BLR Aerospace (Booth No. 2970) has selected Simplex Manufacturing (Booth No. 3421) to market and sell BLR’s performance-enhancing helicopter products in parts of the Middle East and Southeast Asia. BLR, based in Everett, Wash., offers a range of aerodynamic improvements, including the FastFin tail rotor enhancement and stability system for multiple Bell helicopter models.
Northwest Helicopters (Booth No. 2989) has developed carbon-fiber main rotor blades for the Bell UH-1H, 205 and 212. STC approval is expected by the end of 2009. Northwest said the blades will have longer life limits, improved high/hot performance, decreased fuel flow and dual trim tabs for a smoother ride. First year production of UH-1H blades already is sold out, according to the company.
Van Horn Associates (Booth No, 2012) said it completed flight testing of a new composite carbon fiber spar and skin tail rotor blade for the Bell 206B earlier this month. The company reports that the new blade increases high-altitude hover performance and decreases required pedal pressure compared to the original equipment blades. Van Horn estimates that fatigue and acoustic testing on the new blade will be completed by early summer.
Bristol, Tenn.-based Edwards & Associates (Booth No. 3981), an affiliate of Bell Helicopter, is delivering a second new Bell 412 to the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) at Heli-Expo’09. The company delivered the first 412 last November. The two 412s are replacements for the two 1966 UH-1s that Orange County put in service in 1995.
Improved hover performance in high and hot conditions for the Bell Huey and its derivatives is the promise of the FastFin tail-rotor enhancement and stability system from Boundary Layer Research (Booth No. 2970) of Everett, Wash. The company recently delivered its 100th UH-1 FastFin and announced that Wildcat Helicopters, Kelowna, British Columbia, will become the first fleet customer to install the system on the Bell 212.
Deliveries of the Eurocopter UH-72A (EC 145) Lakota to the U.S. Army are gathering pace since the first helicopter entered into service in November 2006. Last month the first operational unit received its first aircraft, and the second unit began accepting aircraft a few days ago.
Flight testing of BLR Aerospace’s Bell 212 FastFin modification has demonstrated improved performance that will allow the 212 to carry more weight to higher altitudes than standard 212s, according to BLR. The Everett, Wash. company conducted the flight tests at the 9,927-foot airport in Leadville, Colo., late last year.
Helicopter rebuilding firm Overseas Aircraft Support (Static Display No. 37 and 38) and Wings & Rotors Museum, on Friday formed a partnership to fly three UH-1 Hueys and an OH-58 Kiowa 5,000 miles across the U.S., culminating in a flight to the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C., this Memorial Day (May 26).
Proving perhaps that nothing sweeps cleaner than a new broom, Bell Helicopter CEO Mike Redenbaugh, in the job since late May, has announced plans to move Bell’s military helicopter manufacturing out of its historic Fort Worth, Texas facility and into a new site in Amarillo, Texas. The Amarillo site will also handle final assembly for the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, according to a recent message from Redenbaugh.
FAA certification of the Bell 210, a single-turbine medium helicopter derived from the military UH-1H Huey, could happen this month, Bell CEO Mike Redenbaugh said at the Paris Air Show this week. “Our flight testing is complete, FAA pilots have flown the helicopter and now we’re just waiting for approval of the paperwork,” he added.