Canadian firm Heli-Lynx Helicopter Services launched the TwinStar 355FX mod at Heli-Expo last month. The program, which has received Transport Canada approval and was awaiting FAA certification at press time, essentially modifies an IFR Eurocopter AS 355F2 TwinStar into a twin-engine version of the VFR AS 350 AStar.
U.S.-based Safe Flight Instrument announced that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will certify the company’s Powerline Detection System
on the Eurocopter AS 355. The system senses radiating electromagnetic fields from live wires and warns pilots about them.
The European Aviation Safety Agency has certified the Arrius 1A1, a new version of Turbomeca’s Arrius turboshaft. The 463-shp engine will power the Eurocopter AS 355NP twin turbine. On the 1A1, a new high-pressure turbine enables a higher one-engine-inoperative rating, meaning that the helicopter retains category-A performance under hotter, higher and heavier conditions. The 1A1 is fitted with a fadec.
Turbomeca is ready to launch new variants of its helicopter engines. The French manufacturer (Hall 4 Stand B12) is working on technology demonstrators that can be the basis for a preliminary powerplant. But before launching any such program, it is waiting for the market to clearly indicate the need for new Arriel or Arrius turboshaft engines.
French turbine helicopter engine manufacturer Turbomeca, coming off a record production year in 2005, is at Heli-Expo’06 working to secure a beachhead in its “American Invasion” program, an effort designed to emphasize increased production capacity and support capabilities at Turbomeca USA.
Eurocopter AS 355F1, Andover, England, Dec. 2, 2003–G-XCEL was on a test flight after it had been fitted with overhauled rotor drive gearboxes. Witnesses heard a “loud screeching mechanical noise,” then saw the tailboom appear to fold forward alongside the cabin and saw the helicopter fall to the ground. The pilot was killed, as were the two maintenance engineers on board.
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