Scott’s-Bell 47 announced yesterday at Heli-Expo that it will build new Bell 47 helicopters, dubbed the 47-GT6, powered by the Rolls-Royce RR300 engine. The $820,000 iconic bubble-canopied helicopter will be built from scratch, not remanufactured, and will be based on the 47G-3B-2A type design that has a 3,200-pound max gross weight with external load. Internal useful load will be 1,400 pounds, and external load 1,650 pounds.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
Worldwide deliveries of new civil helicopters will total between 4,900 and 5,600 units over the next five years, according to the results of Honeywell’s 15 annual Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook survey, which was released this week at Heli-Expo 2013. The forecast shows strong demand focused in the first three years of the period and reflected in every region of the world. This means that demand in 2016 and 2017 will determine whether the low or high-range of the forecast is realized.
Eurocopter unveiled an upgraded version of its EC135 helicopter yesterday at Heli-Expo in Las Vegas. The new light twin-engine EC135T3/P3 offers several improvements over the current EC135T2i/P2i, including optimized Fadec software, longer rotor blades and a change in the location of the air intake.
MD Helicopters’ MD 540F armed scout helicopter made its debut at Heli-Expo this week in Las Vegas. The new model replaces its predecessor MD 530F’s Rolls-Royce 250-C30 turboshaft with the new M250-C47E, which offers dual-channel Fadec and boosts available rated takeoff power to 700 shp.
Eurocopter promised to bring its next-generation Dauphin–the X4 medium twin helicopter–to the Heli-Expo show next year in Anaheim, Calif. The new helicopter, which will include straked rotor blades and a fly-by-wire system, will be offered with a Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210 or Turbomeca TM800 turboshaft engine. First flight is scheduled for 2016, with certification planned for 2017. Meanwhile, the company said yesterday at Heli-Expo that it is working on X6 and X9 helicopters, but it would not release any details on these future designs.
State-owned Aviation Industry Corp. of China (Avic) brought its Avicopter rotorcraft unit to Heli-Expo for the first time.
Bell Helicopter has tapped Honeywell to provide the auxiliary power unit (APU) and environmental control system for the new Bell 525 Relentless, which is scheduled to start flying next year. The Honeywell RE100 APU selected for the super-medium twin helicopter is lighter and more fuel efficient than competing systems, according to Honeywell. Honeywell’s AC-5510 environmental control system will provide heating and air-conditioning for the 16-passenger helicopter.
Mecaer Aviation Group has been selected by Eurocopter to design and manufacture the landing gear shock absorbers for the new-generation X4 helicopter. The company is responsible for the design, engineering, certification, production and after-sales support of the landing gears, and will provide to Eurocopter the absorbers for the nose landing gear and the two main landing gears, in addition to the nose landing gear electrical wheel lock actuator.
Bell Helicopter signed a memorandum of understanding with Van Horn Aviation to develop a composite tail rotor blade for the Bell 212 and Bell 412. Under the agreement, Van Horn will design, certify and manufacture the rotor blades, with Bell Helicopter Engineering participating in the design and certification processes. When certified, the blades will be distributed under Bell Helicopter’s Aeronautical Accessories brand.
Soloy Aviation Solutions (Booth No. N3230) announced here at Heli-Expo that its efforts to sell Honeywell engine conversion kits for Chinese-registered Eurocopter AS350B2s have gotten the green light from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). CAAC issued a validation STC for the modification approving the replacement of the helicopter’s standard Turbomeca engine with the Honeywell LTS101-700D-2. The approval will allow Olympia, Wash.-based Soloy to proceed with negotiations to sell multiple conversion kits to owners of any Chinese-registered AS350B2.