Vector Aerospace Engine Services-Atlantic (ES-A) and the Solenta Aviation group of companies, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, have signed a three-year engine services agreement. ES-A will provide comprehensive fixed-wing aircraft engine maintenance, repair and overhaul services to the Solenta Aviation Group’s turboprop engine fleet from its facilities in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Nairobi, Kenya.
Williams International and Rolls-Royce tied for best turbofan support and Honeywell earned the top spot for turboprop support, according to the 2014 AIN Product Support Survey Part 3: Engines.
Hourly-cost maintenance provider Jet Support Services (JSSI) was selected by Canadian Helicopter operator Blackcomb Aviation to provide coverage for the Turbomeca Arrius 2B2plus engines on the company’s Airbus Helicopters EC135T2e. The premium service selected by Blackcomb covers the powerplants’ scheduled and unscheduled events as well as life-limited components.
Among manufacturers of turbofans for business aircraft, Williams retains the number-one slot in product support but is not alone at the top this year, sharing the honors with Rolls-Royce, which moves up from the number-three slot it held last year.
After a number of delays, Russian Helicopters is reevaluating four helicopter programs that were slated for certification this year or next, namely the Ka-226, Ka-62, Mi-171A2 and Mi-38. The company is conducting “an analysis and assessment of all its new programs to determine more precisely time frames for certification and the start of serial production,” a spokesman told AIN.
China-based Avicopter flew a new version of the AC311 light single, the AC311A, with a Turbomeca engine and Chinese avionics on August 14. The 10-minute maiden sortie took place in Jingdezhen, the home city of partner Changhe Aircraft.
The use of domestic avionics steers Avicopter clear of foreign export restrictions, the company said. AIN understands that the same applies to the engine, as France-based Turbomeca and Avicopter have long-established ties. The Arriel 2B1A powers the helicopter in lieu of the AC311’s Honeywell LTS101-700D-2, a U.S. product.
Bell’s Model 505 Jet Ranger X is making its Brazilian debut here at the LABACE show, at least in full-scale mock-up form. The company expects to fly the light single helicopter by the end of the year, and hopes that it can repeat the success of the original JetRanger that became a true “classic” of the rotary-wing world. The 505 is intended for a wide range of tasks, such as training, law enforcement, corporate/VIP transport and utility work, for which a 1,500-pound cargo hook is fitted.
Driven by the ambition to become world’s third largest turboshaft engine manufacturer after General Electric and Pratt & Whitney, France’s Turbomeca is pressing to establish a Russian partnership to develop and coproduce a new 3,000-shp engine based on the existing RTM322 powerplant and using the new Tech3000 core.
Bell Helicopter executives told AIN that the company will be pursuing initial type certification of its new 505 Jet Ranger X light single from Transport Canada and will conduct prototype assembly and flight-testing of the aircraft from its plant in Mirabel, Quebec. First flight is expected later this year.
Turbomeca is negotiating with Russia’s United Engine Corp (Russian acronym ODK) to co-develop a new 3,000-shp engine based on the RTM322, but using the new Tech3000 core. The Safran subsidiary has already established a strong presence in Russia, with 200 engines in service and new ones selected to power the Ka-62 and Ka-226 helicopters.
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