Russian Helicopters experienced a 10.7-percent increase in helicopter deliveries last year, shipping 28 more than in 2011, the Moscow-based company announced today. “Last year, we delivered 290 helicopters of nine different types to our clients from 19 countries,” CEO Dmitry Petrov said.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
UK-based Bristow Helicopters, an affiliate of the Texas-based Bristow Group, today announced a 10-year contract with the UK’s Department for Transport for search-and-rescue (SAR) services for all of the country. The $2.5 billion agreement has a phased-in transition period beginning in April 2015 and continuing until July 2017.
Under the contract, Bristow will provide 11 Sikorsky S-92s and 11 AgustaWestland AW189 medium-twin helicopters across 10 UK bases. Each SAR base will operate either two S-92s or two AW189s. In addition, there will be two training aircraft.
Erickson Air Crane is buying Evergreen Helicopters for $250 million, as well as Air Amazonia from Brazilian oil and gas exploration company HRT for $65 to $75 million. Both deals are expected to close in the second quarter and will boost Erickson’s current $180 million annual revenues to a projected $430 million.
Two helicopters, understood to be a Eurocopter EC155 and a Eurocopter Super Puma, crashed after a midair during windy snowfall today near the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. One pilot was killed and four people were severely injured, according to local news reports. The two helicopters, along with a third that was not involved in the accident, were participating in a crowd-control training exercise. Accident investigators were on scene at press time.
Russian Helicopters delivered two Mi-171 medium-twin helicopters to Siberian operator Skol Airline. They are fitted with special lifting and transport equipment, including an on-board boom and winch able to lift loads of 330 pounds and an external hoist rated for 8,800 pounds. The new helicopters will “help Skol strengthen its position in the international air-freight market,” it said.
Two gunmen attempted a daring daylight helicopter prison break from a maximum-security prison in Saint-Jerome, Quebec, on Sunday.
The Robinson R44 Raven I, owned by Heli-Tremblant and operated by Quebec Helicopters, was hijacked by two gunmen during a sightseeing flight shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday and directed to fly to the prison. There, a rope line was lowered for the escapees, who were then flown to a getaway car near Mont-Tremblant, where the helicopter and pilot were located by police.
Sikorsky disclosed its 2012 performance last week, and it appears the U.S. helicopter manufacturer has a $2.2 billion backlog for commercial helicopters. The released charts lack precision, but AIN estimates civil sales totaled approximately $800 million last year and are forecast to increase to around $1.3 billion this year. A major geographical shift is under way, as developing markets are seen accounting for approximately half of Sikorsky’s civil helicopter deliveries in 2020.
Less than a week after touting his company’s accomplishments at Heli-Expo 2013, Eurocopter CEO Dr. Lutz Bertling, 50, has resigned effective April 30, parent company EADS announced this morning. He joined Eurocopter in 2003 and became CEO in 2006. During his tenure, Eurocopter’s sales nearly doubled to $8.3 billion.
Bell Helicopter took in orders for 50 helicopters last week at Heli-Expo in Las Vegas. According to the company, American Medical Group Holdings placed an order for 30 helicopters at the show, while orders for 20 more came from international customers in Latin America, Europe and Asia. “We set out aggressive customer interaction and sales goals for Heli-Expo,” Bell Helicopter president and CEO John Garrison said. “It has been an exciting and intense few days spending time with hundreds of our best customers.”
Heli-Expo closed this afternoon with record numbers of attendees, exhibit space and exhibitors, according to show organizer Helicopter Association International. There were 736 exhibitors, occupying nearly one million square feet at the Las Vegas Convention Center, for the three-day helicopter show. Heli-Expo 2013 also saw 20,105 attendees walk through the doors, marking the sixth consecutive year of growth in attendance.