The Suffolk County Police Department in New York took delivery of a Eurocopter EC 145 yesterday in a brief handover ceremony here at Heli-Expo 2007. The EC 145 will supplement two Eurocopter AS 350B2 AStars the department now operates, as well as one MD 900. (The SCPD is trading in another MD 900 to Eurocopter as part of its purchase of the new EC 145.)
Honeywell has been exploring synthetic-vision system (SVS) technology for the helicopter cockpit, but the display concept will bear little resemblance to the system the company unveiled last summer for fixed-wing applications.
Bell 206 JetRanger, Bonifay, Fla., Feb. 5, 2005–The pilot of JetRanger N35BA was killed when the helicopter crashed soon after takeoff from Bonifay, 95 miles east of Pensacola. The accident pilot had flown the JetRanger, registered to Lakeland,Fla.-based Lance Aviation, the previous week for contract work for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and was returning to base.
Honeywell dove back into the civil helicopter business here at Heli-Expo with a series of initiatives it hopes will land it squarely among the major players in the turboshaft propulsion business. Of course, the biggest news came during a Saturday afternoon press conference, when Honeywell revealed that its new HTS900 turboshaft will power the Bell 407X.
Soloy is back.
The air-medical market just keeps on reaping benefits for the world’s No. 1 producer of civil helicopters.
The industry gears up for its annual group hug, this year back in Las Vegas (March 15 to 17) against a backdrop of decent sales figures for new civil helicopters over the past year and a forecast of modest growth over the next eight. According to Bill Dane, senior analyst at Forecast International, between 2003 and 2012 projected deliveries are 9,500 helicopters valued at $19 billion.
Barry Eccleston wants to take Honeywell back into the commercial helicopter business in a big way, while at the same time finding another airframe on which to hang the company’s newly renamed HTF7000 turbofan, which now powers only the Bombardier Challenger 300.
While U.S. helicopter tourism operators have been under continuing pressure from regulators and environmental groups over the past few years, their colleagues in less restrictive legislative environments have continued to make a decent living. Charter companies in South Africa have been doing particularly well at offering “flightseeing” packages, even though the gloss of a weak U.S. dollar has long since faded.
Exhibitors at January’s Iran Airshow 2005 indicated that the market for civilian helicopters in the Islamic Republic is growing. Local and foreign manufacturers and lessor companies reported a steady growth of the helicopter market.