Last year AgustaWestland (AW) acquired a majority interest in Polish airframer PZL-Swidnik. The deal included Swidnik’s long-in-development SW-4 light turbine single, which was on display at this year’s Farnborough airshow. While an AW spokesman declined to reveal the helicopter’s price, the SW-4 is widely believed to sell for a base price near $1 million, with prices approaching double that figure for a well equipped model.
Allison Model 250
There are surprisingly active developments in the single-engine helicopter field, with new rotorcraft on the way such as the turbine-powered Robinson R66 and Sikorsky S-434. Kit manufacturer RotorWay is even coming to market with a planned certified turbine helicopter, the 300T Eagle, announced at last year’s EAA AirVenture show. The Russian Helicopters Mi-34S2 Sapsan will also offer turbine power.
M7 Aerospace has launched a program to support Rolls-Royce 250-series engine operators by teaming with Essential Turbines of Dorval, Quebec. The engine is installed in numerous helicopter models, including Bells, Sikorsky S-76s, MD Helicopters, Agusta 109s, Eurocopter AS 355s, MBB BO105s and others.
Rolls-Royce last month launched the RR500 turboshaft, a 475-shp derivative of the RR300 that powers the in-development Robinson R66. Certification is scheduled for late 2011, with deliveries pegged to begin in the first quarter of 2012.
One of Heli-Expo’09’s worst-kept secrets, the Rolls-Royce RR500 turboshaft engine, was unveiled Monday afternoon in a brief but hearing-impairment-inducing ceremony at the engine maker’s booth. The RR500 turboshaft, a 475-shp derivative of the RR300 that powers the in-development Robinson R66, is scheduled for certification in late 2011. A turboprop version of the RR500 was first announced last summer at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.
The Schweizer 434 made its first flight on December 18 at Horseheads, N.Y., and deliveries to overseas military customers are scheduled to begin next month. A company spokeswoman declined to speculate on when the new light turbine single would gain U.S. certification. Schweizer announced this more powerful and updated $933,000 version of the 333 last year, as well as initial orders for 15 copies.
Rolls-Royce unveiled a new turboprop engine for general aviation applications on Tuesday at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. The RR500 turboprop engine is larger than the turboshaft RR300 launched last year and will deliver 350 to 450 shp. Based on the RR300 core, the RR500 features a higher mass flow compressor and correspondingly matching turbine, as well as an exhaust-down configuration, a gearbox and propeller controls.
It wasn’t just the great Texas barbeque that put smiles on the faces of Heli-Expo visitors. A hot market for helicopters ensured that the show’s first trip to Houston would go down a record-setter.
California Shock/Trauma Air Rescue (Calstar) has completed requirements for a supplemental type certificate (STC) to re-engine the Eurocopter BO 105LS with a Rolls-Royce 250-C30. The engine modification will allow the McClellan, Calif.-based organization’s BO 105LS to provide service at higher altitudes throughout the mountainous Sierra Nevada region. In partnership with Aerometals of El Dorado Hills, Calif. (Booth No.
Schweizer Aircraft (Booth No. 2040) yesterday unveiled the Sikorsky Schweizer 434, the company’s first new product since Sikorsky purchased the New York-based OEM in 2004. The Model 434 is a single-turbine helicopter designed primarily for flight training, law enforcement and light utility missions.