Anyone familiar with GPS-enabled, location-based services available on many smartphones will appreciate the benefits from the new geo-fencing condition capability, dubbed advanced variable response (AVR), offered by Blue Sky Network on its HawkEye 7200 portable satellite tracking unit.
For Sikorsky, 2013 was a mixed bag, according to company president Mick Maurer, who gave his company’s year-end summary presentation yesterday at Heli-Expo. While the company reached a record backlog of more than $15 billion, it also recorded an 8-percent drop in sales, to $6.3 billion, the decrease driven largely by a drop-off in U.S. government orders on both the OEM side and the aftermarket segment last year.
The joint venture between Tata Advanced Systems and Sikorsky has delivered its first fully indigenous S-92 cabin. The Indian operation is now not only assembling cabins but also producing more than 5,000 associated precision components. At the Hyderabad factory, the capacity has reached four S-92 cabins per month and the 50th was produced in October.
PHI flew the first operational automated “rig approach” to a platform in the Gulf of Mexico in a Sikorsky S-92 on November 14. Sikorsky and PHI developed the system to reduce pilot workload and the FAA approved its functionality earlier this year. The system is expected to be offered on the Sikorsky S-76D as well.
The first customer delivery of the Sikorsky S-76D medium-twin helicopter is “imminent,” the Stratford, Conn.-based aircraft manufacturer said. According to a Sikorsky executive, the first example will be handed over this month to an offshore operator in the Gulf of Mexico. The first executive S-76D is scheduled for delivery in January to a customer in Europe. The OEM expects EASA certification toward the end of the year.
AeroLED’s SunSpot 36 LX and 36 HX lights designed for taxi and landing have been FAA PMA certified. The PAR 36 drop-in replacements for GE 4509 bulbs can be installed in Part 23 certified aircraft, LSAs and experimental amateur-built aircraft. According to the company AeroLED lights have a 50,000-hour life expectancy, meaning they can be left on at all times for safety. The SunSpot 36 HX has an integrated “wig-wag” or “pulsing” feature to make an aircraft stand out in daylight haze.
Blackhawk received FAA STC approval for its XP42A upgrade package for the Cessna Caravan 208A. The package includes a new 850-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A engine; wide-chord, 100-inch-diameter Hartzell four-blade propeller; composite cowling and high-efficiency inlet duct; a larger oil cooler; Blackhawk DigiLog engine gauges; and a new exhaust stack. Deliveries will begin this month, Blackhawk said. The upgrade has been available for 208B Caravans, with more than two dozen installations performed to date.
The Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk conjures visions of combat troops, pilots wearing night-vision goggles and bare-bones, utility cabins. Rarely does one find executives flying in a Blackhawk.
But earlier this year Sabreliner, with locations in Perryville, Ste. Genevieve and St. Mary, Missouri, delivered two highly-modified UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters to the Royal Jordanian Air Force. The helicopters feature Sabreliner-developed executive entry systems, VIP seating and cabin entertainment systems.
Flight-testing is complete on Blackhawk Modifications’ Cessna 208A Caravan XP42A upgrade and FAA STC approval is imminent, according to the company. The upgrade provides the same operational advantages as the 208B Grand Caravan.
FalconBroadcast, an airborne health monitoring service that provides real-time notification of in-flight events, is now available as an option for all Falcon 900 and Falcon 2000s equipped with the EASy cockpit. In-service aircraft can have the service activated in an estimated one hour of downtime. FalconBroadcast entered into service in June on the Falcon 7X.
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