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.
Hartzell received FAA STC approval for its swept composite five-blade propeller for the Daher Socata TBM 700/850. Hartzell already has taken orders for the propellers and deliveries to TBM owners are expected to begin “shortly.” With the new propeller, the TBM’s takeoff acceleration from zero to 90 knots is 10 percent faster, climb rate is improved by several hundred feet-per-minute and cruise is increased by two knots. The five-bladed prop is also quieter, Hartzell said.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has fined Asiana Airlines $500,000 for failing to adhere to its family-assistance plan following the July 6 crash of Asiana Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport. The fine marks the first such penalty ever issued by the DOT under the Foreign Air Carrier Family Support Act of 1997.
Airbus Helicopters plans to progressively equip all its models with a cockpit imaging and flight data monitoring (FDM) system, in a bid to improve safety with an affordable system. All 181 AS350 AStar/Ecureuil light singles delivered last year were equipped with the device, developed with Appareo Systems (Booth No. 329). Next in line for the FDM installation are the EC130T2 light single and the EC135 light twin.
Falcon Aviation Services (FAS), the largest operator at Al Bateen Executive Airport, has signed a strategic agreement with Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACC) to build a VVIP completions and MRO facility at Dubai World Central, paving the way for base operations at the new airport when the facilities are ready.
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.
Bombardier Business Aircraft has two aircraft on display at Abu Dhabi Air Expo, both flying the colors of owners from the Gulf region. One is a Challenger 605, managed by Sharjah’s Gulf Wings and being shown on behalf of an unidentified Kuwaiti owner.
Helicopter engine manufacturer Turbomeca (Booth No. 2814) is exhibiting a mockup of its Arrius 2R for the Bell SLS and has a variety of ongoing developments. The company is also considering the launch of a new family of turboshafts to power medium-heavy to heavy rotorcraft. Meanwhile, deliveries are on a downward curve.
As Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Silver Airways became the third U.S. regional airline this month to announce significant service cuts due to what it called a nationwide pilot shortage, the Regional Airline Association amplified its message of opposition to a new rule requiring 1,500 hours of flying experience for new-hire first officers.