Eurocopter and the world-renowned house of Hermès revealed their “l’Hélicoptère par Hermès,” an EC 135 with a decidedly upscale interior. The project began after officials from both companies met at EBACE in Geneva in May 2005, held discussions for six months and decided to cooperate on a joint project that culminated in the special edition of the EC 135 on display at the NBAA show.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
The FAA issued a request for comment on proposed airworthiness standards for certification of the Bell/Agusta BA609–“a multi-turbine-engine powered-lift category, tiltrotor-class aircraft”–under FAR 21.17(b), which specifies applicable regulations for special classes of aircraft for which airworthiness standards do not yet exist.
On Friday, Bell Helicopter’s 429 team froze the final exterior profile of its light twin-engine helicopter after months of development flight testing. Since introducing the Bell 429 GlobalRanger at Heli-Expo 2005, Bell has flown two prototypes for more than 400 hours of flight testing. One aircraft is now in Colorado performing high-altitude testing and the other is in Arizona for high-temperature trials.
As the month of May came to a close, a team of Boeing engineers were putting the finishing touches to a one-of-a-kind flying machine at an outpost of that company’s “Phantom Works” just outside the sun- and sand-blasted southwestern Arizona town of Yuma.
Successfully completing phase one of what will be the world’s first civil certification of a tiltrotor aircraft, veteran convertiplane pilot Roy Hopkins recently found himself in possession of something he hadn’t had much of in the last few months: spare time.
Heli-USA has taken a break from the usual Hawaiian air-tour repertoire of overflying thick jungles, pristine tropical rainforests, volcanoes surging with liquid magma and plunging sliver waterfalls. Instead it is offering tourists the alternative of seeing the 50th state’s glittering nightlife from the same unique perspective.
Like its predecessors, it would be the most widely recognized helicopter in the world– the personal transport for the world’s most powerful leader, a leader who has traveled by helicopter since the mid-1950s. And a leader who had traveled in the same make and almost the same model of American-made helicopter most of those days.
As evidence of a continual, albeit gradual, increase in the sale of commercial helicopters, multi-ship purchases are on the upswing. One of the most notable in recent months has been Air Methods’ order for a half-dozen Eurocopters–five AS 350B2s and one EC 130B4. All six will be delivered before the end of this year and receive EMS interiors and completion work at the products division of Air Methods in Englewood, Colo.
Agusta officials have revealed they are currently negotiating with Bell to increase the share the Italian manufacturer holds in the BA609 tiltrotor program. Currently at 25 percent for Agusta and 75 percent for Bell, the workshare may eventually become “close to 50/50,” Agusta CEO Amedeo Caporaletti said.
Just when it looks like the V-22 Osprey program might have a good day, the fates conspire to create more clouds on the horizon.