the hour (SBH) agreement for Microturbo’s e-APU60. The Microturbo e-APU provides auxiliary power for the AW189 helicopter, which Bristow operates. Under the five-year agreement Turbomeca, Safran’s helicopter engine specialist, will provide integrated support activity for the Microturbo e-APUs installed on 11 search-and-rescue helicopters and six operating in the and oil and gas sector. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
For Sikorsky, 2013 was a mixed bag, according to company president Mick Maurer, who gave his company’s year-end summary presentation yesterday at Heli-Expo. While the company reached a record backlog of more than $15 billion, it also recorded an 8-percent drop in sales, to $6.3 billion, the decrease driven largely by a drop-off in U.S. government orders on both the OEM side and the aftermarket segment last year.
Airbus Helicopters saw stable revenues and profit last year: €6.3 billion ($8.7 billion) and €397 million ($546 million), respectively, according to the financial results Airbus Group unveiled today in Toulouse. The company delivered 497 helicopters and recorded orders for 422 more, compared with orders for 469 the previous year. However, the value of the orders increased year-over-year by 7 percent, to €5.8 billion ($7.9 billion). The civil market accounted for 55 percent of revenues. The backlog, as of December 31, stood at 995 helicopters worth €12.4 billion ($17 billion).
Rolls-Royce has signed multi-year service agreements with four large fleet operators, encompassing operational support for more than 220 M250-engine powered rotorcraft. Yesterday at the company’s booth, Tim McGrath, the engine OEM’s vice president of customer business, signed the agreement with Mike O’Reilly, president of Calgary-based Eagle Copters, which specializes in sales, leasing, MRO and STC manufacturing and owns 15 M250-powered helicopters including the Bell 206B, 206L3 and 407.