Bell Helicopter announced today that the Bell 429 has earned Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI) type acceptance to operate in Israel, as well as approval to fly at an increased maximum gross weight of 7,500 pounds. Israel is the 16th country to approve the increased maximum gross weight for the light twin helicopter.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
UK-based Bond Offshore Helicopters has won a $24 million contract with BW Offshore for transportation services to its “Limited Floating Production Storage and Offtake vessel” operated on behalf of Ithaca Energy in the Athena oil field, approximately 100 nm northeast of Aberdeen, Scotland. Operations are due to begin in March with an AgustaWestland AW139. The contract covers three years and includes options to extend the period.
India’s Ghodawat Industries placed an order for a Eurocopter EC135 helicopter at the Aero India show in Bangalore this week. The aircraft will be configured for four passengers and is due for delivery in May, when it will replace the customer’s existing EC120 model.
The Helicopter Rescue Response Association will hold its annual rescue summit in conjunction with this year’s Heli-Expo on March 4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Attendance is limited to 100. For more information visit www.helirescueassociation.org.
Russian Helicopters and Elcom Systems, part of Indian investment conglomerate Sun Group, have signed an agreement to create a factory, in India, for building Russian Helicopters’ Mi- and Ka- brands. The first model to be produced will be the Ka-226T light twin. The joint venture will manufacture “key helicopter units” and perform final assembly. It will even have ground and flight-test capability. Another agreement was reached to create a training organization for pilots and maintenance technicians.
Many, but not all, former Silver State Helicopter students have had their student loans forgiven in the wake of the 2008 bankruptcy and liquidation of what was then the largest civil helicopter school in the U.S. However, Cleveland-based KeyBank did not offer loan forgiveness, prompting 100 former students to sue, charging that the bank knew of Silver State’s precarious financial condition when it offered them high-interest-rate loans of up to $70,000 to attend the school. Arguments in the case were heard late last year by the Ninth Circuit U.S.
A Robinson R44 light single is undergoing heavy repairs at UTair-Engineering’s facility in Tyumen, Russia. The complete “inspection and refitting” is expected to take three months, ending next month. In 2012, UTair-Engineering passed the Robinson Helicopter and Russian Aviation Authority performance audits for maintenance, repair and overhaul operations. The company is thus now an authorized service center for Robinson in Russia.
Eurocopter has taken over the aerospace activities of Heuliez, one of its suppliers, based in Cerizay, Western France. The 49 jobs will be regrouped in a newly created subsidiary, Hélicoptère Aérostructure Services. Since 2008 Heuliez has provided Eurocopter with “concepts derived from the automotive industry” for EC120, EC130 and EC175 doors, as well as the AS350 Ecureuil’s canopy.
AgustaWestland is making a new push into South America. The Italian helicopter maker, part of the defense and industrial conglomerate Finmeccanica, signed a memorandum of understanding on January 21 to establish a joint venture with Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to build AgustaWestland helicopters in Brazil for both the domestic and regional military and civilian markets.
While the U.S. Congress has averted mandatory budget sequestration until March, including anticipated defense spending cuts, Pentagon watchers have been predicting a new austerity one way or the other for months.