Offshore operator Bristow “entered into an agreement” yesterday to order 10 Sikorsky S-92 medium-twin helicopters and secured options for another 16. The move emerges as the operator is keeping 16 Eurocopter Super Pumas on the ground, following two controlled ditchings that affected the EC225 type in just six months. Both ditchings were caused by a failure of the main gearbox.
Brazilian Air Force
The busy North Sea oil and gas rig transportation sector lost nearly a third of its capacity on October 23, after CHC Helicopter suspended all flight operations using the Eurocopter EC 225. The ban, pending further investigation, came after a company Super Puma ditched in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland the day before. CHC competitors Bond and Bristow also grounded their Super Pumas after the incident.
The aircraft suffered a cracked gearbox shaft, according to the UK’s Air Accident Investigation Branch.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) published a further “special bulletin” late last week in its investigation into the controlled ditching of a Bond-operated EC225 medium twin in May in the North Sea, confirming an earlier hint by Eurocopter that the emergency lubrication system gave the pilots a false failure warning.
For a journalist, the best part of attending the annual EAA AirVenture extravaganza in Oshkosh, Wis., is that often serendipity reigns, and the result is an entirely unexpected bonus, in this case the opportunity to fly Embraer’s EMB-314 Super Tucano light attack turboprop.
Embraer Defense and Security delivered the first of three EMB-145 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft to the government of India on August 13. The aircraft, fitted with an Indian-developed airborne early warning radar, was delivered at Embraer’s headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil.
Embraer and Boeing signed an agreement here yesterday to collaborate on the integration of new weapons on the A-29 Super Tucano single-engine turboprop trainer.
Embraer will soon freeze the design of its first purpose-built military transport, the KC-390, for tactical missions. Although the first flight is planned for 2014, some details remain sketchy. But at least the program seems well funded, with the Brazilian government providing most of the $2.2 billion needed for development.
Boeing and Embraer announced an extension of their April collaboration agreement on commercial aviation to the KC-390 airlifter program. The pair said they would “share some specific technical knowledge and evaluate markets where they may join their sales efforts for medium-lift military transport opportunities.” Boeing may help sell the KC-390 to “potential customers that had not been considered [as] initial market prospects,” they added.
In a ceremony at the Gavião Peixoto plant on June 19, Embraer marked three milestones as part of its activities to support the Brazilian air force. The most notable was the first flight of the first A-1 AMX upgraded to A-1M configuration. The A-1M is a refurbished aircraft upgraded with a number of new systems, including Mectron SCP-01 Scipio multimode radar, onboard oxygen generating system and an Elbit avionicssuite that includes a new glass cockpit and the Dash helmet-mounted display. Embraer is modernizing 43 aircraft to the A-1M standard in a program scheduled for completion in 2017.
With more than 100 of its executive jets operating in Brazil, Embraer has signed an agreement with the State of São Paulo that will see a modern service center established at Bertram Luiz Leupolz Airport in Sorocaba, approximately 55 miles from São Paulo. With an estimated investment of $25 million during the first five years of the project, the facility will generate up to 250 direct jobs.