The civil helicopter industry is, at last, taking advantage of simulators in pilot training decades after the fixed-wing aircraft industry began to do so. Simulators are proliferating around the world and, after having been concentrated in the medium-twin segment, now also include light turbine singles. The emergence of rotorcraft simulators in recent years was prompted by a combination of factors: technology, cost, insurance and a realization that the industry must improve a poor safety record.
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News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
AgustaWestland gained EASA approval for its new AW189 medium-twin helicopter on February 7. The company said that delivery of the first two AW189s in offshore configuration to Bristow Group was “imminent.” More than 100 AW189s are on order. To date, Bristow has placed a firm order for 11 AW189s for use on a UK search-and-rescue contract and for offshore operations. Other large fleet customers include Gulf Helicopters and Era, with 15 orders each.
As part of its efforts to provide a more holistic approach to product support, AgustaWestland will this week introduce its new Leonardo customer portal. “This tool will link customers at every level to the company,” said AgustaWestland CEO Daniele Romiti.
Helicopter manufacturers will deliver between 4,800 and 5,500 new turbine-powered civilian models in the next five years, Honeywell (Booth No. 6502) predicts in its annual market forecast.
Bell Helicopter has announced that it has delivered the first 407GX aircraft into India. The customer is SpanAir, a leading air charter company that has operated the Bell 407 since 1996, and later added a Model 429. The company provides customized travel options and offers a modern, well-equipped fleet.
L-3 Link Simulation & Training specializes in intelligent training solutions across civil and military fields. The company has supplied the AVCATT (aviation combined arms tactical trainer) system to the U.S. Army at 11 training sites, each suite comprising six reconfigurable simulators, a battle master control room and an after-action review theater. The system provides network-based multi-player training exercises, from basic flying to complex operational scenarios.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (Booth H72) and Geological Survey of India are to deploy a Dhruv light twin helicopter equipped with geophysical equipment for mineral exploration. The dedicated aircraft was formally unveiled and named Garuda Vasudha by the country’s minister of mines, Dinsha Patel, in New Delhi last month. The Indian government is hoping to cut its oil import bill by finding such resources in its soil.
Bell Helicopter (Chalet CD11) is exhibiting two of its products at the Singapore 2014 airshow, the Bell 407GX single and the Bell 429 light twin. The show also marks the debut here of the cockpit demonstrator for the Bell AH-1Z Zulu attack helicopter. Meanwhile, the U.S. Marine Corps is displaying the Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey in both the static and flying displays.
Malaysian operator Weststar Aviation Services yesterday ordered an additional 10 AgustaWestland AW139 intermediate twin helicopters. The company, which will use the aircraft to support offshore oil and gas industry activity, will increase its AW139 fleet to 34 once deliveries are complete.