Airbus broke ground on its new A320-family final assembly line in Mobile, Ala., on Monday, during a ceremony attended by the company’s top leadership, state and local politicians, diplomats and aerospace industry executives.
Eurocopter says it has made significant progress in solving the main gearbox issue that has blighted the EC225 medium twin since last May, reporting that a third test campaign at its headquarters in Marignane, France “is establishing” the cause of crack initiation.
Eurocopter attributes the issue to “a combination of factors” leading to a degradation of the vertical shaft’s fatigue resistance. The helicopter manufacturer has excluded any “abnormal dynamic overload.” Failure of the bevel gear shaft causes a loss of lubrication.
Eurocopter Japan has delivered to Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency a Eurocopter AS365N3 Dauphin medium-twin helicopter retrofitted with a high-speed, real-time satellite transmission system. The helicopter’s satellite communication system enables direct transmission to relay satellites, without interruption by the helicopter’s moving rotor blades. Mitsubishi Electric developed the system, which solves these interference issues when ground-based networks are unavailable.
Two helicopters, understood to be a Eurocopter EC155 and a Eurocopter Super Puma, crashed after a midair during windy snowfall today near the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. One pilot was killed and four people were severely injured, according to local news reports. The two helicopters, along with a third that was not involved in the accident, were participating in a crowd-control training exercise. Accident investigators were on scene at press time.
The long-anticipated launch of a 160-seat CSeries has placed Bombardier in some rarified company. As of last week, Airbus and Boeing can no longer claim a duopoly in the market segment occupied by the A319 and 737-700.
Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services North America has been named a Eurocopter service center for the AS332 Super Puma. The certification includes O&I and I+ airframe servicing and allows Vector to perform major inspections, upgrades and retrofits.
Less than a week after touting his company’s accomplishments at Heli-Expo 2013, Eurocopter CEO Dr. Lutz Bertling, 50, has resigned effective April 30, parent company EADS announced this morning. He joined Eurocopter in 2003 and became CEO in 2006. During his tenure, Eurocopter’s sales nearly doubled to $8.3 billion.
With delivery of the first A400M airlifters nearing, Airbus Military has concluded an initial support deal with the French air force and a long-term training contract with the UK Royal Air Force (RAF). Meanwhile, Airbus Military is equipping its international training center in Seville with A400M computer-based trainers and a full-motion simulator.
An all-Spanish drone has made its first flight and is claimed to be “the first tactical UAS capable of carrying out civil and military missions.” The Atlante UAS development is led by EADS Cassidian Spain and involves more than 140 subcontractors. The venture capital partners are Indra, GMV and Aries.
Metro Aviation (Booth No. C3511), further advancing its single-pilot IFR STC approval for the Eurocopter EC135 series, has added to it a helicopter terrain awareness and warning system (H-Taws). The company will also add Garmin’s GTN series navcom/GPS to both the EC135 and EC145 single-pilot IFR STCs later this year. The new GTNs offer touchscreen controls and seamless cockpit integration, as well as multifunction display capabilities that include ADS-B traffic and weather.