Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and the Geological Survey of India are to deploy a Dhruv light twin equipped with geophysical equipment for mineral exploration. Capabilities include detection of oil, gas and minerals (gold, copper, thorium and other rare earth materials) as well as environmental and nuclear surveillance.
Naasco Northeast (Booth No. 1433) emphasized the availability of its Mercury Mod-Phase Two starter generator upgrade at Heli-Expo 2014 in Anaheim.
“A higher-flow fan brings the cooling air down about 70 degrees lower than the original Mercury Mod, introduced 19 years ago,” Naasco vice president Jim Leslie told AIN. Work began two years ago on Mercury Mod 2, with Naasco working with engineers at Sikorsky on the S-76.
Mid-Continent Instrument (Booth No. 3636) has received FAA and EASA approval for its new True Blue Power TB17 advanced lithium-ion engine start and main ship battery. The TB17 is the first lithium-ion battery to receive certification for general aviation applications. The 16-pound battery is designed for light turbine and piston aircraft and weighs up to 45 percent less than lead-acid or nicad batteries. The company says the TB17 is designed for less maintenance, lower cost and longer life than traditional batteries.
Hoping to encourage more operators to add its S-76D twin-turbine commercial helicopter their fleets, Sikorsky Aircraft (Booth No. 2822) announced a new entry into service (EIS) program Tuesday at Heli-Expo 2014.
Bell Helicopter has chosen Texstars (Booth No. 507) to provide birdstrike-resistant windshields for the Bell 525 Relentless. These windshields will feature other safety improvements including enhanced pilot’s field-of-vision and a wrap-around windshield that eliminates the need for lower-view chin bubble windows and overhead skylights. The improved pilot’s view will enable direct sighting of mission objectives and landing zones.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (Booth H72) and Geological Survey of India are to deploy a Dhruv light twin helicopter equipped with geophysical equipment for mineral exploration. The dedicated aircraft was formally unveiled and named Garuda Vasudha by the country’s minister of mines, Dinsha Patel, in New Delhi last month. The Indian government is hoping to cut its oil import bill by finding such resources in its soil.
Engine manufacturer CFM International (Stand G23) plans to test 15 Leap engines this year as part of a development program leading to certification of the Leap-1A for the Airbus A320neo next year. Also part of the program, the Leap 1B and -1C versions are to power the upgraded Boeing 737 Max and the new Comac C919 narrowbodies, respectively. The engine’s designers promise a 15-percent fuel burn advantage over the current CFM56.
The National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University has added oil analysis to its growing list of test services. It provides trivector analysis, infrared spectroscopy, particle count/shape recognition, elemental analysis and viscosity testing. Test kits, purchased through the lab’s website, can be used to collect and return oil samples. Results are delivered by mail or e-mail. Test prices range from $22 to $44, including return postage.
The Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA) urged the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in a January 12 letter to promptly complete its review of pending rules designed to bring the U.S. into compliance with ICAO on methods of transporting lithium batteries aboard civil aircraft. Citing the prohibition of lithium batteries aboard passenger aircraft, the PRBA said it sees no reason why the government should delay rule harmonization any longer.
The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau is investigating what caused smoke to pour from a main battery vent aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 on January 14. The manufacturer developed a fix for its lithium batteries after last year’s fleet grounding, so the work now is focused on whether the fix actually worked and prevented a larger fire, or whether the smoke and the associated battery alarms were indicative of some other issue.