Eurocopter announced recently that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the EC 145 for civil night-vision goggle (NVG) operations, and in doing so, according to Eurocopter, making it the first OEM to offer commercial helicopter NVG capabilities from the factory. Various retrofits have been available to operators for a number of years.
Eurocopter EC 145
French-based engine maker Turbomeca has chosen Monroe, N.C. for its new parts factory. Dubbed Turbomeca Manufacturing, it will initially produce parts for the Arriel 1E2 turboshaft engines that power the U.S. Army’s UH-72A, the military version of the Eurocopter EC 145 twin. The Safran subsidiary won a $2.5 million grant from the North Carolina Economic Investment Committee.
A deluge of orders for new helicopters during HAI’s Heli-Expo, held in Las Vegas last month, surprised even seasoned industry watchers on the floor. By the end of the show’s second day, an estimated 110 airframes, conservatively worth $600 million, had been spoken for by domestic and international customers.
At Farnborough, AgustaWestland unveiled yet another, long-anticipated evolution of the A109–a stretched and higher-power model dubbed the A109S Grand. Leonardo Monti, who leads the company’s civil marketing effort, described the eight-seat, 7,000-pound aircraft as “an intermediate twin with light-twin economics.”
Goodrich Corp. of Charlotte, N.C., announced yesterday that it has developed DC starter-generator brushes to extend the time between overhaul required on a helicopter’s starter or generator.
Air Methods will be working with Mayo Clinic Medical Transport of Rochester, Minn., to provide interior completion services for the clinic’s new Eurocopter EC 145.
Era Helicopters of Lake Charles, La., announced that it has signed a 20-aircraft order with Eurocopter. The contract is for eight EC 145 intermediate-twin-turbine helicopters, eight EC 135 light-twin helicopters and four AS 350B2 single-turbine helicopters. Deliveries are expected to begin next year. Era’s current fleet includes EC 120s, AS 350B2s, EC 135s, BK 117s and BO 105s.
Keystone Helicopter, a subsidiary of Sikorsky Aircraft, signed an agreement to provide maintenance and completion services to Seacor’s aviation division, which includes Era Helicopters, Era Leasing and EraMed. The Seacor fleet includes AgustaWestland A109s, A119s and AW139s; Eurocopter EC 135s, EC 145s and AS 350s; and the Sikorsky S-76++.
Eurocopter and its Chinese partner Harbin Aircraft are designing a new medium twin helicopter, dubbed the EC 175, to fill the gap between the EC 155 Dauphin and the EC 225 Super Puma. They are to unveil details of the EC 175 design at the Paris Air Show in June. Nevertheless, Eurocopter (Booth No.