Sikorsky is now anticipating FAA certification of the S-434 light single for early next year, slightly later than the previous target date, which was this month. An improved Schweizer S-333, the S-434 sports a four-blade rotor, a new tail-rotor blade design, a structurally enhanced landing gear, a new trim system and an improved Kaflex driveshaft. The main rotor and its transmission come from the unmanned Fire Scout. The S-434 and the S-333 use the same Rolls-Royce 205-C20W turboshaft, which provides 320 shp.
Swiss company Unmanned Systems is showing a model of its Orca rotary-wing unmanned air vehicle for the first time here at Dubai. The Orca employs a revolutionary tip-jet propulsion method that not only improves performance in many key areas, but also overcomes many of the operational problems encountered with conventional propulsion methods.
Eurocopter expects its participation in this year’s Dubai Air Show to underscore its competitiveness in the Middle East, as well as the EADS subsidiary company’s dedication to a continued local presence through partnerships and cooperation.
Eurocopter is upgrading most of its product range, with the goal of providing improved performance and reduced costs. The manufacturer is reporting progress on the developments of the AS350B3e Ecureuil (AStar), EC135T2e/P2e, EC145T2, AS365N3e and Super Puma L1e/C1e. All were announced at Heli-Expo 2011 in February.
Bell unit Aeronautical Accessories is offering four new kits for preflight, courtesy and baggage compartment lighting as well as a rotor camera kit. The preflight kit is designed to make inspection of the four fluid levels (hydraulic reservoir, oil tank, tail-rotor gearbox and transmission) easier during pilot walk-around inspection or anytime fluid levels need to be checked. Each light has its own switch and battery.
The Eurocopter AS350B3e, the latest version of the venerable Ecureuil/Astar light single helicopter, was certified in June, the company announced last week. A more powerful 950-shp Turbomeca Arriel 2D (in lieu of the 848-shp Arriel 2C1), features a new axial compressor, new blade material and a dual-channel Fadec. It is said to provide better performance for less fuel consumption.
A New Zealand company plans to build an all-composite, six-seat turbine single for less than the price of a new Robinson R66.
The pair of “low-observable” Sikorsky Black Hawks used in the raid by U.S. forces against terrorist Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani compound May 2 were kitted with a variety of stealth and radar-defeating features that had been in development since the 1970s, and maybe longer. The helicopters came to light after one had to be left behind and intentionally detonated after apparently clipping a compound wall and making a hard landing.
Bell Helicopter made the first flight of its OH-58 Block II demonstrator at its Xworx research and development facility in Fort Worth on April 14.
Helicopter Technology Company (HTC) has announced development of new composite main- and tailrotor blades for the MD369, 500 and 600 helicopter series.