Bell Helicopter recently unveiled a version of the 429 light twin with wheeled landing gear and plans to begin deliveries in the first half of next year. The $6.17 million Bell 429WLG has a top speed of 152 knots, about five knots faster than the $5.8 million standard skidded variant. Although the retractable gear and fairings add approximately 250 pounds to empty weight, the drag reduction takes the 429WLG’s range to 412 nm, an increase of 1 nm.
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News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
India’s newly acquired status as a host for one of each season’s Formula One Grand Prix car races has provided a prime opportunity for the country to demonstrate its readiness to embrace business aviation. The world’s highest profile auto sport has continued to be a strong magnet for private and corporate jets, and the race in Delhi on October 27 was no exception.
Lyon, France-based fuel-leak repair specialist Sunaero (also known as Aerowing in the U.S.) is offering its services to the helicopter industry, pledging significant time savings over conventional detection and repair methods.
Increasingly complex fuel-tank shapes have raised new challenges, Sunaero vice president Thierry Regond told AIN. Small but serious leaks, whether they originate from vibration wear or manufacturing defects, are difficult to locate and can force missions to be scrubbed, as one European country’s police force recently discovered, Regond said.
Marenco Swisshelicopter will roll out its SKYe SH09 single-turbine light helicopter on November 28 in Mollis, Switzerland. An offshoot of a machine-tool specialist, the company is emphasizing the SH09’s carbon-fiber airframe, which for prominence on the prototype it has left unpainted in “key areas, such as the tailboom and shrouded tail rotor.” The 5,800-pound aircraft was announced in 2011, at which time its first flight was planned for 2012.
Bell Helicopter (Chalet A48) is aiming for the first flights of the Bell 525 Relentless and Bell SLS late next year, and the two engineering teams working on the new helicopters are engaged in a friendly race, CEO John Garrison said here on Monday.
In June this year the second multi-year procurement contract was signed for the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. It will deliver 93 MV-22s for the Marine Corps and seven more CV-22s for the US Air Force over the course of five years. With the current annual rate of production running at around 40 aircraft, that means that in the near future there will be considerable production capacity available for foreign military sales (FMS) as deliveries to the U.S. military drop off.
AgustaWestland (Chalet P22) received an order for 15 of its new AW189 helicopters from Gulf Helicopters of Qatar here at the Dubai Airshow yesterday. The first two aircraft are due to be delivered in 2014 and all aircraft should achieve operational readiness in 2017.
“The Middle East remains a very important market for AgustaWestland,” said CEO Daniele Romiti on the eve of this year’s Dubai Airshow. “It is a challenging market, where personal relationships have a great importance,” he added.
Last week Iraq took delivery of the first batch of Mil helicopters from the Rostvertol factory. Four Mi-35Ms were delivered to Iraq, their arrival being announced by Iraqi prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki. Iraqi managers, crews and technicians have been training at the Russian army’s Torzhok center, with the first group completing its course in late September. Following the delivery of the initial batch will be at least two more Mi-35Ms, and a sizeable batch of Mil Mi-28NE Night Hunter attack helicopters.
Bell Helicopter recently delivered seven of an order for 15 Bell 429s light twin-engine helicopters to the Turkish National Police. The helicopters were accepted during September and October by the police, which immediately started operating them for surveillance, personnel transport and air support of ground operations. Each aircraft is equipped with multi-sensor cameras and microwave downlink.