American Eurocopter announced several new initiatives at the recent Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA) annual convention, most of them related to how the company supports the more than 200 AS350 AStars in use with U.S. law-enforcement agencies.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
Three members of the Fairfax County (Virginia) police department’s helicopter unit are the winners of the Airborne Law Enforcement Association’s 2013 Gus Crawford Air Crew of the Year Award for their rescue of two small lost boys last January. The award was presented at the association’s annual convention in late July.
Certain helicopter makers such as Enstrom and various kit makers have long been a staple at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) annual AirVenture convention. For Enstrom, the journey represents a little more than an hour’s flight from its factory in Menominee, Mich. However, other mainline helicopter OEMs historically have been reluctant to exhibit at the nation’s largest airshow–until this year.
The tiltrotor test rig (TTR) development team at NASA Ames Research Center was honored today with a 2013 NASA Group Achievement Award. Team members include personnel from NASA Ames, Bell Helicopter and Triumph Aerospace Systems. The TTR is a joint project among NASA, the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force to develop a new large-scale system that can test prop-rotors up to 26 feet in diameter at speeds up to 300 knots, allowing for advanced research on tiltrotors and other rotorcraft concepts.
Helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter appears to be facing a backlash from North Sea oil workers after four people were killed in an AS332L2 Super Puma accident on Friday. Although the cause of the accident has not been established yet, unions and workers were quick to react to the fifth Super Puma accident or major incident in four years in the UK offshore industry.
AgustaWestland is preparing the way to possible final assembly of its helicopters in Brazil with plans to expand the São Paulo facilities of its local subsidiary, the Italian company said yesterday at LABACE. Construction is due to be completed by the end of next year and the enlarged facility will also be used to accommodate a training center, bonded warehouse, workshop space and a heliport.
Latin America is the target of an effort by MD Helicopters to strengthen its dealer network, which consists of one independent representative per country, with the exception of Mexico, where there are two. The MD fleet in Latin America currently totals approximately 100 aircraft, 15 of them in Brazil.
“Our focus is to strengthen the dealer network and our goal is to be delivering 12 MD Explorers a year in Latin America by the end of 2015,” said MD director of sales and marketing Philip Marsteller. “And that’s a conservative goal,” he added.
Helibras opened a new customer support center at Atibaia, Brazil, near the three main airfields of São Paulo. The facility forms part of Eurocopter’s global network and mirrors those established by the company in Hong Kong, Dallas and Marignane, France. Some 75 percent of the Brazilian Eurocopter/Helibras fleet is based in southeast Brazil. The center offers a 365-day on-call service between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. The specialist staff take the initial customer calls and see them through to the completion of service delivery. There is also an AOG desk.
Yesterday at LABACE, Colombia Trading Sales delivered a Robinson 66 helicopter for use by Brazilian soccer star Neymar. Altamiro Bezzera, who has worked with Neymar for three years under Insituto Projeto Neymar Jr., told AIN, “The focus is the World Cup. Neymar has commercial commitments to meet for sponsors, and professional commitments on the soccer field. This [helicopter] is a business tool to let him meet all his commitments, and the machine was personally picked by Neymar with the advice of Power Helicopters.”
Helibras has announced the opening of a new customer support center (CSC) at Atibaia, near the three main airfields of São Paulo. The facility forms part of Eurocopter’s global network and mirrors those established by the company in Hong Kong, Dallas and Marignane (France). Some 75 percent of the Brazilian Eurocopter/Helibras fleet is based in the southeast of Brazil.