In a choreographed display of lights and music, Bell Helicopter unveiled three refined mock-ups of its new, five-seat “short light single” (SLS) helicopter–now officially renamed the “505 Jet Ranger X”–this morning at Heli-Expo in Anaheim, Calif. The company previewed the SLS concept with an announcement and renderings last year at the Paris Air Show.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
Lease Corporation International (LCI) of Dublin, Ireland, inked a contract today at Heli-Expo 2014 with AgustaWestland for as many as 18 helicopters worth more than $280 million. The order includes up to 14 AW139 intermediate helicopters and up to four twin-engine AW189s. The helicopters will be delivered from 2014 through 2018, if all options are exercised.
Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services, North America, a subsidiary of Vector Aerospace (Booth No. 5906), has brought a custom-modified integrated cockpit for display at Heli-Expo 2014. The cockpit consists of two Sagem 10-inch multifunction displays (MFDs) and two Sagem 10-inch primary flight displays (PFDs) for right or left seat operations. It is part of Vector Aerospace’s Bell Huey UH-1H (civilian Bell 205A) upgrade program.
Aviation industry data provider JetNet released its year-end statistics for the pre-owned helicopter market, which shows that retail sales for used turbine and piston rotorcraft experienced double-digit year-over-year declines of 11.8 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively, in 2013.
Turbine helicopters saw an 11.4-percent increase in the number listed for sale year-over-year, with the percentage of the available in-service fleet increasing from 6.1 percent to 6.4 percent, while the average number of days on market declined by 18 days over the previous year, to 414.
Mecaer Aviation Group (MAG) of Borgomanero, Italy, is unveiling here at Heli-Expo its new VVIP interior concept for the Bell 429, branded as the Bell 429 MAGnificent. A full-scale mockup of the four-place interior is on display at MAG’s booth (No. 6438). The interior features MAG’s proprietary Silens noise- and vibration-abatement system and hand-stitched premium leather seats and is compliant with all regulatory standards. The interior will be available as an option for new Bell 429s and may be available as a retrofit in existing aircraft, according to MAG.
Scott’s-Bell 47 (SB47, Booth No. 7422) has selected the Sagem (Booth No. 2814) ICDS-8A glass cockpit suite as part of the standard avionics package for the new 47GT-6 helicopter.
Finding new life for military surplus helicopters is the ultimate in recycling, and Portland, Ore.-based Columbia Helicopters (Booth No. 4706) has everything it needs to recycle the three rugged Boeing CH-47D Chinooks it purchased recently from the U.S. government.
At Heli-Expo 2014 Kaman Aerospace Group (Booth No. 4922) announced that it is expanding its reach. The OEM supplier of helicopters, rotor blades and rotary-wing UAVs and other aerospace components has opened new offices at Clemson University’s graduate campus in Charleston, S.C. The plan is to recruit talent and put a team of Kaman engineers at the nearby Boeing facility in North Charleston. The team is part of the company’s participation in the stress analysis work on Boeing 787 Dreamliner production.
New HAI member Rusada (Booth No. 3209) is exhibiting at Heli-Expo for the first time. A global aviation software solutions company established in 1987 and headquartered in Switzerland, with operations in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the Americas, Rusada currently serves 50 major customers worldwide with software that manages more than 1,500 aircraft in 20 countries.
BBA subsidiary International Governor Services (Booth No. 7333) announced that it has selected Woodward as a licensed repair service facility for its fuel controls, fuel pumps and governors on the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 and PW100 and Honeywell TPE331 engines. These engines power a number of Bell, AgustaWestland and Sikorsky helicopters.