Sikorsky’s Keystone subsidiary will take over final assembly and completion of the S-76C++ and subsequent variants of the twin-turbine helicopter, including the S-76D, at its Coatesville, Pa. “heliplex.” Mick Maurer, Sikorsky’s v-p for operations, said the company relocated the S-76 to make room for increased production of the Black Hawk at the company’s main plant in Stratford, Conn., beginning next year.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
Early next year, Helsinki, Finland-based operator Copterline will restart one of the few scheduled public helicopter routes in the world. It discontinued the flight between the neighboring capitals of Helsinki and Tallinn, Estonia, after the 2005 fatal crash of a Sikorsky S-76C+ (see AIN, October, page 74).
The Bell 429 can hover out of ground effect (OGE) at 11,000 feet at its maximum takeoff weight of 7,000 pounds. The altitude exceeds Bell’s previous customer commitment of a maximum OGE hover of 9,300 feet.
The NTSB is calling for stricter FAA en route surveillance of Grand Canyon area air-tour operators based on its findings from two fatal helicopter accidents there in 2001 and 2003 involving Papillon Airways and Sundance Helicopters.
Scandinavian countries are famous for going their own way and it seems only fitting that one of what was originally four nations participating in the Nordic Helicopter Program (NHP) did just that in selecting its new rotorcraft.
Sikorsky’s X2 technology dem-onstrator could fly by year-end, according to Peter Grant, Sikorsky’s director of advanced programs. The X2 is a coaxial rigid-rotor compound helicopter designed to achieve forward speeds up to 250 knots, and at that clip it would become the world’s fastest helicopter. The current helicopter speed record of 217 knots (set by a Westland Lynx) has stood for more than 20 years.
A story in AIN’s opening edition at the Dubai Air Show [DEAL FOR RUSSIAN HELOS A BLOW TO FRANCE] suggested that Russian defense export agency Rosboronexport would announce a $2.2 billion deal with Saudi Arabia for 150 Mi-17 transport and Mi-35 attack helicopters at the show.
A series of flight tests held in France this past summer has successfully shown that the Thales TopOwl helmet-mounted display system originally designed for helicopter pilots works just as well for those flying military transport aircraft. The tests made use of the TopOwl-H head up display (HUD) system now in full-scale production. Thales has made more than 400 to date.
Action Aviation, the exclusive distributor of MD Helicopters in the Middle East, Indian subcontinent and Scandinavia, is showing the 6,500-pound MD902 in the static display. Though appearing at the Dubai Air Show for the first time, it made its first Middle East appearance at the Dubai Helishow in December last year, said Action Aviation managing director Mike Creed.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior has ordered 40 Sikorsky helicopters in a deal valued at approximately $2 billion, the U.S.-based manufacturer announced here yesterday. The contract breaks down into 16 S-92 heavy twins, 15 S-76D medium twins and nine Schweizer 434 light singles. The contract calls for deliveries to begin in March 2008.