Geneva Aviation (Booth No. 2263) has received FAA certification for the latest version of its P132 avionics switch panel. According to the Kent, Wash.-based manufacturer, the new console significantly expands the space available in Eurocopter AS 350-series helicopters for equipment used by law enforcement and news channels. The unit is compatible with the wiring changes in the latest versions of the AS 350B2 and B3 models.
With its acquisition last year of Pittsburgh-based CJ Systems, Air Methods (Booth No. 1043) has become the largest civil air ambulance provider in the country. Integrating CJ into Air Methods has proceeded smoothly, so far, said CEO Aaron Todd, but he admitted there are challenges ahead.
Honeywell Engines has adop-ted a pioneering role in the U.S. Army’s Small Heavy Fuel Engine (SHFE) development program, an advanced joint program started five years ago to develop and demonstrate turboshaft engines in the 700-shp class. The program has sought to achieve a number of lofty goals including a 20-percent reduction in specific fuel consumption, a 50-percent power-to-weight improvement and a 35-percent reduction of life-cycle costs.
TS Eliot may have written that “April is the cruelest month,” but he didn’t try to make a living operating helicopters. The opening weeks of this year were proof that January is no slouch either, its first weeks memorable as a nightmarish procession of helicopter hijackings, mishaps, disastrous crashes and, sadly, deaths.
The civil night-vision goggle market is booming for emergency medical service (EMS) and law enforcement applications, but significant regulatory barriers could limit new entrants into the market and restrict the export of the most popular NVGs.
Aviaxess, a company that has been offering helicopter and business jet charter since early 2002, is trying to create a market for FBO-type services at Paris Issy-les-Moulineaux Heliport. The firm focuses on selling 25-hour blocks of charter that can be used in a number of European locations, either on helicopters or business airplanes. Aviaxess is also a sales representative for Bombardier’s Flexjet fractional ownership program.
Turbomeca’s subsidiary CGTM, known primarily as the engine manufacturer’s flight-test center, plans to offer a new air filter for the Eurocopter AS 350 Ecureuil. Developed jointly with filtration specialist Pall Aerospace, the air filter should be certified by early next year. Pau, southwest-France-based CGTM plans to certify the new air filter even for inadvertent flight into icing conditions.
Swiss-based simulation specialist Elite is now offering a helicopter flight-training device (FTD). Elite exhibited the S623, based on the Eurocopter AS 350, for the first time at the Heli Trade show in Geneva.
In the wake of an NTSB recommendation that urges the use of terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) in aeromedical helicopter operations, the technology appears to be getting a closer look from the rotorcraft community.
Eurocopter AS 350BA, Panamint Spring, Calif., Dec. 30, 2004–The NTSB blamed the accident, which occurred during the filming of a car commercial, on “the pilot’s misjudged lateral distance from a mountainside and failure to maintain an adequate clearance from terrain and obstacles while performing a low-altitude filming maneuver.” During the filming in Death Valley National Park, the AS 350’s main rotor blades hit a mountain.