Scott’s Bell 47 (SB47) and Rolls-Royce have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the application of the RR300 turbine engine in the SB47 multipurpose light helicopter. Scott’s acquired the type certificate for the Model 47 from Bell Helicopter in 2010 and is currently supporting the helicopter and offering complete refurbishment and updates for the aircraft. The company’s ultimate goal is to place the helicopter back into new production.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Engines
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft powerplants.
Russian Helicopters unveiled a full-size mockup of the reworked Kamov Ka-62 medium twin at the HeliRussia 2012 show in Moscow in May.
In another safety issue affecting the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter’s main gearbox, on July 18 the FAA released an airworthiness directive (AD) that calls for inspection for cracks. The AD was prompted by the discovery of a crack in the gearbox housing of one S-92, “in the cored passage area adjacent to the scissor bracket mount,” allowing oil to leak. The result could be a loss of oil and subsequent failure of the gearbox, the FAA said.
Austro Engine (Outside Exhibit 18), part of the group that owns Austria’s Diamond Aircraft, is exhibiting its new diesel and rotary engines for light aircraft and drones at the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow. The company is actively talking to other airframers about finding new applications for its AE series of diesel engines, which will include the in-development AE500.
Turbomeca subsidiary Microturbo (Stand 1543) has completed the first flight tests of its new auxiliary power unit (APU) for the AgustaWestland AW189 helicopter. In-flight start has been demonstrated already, and the test unit has also successfully restarted one of the main engines in flight. “The e-APU60 is performing accordingly with our ambitious goals,” said Pierre-Yves Morvan, Microturbo’s CEO.
Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW210 turboshaft has been selected to power the Eurocopter X4 medium twin, which is slated to replace the AS365/EC155 Dauphin series. Entry into service is pegged for 2017. The PW210S, a variant produced for the Sikorsky S-76D medium twin, was certified in 2011. AIN understands the X4 will be offered with two engine options, the other choice coming from Turbomeca.
Component specialist Aviall Services and Helicopter Service Co. (HSC), a subsidiary of Russian manufacturer Russian Helicopters, have signed an agreement to support rotorcraft powered by Rolls-Royce M250 engines. HSC, which operates the only M250 authorized support center in Russia, will buy parts for M250 engines and other helicopter parts directly from Aviall. Currently there are more than 100 M250-powered helicopters in Russia, mostly Kamov Ka-226 light twins.
At a Sunday morning press event, Turbomeca chairman and CEO Olivier Andriès listed the French turbine engine manufacturer’s 2011 successes, including a recovery in production numbers from the 2010 low of 800. Turbomeca delivered 950 turboshaft engines last year, and expects to produce approximately 1,100 before the end of 2012.
Rolls-Royce has nearly completed development of its 475-shp RR500 turboshaft, but is still waiting for an aircraft manufacturer or modifier to specify the engine for a new project. Recent testing includes a 500-hour endurance run and simulated altitude trials. The engine will log about 1,000 test hours. Still to be performed is a 1,000-cycle test. Development testing is expected to be finished by the end of next month.
Rolls-Royce (Booth No. 9040) has almost completed development of the 475-shp RR500 turboshaft but is still waiting for an aircraft manufacturer or modifier to specify the engine for a new project. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis-based engine manufacturer has moved into full-rate production with the 300-shp RR300 turboshaft, which powers the Robinson R66 light single. Improvements are also underway on the M250, to which both of the newer engines trace their roots.