A new artist rendering of the in-development Eurocopter X4 medium-twin helicopter appeared today during a presentation made at the EASA Rotorcraft Symposium in Cologne, showing design changes made since 2011. A horizontal empennage with a two-level lifting surface is visible on the tailboom, forward of the shrouded tail rotor. The fuselage, aft of the cabin, includes a “skirt,” the role of which is still unknown.
Marenco Swisshelicopter will roll out its SKYe SH09 single-turbine light helicopter on November 28 in Mollis, Switzerland. An offshoot of a machine-tool specialist, the company is emphasizing the SH09’s carbon-fiber airframe, which for prominence on the prototype it has left unpainted in “key areas, such as the tailboom and shrouded tail rotor.” The 5,800-pound aircraft was announced in 2011, at which time its first flight was planned for 2012.
The European Aviation Safety Agency has certified the BLR Aerospace FastFin tail rotor enhancement and stability system for installation and flight on all Bell 412s. It was previously approved for Bell 204, 205 and 212s. The FastFin System improves useful load, wind azimuth tolerance and hover stability for Bell medium helicopters. “With FastFin installed, Bell 412 operators can realize significant increases in useful load, in some cases as much as 1,250 pounds,” said Dave Marone, v-p of sales and marketing for BLR Aerospace.
The Eurocopter X3 hybrid made its record-breaking speed run just 10 days before the opening of the Paris Air Show, so it was not surprising that the EADS company brought both the unique aircraft and its crew to the Le Bourget biennial event. On June 7, the X3 flew at 255 knots in level flight and 263 knots in a dive, besting the previous record set by the Sikorsky X2 in September 2010 (250 knots level and 260 knots in descent).
The German defense ministry ordered 15 Eurocopter EC645T2 light utility helicopters worth €194 million. They will be used by the Kommando Spezialkraefte, Germany’s Special Forces Command. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in late 2015 and run through mid-2017.
Preliminary Report: Turboprop Accident in Nepal #1
De Havilland Canada DHC-6, Jomsom Airport (VNJS), Nepal, May 16, 2013–The Twin Otter was destroyed while landing at Nepal’s Jomsom Airport, seriously injuring six of 21 people aboard. Operated in regular passenger service by Nepal Airlines, the twin turboprop skidded off the airport’s 1,742-foot runway, traveled down a nearby slope and came to rest on the banks of the Kali Gandaki River.
Preliminary Report: Turboprop Accident in Nepal #2
Making its Paris Air Show debut is the Russian Helicopters/Kamov Ka-62, a 6,500-kg mtow, 15-passenger helicopter in the same class as the AgustaWestland AW139, Eurocopter EC155 and Sikorsky S-76 series. The mockup made it first appearance on the international show circuit at last year’s Farnborough Air Show.
The FAA has proposed an Airworthiness Directive for the Eurocopter AS332C, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2 and EC225LP. It requires inspecting the intermediate gearbox (IGB) fairing for a crack and inspecting the IGB fairing gutter, if installed, for a crack, separation or interference.
The FAA adopted an airworthiness directive for Eurocopter Deutschland MBB-Kawasaki BK117C2 helicopters requiring inspection of the long tail-rotor drive shaft assembly for blind rivets. If any blind rivets are located, the shaft assembly must be replaced. The AD was prompted by the discovery that some helicopters have blind rivets installed in place of solid rivets, which could lead to failure of the tail rotor drive shaft and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
On April 9, the NTSB held a public meeting to discuss the crash of a LifeNet helicopter in Mosby, Mo., on Aug. 26, 2011. The Eurocopter AS350B2 ran out of fuel, according to the NTSB, and the pilot failed “to successfully enter an autorotation when the engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion.” What the pilot did not do, the Board explained, is move the cyclic control aft when the engine failed.
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