It’s the little engine that thought it could. And so it did. Fifty years and more than 41,000 engines later, the PT6 from Pratt & Whitney Canada is in use by more than 6,500 operators in 182 countries. Compared with the original PT6, the latest PT6A is four times more powerful, has a 40 percent better power-to-weight ratio and 20 percent better fuel consumption. Did we mention safety? The current in-flight shutdown rate is one event per million flight hours. Heli-Expo visitors can help Pratt & Whitney Canada celebrate the PT6 50th anniversary today at 12:30 p.m.
HAI Convention News
Rotorcraft Services Group (Booth No. N4235) recently completed the design, manufacture and installation of advanced mission equipment on a newly acquired Eurocopter EC135 for the police department in Japan’s Fukui prefecture. The modular package included dual multi-spectral electro-optical systems, digital datalink capability, a stabilized high-intensity searchlight system and a high-powered external public address system.
Leasing company Milestone Aviation continued its buying binge here at Heli-Expo yesterday, announcing firm orders for 30 new Sikorsky S-92A and S-76D helicopters and options for 24 more. Both Milestone and Sikorsky declined to place a total value on the order and options. Deliveries run from now through 2017.
Bell Helicopter has tapped Honeywell (Booth No. C4304) to provide the auxiliary power unit (APU) and environmental control system for the new Bell 525 Relentless, which is scheduled to start flying next year. The Honeywell RE100 APU selected for the super-medium twin helicopter is lighter and more fuel efficient than competing systems, according to Honeywell. It allows operators to run critical avionics and electronics systems without turning on the main engine, further reducing total fuel consumption.
The convention floor at Heli-Expo 2013, held in Las Vegas this week, was buzzing with attendees and new products.
Aviation market intelligence firm JetNet is celebrating “25 years of delivering professional aircraft research services” at Heli-Expo and offering a look at numbers from 2012 suggesting a “slow but steady recovery” for the helicopter industry.
Columbia Helicopters (Booth No. C811) is purchasing 10 Vertol 107-II heavy-lift tandem-rotor helicopters from the Swedish Department of Defense. The purchase will bring Columbia’s total Vertol fleet to 27.
Six of the Vertols being purchased were manufactured by Boeing while the other four were made by Kawasaki. Columbia spokesman Dan Sweet said that the company intends to deploy the helicopters worldwide as it obtains contracts for their use.
A live helicopter rescue demonstration organized by UTC Aerospace (Booth No. C2425) was abruptly cancelled Sunday morning when, moments before the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police crew began to lower the fast-line, they received an emergency call for the real thing.
With an audience of more than 70 and two television crews watching from the roof of the Wynn Encore parking garage, the UH-1H main door closed and the helicopter banked abruptly away, headed for Red Rock Canyon, a rugged area about 20 miles west of Las Vegas, to assist an injured hiker.
Bruce’s Custom Covers (Booth No. N3532) is promoting its line of custom-fitted covers for more than 90 helicopter models, as well as for nearly every airplane ever produced, here at Heli-Expo ’13. “A custom-fitted cover for any aircraft or engine will serve to protect it from climate hazards, both in the hangar and on the ramp,” the company said. For helicopters, the covers can also be fitted to air inlets, pitot and static ports and canopies, among other areas. Design variations are limitless, according to the company.
Night vision goggle (NVG) technology provider Rebtech, of Bedford Texas, announced the initial night-vision compatible conversion of an AS350B3 owned and operated by rotor training provider HeliStream. Rebtech (Booth No. N4724) provided both the supplemental type certified equipment and integration support for the conversion. Rebtech also modified the aircraft’s external lighting. The NVG-compatible lighting inside and outside the helicopter will allow HeliStream to provide specialized NVG training for both initial pilot transition and recurrent training.