Eurocopter unveiled record revenues, with growing service activity offseting sagging helicopter deliveries. The Marignane, France-based company is once again claiming to be the number one in the civil and parapublic market, thanks to a calculated 43-percent market share. Several development programs are under way, notably in the medium-twin segment, including the X4 Dauphin replacement, the EC175 and a shorter version of the AS332 Super Puma, for which performance numbers have just been announced.
HAI Convention News » February 12, 2012
The X3 compound helicopter demonstrator is to resume flights this month. Data analysis from the first two flight-test campaigns has prompted new questions, chief technology officer Jean-Michel Billig told AIN, and the launch of a third test campaign has been scheduled. The testing will explore the behavior of the main rotor at high speed. Some other goals relate to the Fadec and the link between rotor rpm and aircraft speed.
Simplex Aerospace (Booth No. 6917) received an FAA supplemental type certificate for a powerline insulator and windmill cleaning system for the Eurocopter AS350 and AS355s. Simplex’s Aerial Cleaning system includes a 180-gallon water tank, a nozzled boom that extends past the rotor tips and a power-assisted operator control. “This new system will allow operators to accomplish the powerline and windmill cleaning mission with enhanced productivity and safety,” said Simplex president and CEO Mark Zimmerman.
Rolls-Royce (Booth No. 9040) has almost completed development of the 475-shp RR500 turboshaft but is still waiting for an aircraft manufacturer or modifier to specify the engine for a new project. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis-based engine manufacturer has moved into full-rate production with the 300-shp RR300 turboshaft, which powers the Robinson R66 light single. Improvements are also underway on the M250, to which both of the newer engines trace their roots.
Sikorsky Aircraft has named 35 suppliers participating in an industry-funded effort to build two prototype S-97 Raider helicopters for evaluation by the U.S. military.The Raider is a follow-on to the company’sX2 technology demonstratorwith coaxial contra-rotating main rotors and a pusher propeller.
Sikorsky said it will invest about 75 percent of the Raider program’s expected cost, with suppliers investing 25 percent. Last June, Sikorsky and General Electric signed an agreement under which GE Aviation will provide its CT7-8 engine for the Raider.
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