PZL-Swidnik last month handed over the 500th airframe–an AW139–it has produced for AgustaWestland. The Polish company builds all the fuselages and tail booms for the AgustaWestland A109E Power, A109S Grand, A109 LUH and A119 Koala helicopters and is a risk-sharing partner with AgustaWestland on the AW139. Last year the company delivered more than 100 airframes to AgustaWestland.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
The NTSB has asked the FAA to require MD Helicopters to conduct tests to “enable the full analysis” of all critical loads for tension-torsion (T-T) straps installed in the notar anti-torque fan of MD 500N, 600N and 900 rotorcraft. The recommendations stem from the Safety Board’s ongoing investigations into two nonfatal accidents involving MD 900s in 2004.
Sikorsky and China Aviation Industry Corp. II (AVIC II) recently struck a deal to jointly develop and build civil helicopters. The companies will also explore establishing AVIC II subsidiary Changhe Aircraft Industry as a second production source of S-76 fuselages.
India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), headquartered in Bangalore, has brought two examples–one civil production aircraft and a military prototype–of its indigenously designed Dhruv helicopter to show here at Farnborough International.
Eurocopter and an unnamed UK operator have proposed leasing civil EC 225 medium-lift helicopters to the British Ministry of Defence as an interim solution to bridge the gap in capability aggravated by the British armed forces’ engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq. The plan would provide new, high-performance helicopters to the armed forces as an alternative to upgrading and maintaining older helicopters now in service.
A program intended to allow emergency response agencies to quickly identify, locate and coordinate helicopter assets is now available at Helicopter Association International's (HAI) Web site. The program has been in development since Hurricane Katrina "highlighted the shortcomings in emergency response contribution," said HAI.
Fires are a huge and growing problem in Spain and its islands, as they are throughout southern Europe. As many as 250 aircraft–the vast majority of them helicopters–are currently involved in fighting bush and forest fires around Spain. One of the country’s biggest contributors to this annual effort is Helisureste (HS), based in Alicante on the country’s Mediterranean coast.
Last December’s agreement between Eurocopter and China for the codevelopment of a new medium-size helicopter, the EC 175 (known in China as the Z-15), marks a step change that raises Sino-European cooperation on helicopters to a new level.
The first of four Super Lynx 300 maritime helicopters destined for South Africa is on display here at the Farnborough airshow at Finmeccanica’s Outside Exhibit area (OE2).
Turbomeca is ready to launch new variants of its helicopter engines. The French manufacturer (Hall 4 Stand B12) is working on technology demonstrators that can be the basis for a preliminary powerplant. But before launching any such program, it is waiting for the market to clearly indicate the need for new Arriel or Arrius turboshaft engines.