There is an insect called a cicada that burrows deep into the earth in its larval stage, slowly, quietly growing out of sight, feeding modestly on tree root sap and finally emerging 17 years later as a formidable form of aphid that, while benign, appears to be anything but.
A Eurocopter AS 350 helicopter crashed at the Tarnos, France factory of engine maker Turbomeca on March 26, killing company test pilot Eric Fortier, 41, and logistics support chief, Bruno Vallois, 60. Four passengers were seriously injured after the single-engine helicopter crashed into a warehouse at the site, which is in southwest France.
Microturbo, a subsidiary of Safran Group company Turbomeca, has finalized a partnership with Triumph Gear Systems of Park City, Utah, for the development of a gearbox for its new e-APU line of auxiliary power units, which are being specifically designed for business jets requiring 15 to 90 kWe power (up to 150 shaft horsepower).
In the latest development of a helicopter program that could best be described as “better late than never,” Indian state-owned aerospace builder Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has delivered its first Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) to the Indian Coast Guard nearly 10 years to the date after the design’s first flight in 1992 (design started eight years before).
Turbomeca has boosted its customer-support operation, increasing its team of field-service representatives to 40 and its service centers to 23. The number of field- service technicians based at these centers has also grown to 50 to improve turn times on repairs. The French helicopter powerplant maker has also established “Turbo-Link” teams to support field representatives with technical expertise and service coordination.
Eurocopter now targets late next year as the new certification date for the EC 225. A derivative of the Super Puma, the new medium twin helicopter was originally set to be certified late this year. Major cockpit and autopilot design changes after the program started have lengthened the program by six months.
Focusing on the needs of the corporate user, Sikorsky Aircraft used last month’s NBAA Convention to outline a series of fresh improvements applicable to its entire S-76 product line, including stainless-steel landing-gear rod ends that eliminate reliance on corrosion preventive compounds, thereby reducing maintenance; a “smart” electrical contactor to better manage electrical system switching; fuzz-burn engine chip detectors for Turbomeca Arri
Standard Aero Singapore has reached an agreement to support Arriel 1 and Arriel 2 engines for Turbomeca Asia Pacific in the Asia-Pacific region. The company has expanded its facility to accommodate the increased workload and has been equipped with the special tooling and material-handling equipment.
Engine maker Turbomeca, project coordinator of the system for mobile maintenance accessible in real time European research program, late in January staged a demonstration of the advantages integrated information systems can offer in maintenance. The $37 million program aims to collect, over long distance and in real time, engine fleet data.
While observing its 70th anniversary on the eve of Heli-Expo 2008, Turbomeca opened a Saturday afternoon press conference with outgoing chairman and chief executive officer Emeric d’Arcimoles introducing his soon-to-be successor, current Turbomeca executive vice president Pierre Fabre. The latter will assume leadership of the French helicopter engine manufacturer on March 31.