Generally speaking, helicopters don’t fly across the Pacific Ocean–and rarely even the Atlantic. For that reason, manufacturers and dealers alike rely on shipping companies, such as Victor Bruzzone’s Helicopter International Shipping Services (HISS), to move the rotorcraft safely and efficiently from one side of the globe to the other.
A crew of talented pilots and maintenance technicians is having an amazing adventure, flying a new Sikorsky S-92 all over the world to showcase the helicopter’s search-and-rescue capabilities.
HAI will present its Salute to Excellence Awards tonight in the categories of safety, maintenance, law enforcement, communications, flight instructor, pilot and Lifetime Achievement.
A cornucopia of copters and rotorcraft-related gizmos, conference sessions and conversations awaits attendees at the Helicopter Association International’s annual Heli-Expo, to be held in Dallas February 11 to 14. This year, HAI is expecting more than 18,000 visitors, 65 helicopters and 600 exhibitors at the Dallas Convention Center.
Several filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by Bell Helicopter Textron in late December provide strong hints of new product announcements likely to come next month at Helicopter Association International’s Heli-Expo convention in Dallas. According to the filings, Bell is requesting trademarks for “525SMT,” “Magellan” and “407GT.”
Sikorsky has settled a $20 million lawsuit brought by Cougar Helicopters and its insurers following the fatal crash of an S-92A off St. John’s, Canada, in March 2009. The helicopter crashed 11 minutes after losing main gearbox oil pressure. Cougar is still suing Transport Canada for improperly certifying the S-92A.
Sikorsky’s ongoing total S-92 product improvement program emphasizes the offshore oil and gas mission, focusing on areas of availability, capability and safety, according to Spencer Elani, Sikorsky’s S-92 program manager.
In the North Sea, worker unions and the oil and gas industry lobbies have not expressed concerns about the safety of the Sikorsky S-92. Oil & Gas UK declined to comment.
Although Sikorsky is developing a new main gearbox to solve the problems that have plagued the S-92 over the course of its service life, the new transmission will not be able to run for 30 minutes after a total loss of lubrication.
Sikorsky is developing a next-generation main gearbox (MGB) with enhanced lubrication capabilities with built-in redundancy systems such as chip detectors and oil scavenge systems, according to Spencer Elani, Sikorsky’s S-92 program manager. “We are continuing to make a lot of improvements to the current gearbox, and to automate some of the features,” Elani said.