Every customer who signed up for the 427 IFR model has swallowed the premium associated with upgrading to the bigger 429. But why did Bell ditch the 427i?
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
Bell’s 429 IFR light twin caused quite a stir at its February launch. Not only did it replace a machine that lasted a mere 11 months–the 427 IFR–but it embodied many features of what the manufacturer proclaims to be a new approach to rotorcraft design.
India’s Dhruv medium twin has reportedly impressed state oil corporation ONGC, which manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) says has a pressing need for a medium-class helicopter, for use in its offshore operations. Early last month the helicopter demonstrated Performance Class I criteria with 14 passengers on board, at all stages of a sector from Juhu, Mumbai, to Bombay High South Field, 80 miles off the coast.
Kamov delivered two more Ka-32A11BCs to Spain’s Helisureste on April 22, when mixed Russian-Spanish crews ferried the helicopters to Spain from Kamov’s flight-test base in the Moscow suburb of Zhulebino.
Robinson has handed over its 6,000th helicopter–an R44 Raven II–to a Canadian customer. John Wadlow of Alberta, Canada-based Airborne Energy Solutions flew the new acquisition from Robinson’s Torrance, Calif. facility for use in the company’s charter fleet.
The Republic of Korea agreed to buy three S-92s to fulfill its presidential mission. Sikorsky will deliver them in a VIP configuration beginning in 2007. The Korean Ministry of National Defense selected the helicopter over the AgustaWestland EH-101, which will carry the U.S. President.
Enstrom has sold two helicopters, a turbine 480B and a piston 280FX, to Hanseo University in South Korea. The university made the announcement at the opening ceremony for a new airfield it built to train fixed- and rotary-wing pilots, mechanics and air traffic controllers.
Bell/Agusta’s BA609 looks nothing like the finished article in the VMSIL. In place of a fuselage and wings, the tiltrotor’s systems, interfaced with an aircraft flight-simulation host computer, are spread across three separate areas in the lab.
Pietro Venanzi took the left seat in the BA609 during the tiltrotor’s return to flight status, at Bell’s XworX center near Fort Worth, Texas, on June 3. The 80-minute hop in aircraft one (A/C1), witnessed by AIN, was not the Italian test pilot’s first time at the controls of the tiltrotor. He had taken them on several occasions alongside project test pilot Roy Hopkins, during the first flight-test phase between February and June 2003.
Compared with the mass of modern Bells and Eurocopters that fly for the myriad law enforcement agencies protecting and serving Californians, the air unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) emerges as something of a one-off. In addition to a fleet of 12 AStar B2s, which provide day-to-day support to the officers in the black-and-whites, the largest sheriff’s flight department in the nation also fields four aging ex-U.S.