Eurocopter (Booth 7050) unveiled a mockup of the executive version of its EC175 medium twin helicopter at EBACE and is also offering an even more luxurious VIP version.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
Helicopter broker Heli Asset has sold the first Eurocopter EC155B1 medium twin into Switzerland, according to the Paris-based company. Zurich-based business aviation charter operator Heli-Link, a subsidiary company of DC Aviation of Germany, took delivery of the 2008 EC155, configured with eight VIP seats. Heli Asset says it placed 18 helicopters in 2012.
Eurocopter revealed a mockup of the executive version of its EC175 medium-twin helicopter today at EBACE and is also offering an even more luxurious VIP version. Prices for the new variants are around €17 million ($22 million) and vary with options. The VIP version is some €500,000 ($650,000) more expensive than the executive option.
AgustaWestland (Booth 7070) announced plans last month to open a second final assembly line for its new AW169 medium twin at its U.S. plant in Philadelphia to complement the main line for the helicopter in Vergiate, Italy. Major components for the AW169 will continue to be made to AW’s plant at Yeovil in the UK and this site will continue to provide engineering support, said company spokesman Geoff Russell.
Eurocopter is unveiling today at EBACE two new versions of the EC175 medium-twin helicopter, a VIP and executive variant. Designed by Peder Eidsgaard of Pegasus Design, a designer of business jet and super yacht interiors, the cabins will combine “flowing lines, symmetry and harmony in materials and colors,” according to Eurocopter.
Although business has been tough for UK helicopter charter companies in recent times, Capital Air Services is in the process of increasing its managed fleet with the addition of two Sikorsky S-76++ helicopters. This will bring the S-76 fleet to three, to operate alongside a Eurocopter EC155 and a pair of EC135s.
Signature Flight Support (Booth 364) is again handling all helicopter traffic in and out of Gatwick Airport after the helicopter aiming point (HAP) re-opened earlier this month. The development means that business and commercial aviation operators will again be able to land at Gatwick without a formal runway landing slot (they will need only an HAP slot, so ATC has prior notification) and without having to taxi on the runway.
In parallel with global business jet sales, pilot training activity is, for the most part, stable and growing somewhat, particularly in new markets. At the same time, flight-training providers are reporting unprecedented growth in the civil helicopter sector, with much of this being driven by a surge in demand for rotorcraft support in the booming offshore oil and gas industries, plus the deployment of new-generation helicopter simulator technology.
Honeywell already delivers synthetic vision for business aircraft under the brand name SmartView, a system that uses the terrain database of the company’s renowned Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS), merged with head-up display (HUD) symbology. It then presents the SVS graphics on an aircraft’s primary flight displays (PFD).
The FAA approved an automated rig approach for offshore operators on the Sikorsky S-92, offering new functionality for the medium-twin helicopter. The system is said to “reduce cockpit workload by 60 percent” and allow safer operations under challenging weather and operating conditions. Sikorsky has been developing the “rig approach” system since 2007 in cooperation with operator PHI.