Garmin unveiled yesterday at Heli-Expo 2010 the G500H avionics system, specifically for the VFR Part 27 helicopter market.
HAI Convention News » February 22, 2010
With an attendance expected to be within 1 to 3 percent of last year’s more than 17,000 and the increase in exhibitors filling the floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center, Helicopter Association International chairman Mark Gibson said the association is optimistic about this Heli-Expo.
To the accompaniment of multicolored lights and music, AgustaWestland unveiled its new AW109 Grand New here yesterday. According to AgustaWestland head of marketing Roberto Garavaglia, the helicopter is a “step change” follow-on to the popular AW109S Grand.
Robinson Helicopter founder Frank Robinson said certification of the company’s new turbine R66 was “very close” and that the company planned an initial production rate of two per week for the $770,000 Rolls-Royce RR300-powered helicopter. He said the company’s current plant in Torrance, Calif., could easily accommodate anticipated R66 production.
Revue Thommen, a Switzerland-based manufacturer of aircraft instruments, air-data systems and components, is at Booth No. 1434 with a redesign of a helicopter searchlight system made by Russia's Transas. The new searchlight fills “a niche where current product offerings fail to meet the needs of the market,” said Thommen’s Rudolf Iten. The redesigned Thommen TSL 1600 searchlight will be certified under EASA and FAA standards.
AgustaWestland CEO Giuseppe Orsi offered a satisfactory look back at 2009, as well as a positive forecast, during a Heli-Expo press conference on Saturday here in Houston.
“Last year was better than we had expected,” he said, although the year-end numbers won’t be announced officially by Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland’s parent company, until early next month. “Despite the [economic] crisis, 2009 was a great year for us.”
“The Bell 429 is the first helicopter to have a maintenance program designed under MSG-3,” Neil Marshall, program director for the Bell 429 project, told AIN. “We had a working group composed of Bell Helicopter specialists, lead mechanics from customers, representatives from the FAA, Transport Canada and EASA giving input into the design.
Speaking yesterday at Heli-Expo 2010, Sikorsky president Jeffrey Pino found looking in the rear-view mirror a fair indicator of what’s to come, and as he put it, “It’s very good.
“We had a great year in 2009,” he said, pointing out $1.1 billion in sales from the Sikorsky Global Helicopters division, another $2 billion from Aerospace Services and a healthy $3.2 billion from Military Systems.
The Canadian Air & Space Museum of Toronto has launched a fundraising drive to acquire a Sikorsky S-58T with almost half a century of service in the U.S. and Canada under its rotors. The museum has set an initial fundraising goal of $35,000 to acquire the helicopter and all associated spare parts and finance its transport to the museum.
CAE and Bell Helicopter announced here yesterday that Bell is providing aircraft systems and performance data and technical support for the Bell 412 training programs that CAE will begin offering this summer in Mexico and Bangalore, India.
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