The NTSB announced two helicopter safety alerts during last week’s Heli-Expo show in Anaheim, Calif. Each alert was supplemented by a short video production. One alert focuses on improving helicopter safety through the use of advanced flight simulators, while the other considers the critical role of maintenance technicians in the overall safety of flight operations.
Bell Helicopter racked up orders and commitments for more than 110 helicopters at Heli-Expo as of this afternoon. The majority of these are for the company’s new Model 505 Jet Ranger X, which has garnered 94 letters of intent.
Waypoint Leasing Services placed orders with Airbus Helicopters for 12 EC225s and 25 EC145T2s yesterday at Heli-Expo. Deliveries will commence this year and continue through 2017. Financial details of the order were not disclosed. Waypoint purchased two EC225s last year that are currently leased for offshore oil and gas operations in Australia. The helicopter leasing firm has $375 million in financing from two family funds and an additional $325 million in credit from Credit Suisse, CIT Bank and SunTrust.
Call it the decade of “skies opening” in greater China, or, if you are a helicopter OEM call it the decade of sales opportunities. If you are involved with helicopters in greater China today the excitement and growth is palpable. Last year the entire fleet (465 helicopters, 424 based in mainland China) grew by 20 percent, according to the Asian Sky Group Greater China Civil Helicopter Fleet Report, released during Heli-Expo 2014.
Trisoft Covers, based in Sarasota, Fla., has developed foam protective panels for Learjet delta fins. The lightweight panels are designed to protect not only the airframe but also workers, who have been known to bang their heads on the ventral-mounted surfaces. Made of sun-, heat- and cold-resistant XLPE foam, the panels protect the aircraft surfaces from dropped tools, flashlights, spray cans and other hazards. The kits are intended for indoor use only, and include panels and clamps. Cost is $655.95 for the Learjet 31 and 45, and $965.95 for the Learjet 60.
Want to count yourself among the likes of Charles Lindbergh, Igor Sikorsky, Stanley Hiller or Alan Bristow? They are all now or have been Twirly Birds, a group of helicopter pilots formed in 1945 for camaraderie on a grand order. Twirly Birds have just one thing in common: they’ve all soloed a helicopter or vertical-lift aircraft more than 20 years ago. If you meet these qualifications, join the group for their annual meeting at 5 p.m. today, the opening day of Heli-Expo 2014, in the Anaheim Marriott Marquis Ballroom Northeast.
Tiger Tugs Helicopter Transport’s newest helicopter mover–the Model 12.0–can handle helicopters weighing up to 12,000 pounds. The Model 12.0 is ideal for handling aircraft such as the Bell 212 and 412 safely and easily, according to the Bend, Ore.-based company.
Tiger Tugs (Booth No. 7616) claims to have developed a new concept for moving helicopters safely and efficiently. “We took a fresh look at the tug market, interviewed users of other tugs, then set out to design a safer and easier-to-use vehicle,” the company explained.
The UK CAA unveiled a series of stringent measures today as a result of a review it launched last September to improve the safety of helicopter operations in the North Sea. These changes are expected to improve survivability after a ditching.
The first robot built for Airbus’s Futurassy research and technology project arrived at the airframer’s Puerto Real plant in Cadiz, Spain, this week. The riveting unit, built by Japan’s Kawada, will help Airbus machinists assemble A380 rudder spars.
The investigation into the EC135 fatal crash on November 29 in Glasgow, Scotland, is struggling to find any specific cause or telltale evidence. The investigators have determined that both of the helicopter’s engines flamed out, according to a special bulletin the Air Accidents Investigation Branch published on Friday. They now still have to understand why this happened with a functional fuel system and 25 gallons of fuel in the tanks.