Industry analysts have been declaring China the “next big market” every year since the discussion came around to business aviation in China. Now, as an economic recovery appears to have begun, it seems China is finally fulfilling its promise, and based on activity at Heli-Expo 2011 in March, the helicopter industry is poised to take advantage of demand.
Aviation Specialties Unlimited (Booth No. 3033) has been awarded the first FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) for installation of night-vision equipment on the AgustaWestland AW139 medium helicopter. The installation was done for Era Helicopters. Overall, ASU has performed more than 500 night-vision goggle (NVG) cockpit modifications on a wide variety of helicopter makes and models.
Russia “hearts” helicopters. That was the message from the Moscow-based Helicopter Industry Association of Russia (HIAR) at its press conference at Heli-Expo 2011 yesterday.
Four of Russia’s leading helicopter operators: UTair, Vertical-T, Pahn Helicopters and Aviashelf provided proof with a snapshot of their operations, opportunities and challenges.
AgustaWestland announced at Heli-Expo 2011 the debut of the AW139M, a customized, military version of its successful multi-role AW139. Featured earlier this year at the AFA Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, it carries in it military technology required by the U.S. Air Force’s common vertical lift support program (CVLSP).
AgustaWestland is expanding its global presence with deliveries in Chile, orders from the South Korean government and appointment of an independent sales representative in Canada.
The Finmeccanica company recently delivered an AW119Ke single-engine helicopter to Chilean operator Firefly. The delivery marks the entrance of the AW119Ke into the Chilean helicopter market, where it will be used as a corporate transport.
AgustaWestland has announced a further expansion of its AW139 medium twin helicopter’s capabilities through the addition of two new certifications.
It’s Heli-Expo, and that means it’s also Honeywell forecast time. The 13th edition of the diversified aerospace manufacturer’s best estimate on what the rotorcraft industry can expect in the next five years predicts that global deliveries of new civilian-use turbine-powered helicopters will lie somewhere between 4,200 and 4,400 through 2015, and that represents a 5-percent gain over the delivery tally from 2006 to 2010.
Pratt & Whitney Canada landed at Heli-Expo 2011 (Booth No. 421) with two new engines to display and $1 billion in research and development funds available to invest over the next five years.
“We plan to stay number one,” said Raffaele Virgili, v-p of customer service, “and to do that, we need to invest in the future.”
The Los Angeles Fire Department’s air operations section has contracted with Spectrum Aeromed (Booth No. 1659) to design, engineer and install a custom carry-on medical device stand for its AgustaWestland AW139 multi-mission helicopters.
The Spectrum design and engineering team collaborated with the LAFD’s special missions staff to create the quick-release, modular floor-to-ceiling stand.
Two helo makers–Eurocopter and Bell–have thrown their proverbial hats into the medium-twin market. Eurocopter, in partnership with China’s Avicopter, has entered with the EC175, while Bell’s recently announced Magellan has yet to reach the drawing board.
Eurocopter currently is flying two EC175 prototypes, and is expecting EASA certification later this year, with deliveries to begin next year.