Houston-based Bristow has exercised options to acquire four more Sikorsky S-92s. As part of the agreement, an earlier order for nine S-76s has been converted to options on the smaller rotorcraft. In addition, Bristow has taken options on 10 more S-92s, bringing the total number of options for this model to 14. –Thierry Dubois
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
Sikorsky on April 10 announced that the FAA has certified the Sikorsky S-76C++ for operation in falling and blowing snow. FAA testing requires that the aircraft spend 20 minutes on the ground with the rotor turning during blustery snowfall, five minutes in low-altitude hover in a recirculating snow cloud and one hour in level flight.
AgustaWestland has announced orders for six AW139s in Australia. The Queensland Government and CHC, in New South Wales, have each purchased three of the medium twin helicopters. They will operate them in emergency medical and rescue services. The helicopter manufacturer has also won a contract from the Japan National Police Agency to supply five AW109 Power light twins for law-enforcement missions.
The Bell 429 has received its production rotor blades. They replace the prototype blades that supported the first flight on February 27. In addition, engineers have loaded new software for the cockpit displays. Bell said the new software is more representative of the production aircraft.
Everest Rescue Trust, a New Zealand-based charity organization, is planning to operate an unmanned helicopter to rescue stranded climbers on Mount Everest, starting next year. The piston-engine Alpine Wasp will be able to carry two climbers at a time. Flight tests were scheduled to start at the end of last month and continue through November at New Zealand’s 12,300-foot Mount Cook.
FAA certification of the Bell 210, a single-turbine medium helicopter derived from the military UH-1H Huey, could happen this month, Bell CEO Mike Redenbaugh said at the Paris Air Show this week. “Our flight testing is complete, FAA pilots have flown the helicopter and now we’re just waiting for approval of the paperwork,” he added.
Bell Helicopter selected Chelton Flight Systems to provide a glass cockpit for the company’s light single-engine helicopters. The Chelton cockpit will be available from Bell for the Model 407 beginning in the first quarter of 2007. Until then, Bell 407, 206 and 210 owners can upgrade their existing aircraft to synthetic vision through Bell installation facilities or Chelton’s dealer network.
Bristow Helicopters has ordered two Eurocopter EC 225s, with a scheduled service entry of spring next year. The order for this latest addition to the Super Puma family is valued at approximately E32 million ($40.3 million), and Bristow has options on an additional two aircraft.
fter flying the Bell/Agusta AB139, it is easy to see why Amedeo Caporaletti, president of Agusta and CEO of AgustaWestland, believes that this helicopter sets new standards for medium twins. The 13,227-pound-mtow AB139 meets the stringent standards imposed by both the European JARs and FAR Part 29, including all amendments.
Seacor’s Aviation Division has signed an agreement to have Keystone Helicopters provide maintenance and completions for the more than 160 helicopters it operates in the northeastern U.S., Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.