Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise, one of the companies in holding firm Russian Helicopters, has completed a phase of tests with a Turbomeca-powered Kamov Ka-226. The aircraft–the Ka-226T–is the first coaxial-rotor helicopter to be fitted with Turbomeca turboshafts, in this case Arrius 2G. Production of the helicopter is expected to start next year.
Turbomeca has approved MRO Vector Aerospace to perform repair and overhaul of Arriel 2 engines for operators in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Vector has been
a major contributor to the Turbomeca support network and provider of Arriel 1 engine repair and overhaul services for nearly 20 years. The company also holds approvals as an Arriel 1 overhaul center and an Arriel 1 and 2 service center.
Vector Aerospace has received Turbomeca’s approval to repair and overhaul civil Arriel 2 engines in North America. The approval opens the company’s market reach to operators of current and future Eurocopters, Sikorskys and AgustaWestlands. According to president and CEO Declan O’Shea, Vector has been a major contributor to the Turbomeca support network and provider of Arriel 1 engine repair and overhaul services for nearly 20 years.
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Westcor Aviation has been certified a Turbomeca-approved maintenance center.
Eurocopter AS 350D, Avalon, Calif., May 24, 2008–N67GE, operated by Island Express Helicopters under Part 135, crashed while landing at Santa Catalina island. The commercial-certified pilot, a company employee and a passenger were killed and three other passengers were seriously injured.
Russian Helicopters is relaunching production of the Mi-34S1 light piston helicopter and simultaneously working on a turbine version, the Mi-34S2 Sapsan, powered by a Turbomeca Arrius 2F. The Sapsan (Russian for peregrine falcon) is expected to be certified under U.S. FAR 27 and European CS 27 regulations.
The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive for Turbomeca Arrius 2F turboshaft engines, citing insufficient clearance between the P3 air pipe and the rear right bulkhead. According to AD 2008-NE-43, investigations have shown that both the P3 air pipe and the rear right bulkhead were compliant with the original approved design.
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.
Turbomeca is pressing ahead with a radical design for a new generation of helicopter engines to deliver a quantum leap in operational efficiency. “If we do not shoot for a 30- to 50-percent improvement in fuel burn for 20 to 30 years from now, the helicopter will be no more than an airshow attraction and will no longer be a business tool,” the French company’s president Pierre Fabre told AIN.
Microturbo is ground testing its e-APU, a new auxiliary power unit designed for new-generation business aircraft that are expected to need more electrical power. The company projects certification and first deliveries in early 2012.