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.
HAI Convention News
SkyTrac Systems yesterday announced receipt of an order for 100 shipsets (plus options) of its satellite-based SkyWeb automatic flight-following and communication equipment from Canadian Helicopters.
Soloy Aviation Solutions of Olympia, Wash., announced at its booth (No. 3019) that it sold 10 of its AS 350SD2 conversion kits to Heliproducts Industries of British Columbia.
Merlin Simulation of Boulder, Colo., recently launched a new level-3 Robinson R22 simulator with an aerodynamic model that president Ken Zimmerman called, “The best in the world.” The simulator features a 220-degree field of view that Zimmerman said gives excellent peripheral views.
Jeff Pino, Sikorsky Aircraft president, laid out what he called the four pillars for Sikorsky’s future at a Heli-Expo press conference here. These are, he said, growth, excellence in execution, defining X2 technology applications and globalization. He said Sikorsky’s $3.2 billion in total revenue last year set a record for the company. Total revenue in 2005 was $2.8 billion.
Marking the company’s third consecutive Sikorsky S-92 purchase in five months, VIH Aviation Group, based in Victoria, British Columbia, yesterday signed for the sixth S-92 the company will place in the fleet of its subsidiary, Cougar Helicopters. Shown here following the signing at Heli-Expo are company executives (from left) Didier Moinier, international manager; Ken Norie, president; and Charles Hodgins, CFO.
Iridium disclosed plans for a future constellation to replace the 66 low-earth-orbit satellites that make up its current satcom network. Speaking at the Satellite 2007 conference in Washington, D.C., company officials said the “Iridium Next” constellation will maintain the current service’s “cross-linked” architecture but will use Internet Protocol technology to deliver broadband data and voice communications services to users.
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++.
The new Chelton Flight Systems Heli-SAS autopilot should be certified on the Bell 206 and 407 late this year, according to Chelton president Gordon Pratt. Chelton and Bell subsidiary Edwards & Associates will jointly develop the supplemental type certificate (STC) for the HeliSAS, which will be first available for new and retrofit installations on the 206 and 407.
MD Helicopters CEO Lynn Tilton said yesterday that the company plans to deliver 48 helicopters this year even as it continues to struggle with supply-chain issues and clear away the debris left by decades of mismanagement. “It’s not a one-year fix. It’s not a two-year fix. This is a five-year turnaround,” she said of the company.