The U.S. Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a contract to build six more MQ-8C unmanned helicopters based on the Bell 407, bringing to 14 the number of new, larger Fire Scouts under contract. The Navy plans to acquire a total of 30 MQ-8Cs under a rapid development effort that calls for deployment next year.
Onboard Systems (Booth No. N4431) is exhibiting its range of external load equipment, including a new Bell 407 hydraulic cargo hook kit, at Heli-Expo ’13.
The new kit, which may be installed for either right- or left-hand pilot operation, uses the company’s proprietary pin load cell technology, which features a single attachment point to replace the conventional two-hole load cell linkage.
Donaldson Aerospace & Defense (Booth No. N6001) a division of Donaldson Company, had plenty of news at Heli-Expo ’13.
On the hardware side, the company announced that its oil filter assemblies have been selected for the Rolls-Royce M250-C30 and -C47 650 to 700-shp engines, powering helicopters such as the Bell 407 and MD600N.
“We believe that our scavenger oil filter assemblies’ design optimizes performance, minimizes weight and provides a balance of operating life and efficiency for aircraft components,” said Mike Trevino, director of sales for Donaldson.
Air Services International and strategic partner Dakota Air Parts International are sharing an exhibit at Heli-Expo ’13 (Booth No. C2106).
ASI has seen an expanded pool of exchange and lease Rolls-Royce M250 engines and modules over the past year, said general manager Steven Van Hemert, and as a result, “We are looking forward to engaging Bell 407 and MD600N operators during Heli-Expo.”
Although already deployed on operations to meet urgent needs, the Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned surveillance helicopter has reliability and sustainability problems that have delayed its regular fielding. An updated selected acquisition report (SAR) obtained by InsideDefense.com reveals that both the initial operational capability and the full-rate production decision have been delayed by about two years until May or June 2014.
Bell Helicopter has announced a substantial investment in its support of operations in China. The OEM has signed a memorandum of understanding to assist with the establishment of a maintenance training facility in Guangdong Province. The MOU with Guangzhou Civil Aviation College focuses on training for the Bell 206L and Bell 407 and includes access to training-course materials, electronic training systems and continued support throughout training.
Bell Helicopter announced purchase agreements for 15 new helicopters at the recently concluded Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai. The agreements cover two Bell 429s, 11 Bell 407GXs and two Bell 206L4s. Also at the show, Bell announced the signing of a MoU with Guangzhou Civil Aviation College to assist with the establishment of a maintenance training facility for the Bell 206L and Bell 407. In addition, it appointed Shanghai Kingwing General Aviation Co. and H&P General Aviation Service Co. as authorized customer service facilities.
Bell Helicopters signed several agreements and appointed a new managing director in China, Chris Jaran, during Airshow China 2012, which is being held this week in Zhuhai.
The company inked an agreement to engage H&P General Aviation Service Co. (H&P) in Guangzhou, China, to be a Bell Helicopter-authorized customer service facility (CSF). The agreement, celebrated during the airshow, allows H&P to perform field maintenance on Bell 407 helicopters.
Bell Helicopter has delivered two Bell 407GXs, the first of that model operated in a sightseeing capacity, to Helicopter Flight Services, a New York-based operator. Helicopter Flight Services flies a fleet of five Bell 407s and the two new 407GXs, offering tours, charters, aerial photography, lift work and custom projects.
Bell Helicopter signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) this week to open an authorized flight training school in China. The Fort Worth, Texas-based helicopter manufacturer will partner with Guanchen Aviation, which already manages an established Civil Aviation Administration of China-approved flight training school in Anyang, China.