The past 12 months have seen Jet-Care (Booth No. 4442) growing its presence in the helicopter engine support sector. The company, which specializes in oil analysis and health monitoring for engines and equipment such as gearboxes, has won new business in the North American market while also making inroads into the growing South American sector.
Eurocopter EC 135
Bell 429 operators continue to give positive feedback about the new light twin as it enters its second year in service. Bell manufactured more than 30 of the helicopters last year and completed customer kit options.
Eurocopter EC135, Cessna 172L, Weyers Cave, Va., Dec. 31, 2010–The medevac helicopter was preparing to land at Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport after returning from a patient delivery when it collided with a Cessna 172L Skyhawk that lost its left wing. The Skyhawk crashed, killing its two occupants. Despite damage to its skids, the PHI-owned twin-turbine helicopter landed safely.
Researchers at the German aerospace research institute (DLR) plan to flight-test a system next year intended to aid landing in confined areas. The system relies on sensor fusion and adapts to each pilot’s typical approach strategy. It should help improve the safety record for rescue operations at unprepared sites in poor visibility, research engineer Thorsten Strohmaier said during a presentation at the European Rotorcraft Forum.
Eurocopter said the flight-test program for its new medium twin helicopter, the EC175, is on schedule. The EC175 is expected to receive EASA certification in the second half of next year. The first prototype has flown about 70 hours over 80 flights since its maiden mission in December 2009, program director Francis Combes told AIN.
Eurocopter handed over an EC 135P2i to West Midlands Police assistant chief constable Sharon Rowe yesterday here at the Farnborough airshow. The helicopter, which was ordered last September, is a replacement of an EC 135 that was destroyed by arson last year. In the meantime, the French helicopter manufacturer kept the West Midlands Police in the air by supplying a police-configured interim EC135 shortly after the incident.
The first operator of an EMS-configured Bell 429 light twin reports it is “more than happy” with the helicopter and its performance after flying 65 missions in less than a month. Des Moines-based Mercy Medical Center’s Mercy One placed its 429 into operation on April 10.
Eurocopter EC135, Cave Creek, Ariz. Feb. 14, 2010–The twin-turbine helicopter was destroyed and the commercial pilot and four passengers were killed when it crashed soon after takeoff on a Part 91 flight from a private facility near Flagstaff.
The Clean Sky joint technology initiative, a e1.6 billion ($2.2 billion) private-public partnership on aeronautical research in Europe, has issued its third call for proposals. Working toward the development of a green rotorcraft, the consortium is focusing on engines, aerodynamics and tiltrotors.
Blue is the new green. Prompted by environmental concerns–regulatory and otherwise– Eurocopter took advantage of the Heli-Expo platform to formally launch its Bluecoptor program.
Bluecopter first emerged from a demonstrator EC120 modified to use a “high compression” diesel engine instead of the usual 504-shp Turbomeca Arrius turboshaft engine. The helicopter OEM is expecting a 40-percent reduction in fuel consumption.