The Z-10 and Z-19 helicopters both made their public debuts at Airshow China in Zhuhai last week. The Changhe-built Z-10 performed daily during the show, while the Harbin-built Z-19 appeared twice. Neither was available for close inspection in the static park. Both are tandem-seat machines with nose-mounted gyro-stabilized sensor/targeting “ball”-style turret, and stubby wings with weapons pylons.
Eurocopter announced today that Starlite Aviation is the launch customer for the new AS332C1e Super Puma medium-twin helicopter, a shorter-fuselage version that observers see as the manufacturer’s response to low-cost alternatives from Russia. The contract calls for two of the new helicopters to be delivered by the end of next year, following FAA and EASA certification. Starlite also has options for another two helicopters.
Offshore operator Bristow “entered into an agreement” yesterday to order 10 Sikorsky S-92 medium-twin helicopters and secured options for another 16. The move emerges as the operator is keeping 16 Eurocopter Super Pumas on the ground, following two controlled ditchings that affected the EC225 type in just six months. Both ditchings were caused by a failure of the main gearbox.
Sion, Switzerland-based operator Air-Glaciers is updating its fleet of light singles and twins in anticipation of eventually phasing out its Aerospatiale SA316 Alouette IIIs.
FlightSafety International is moving to expand and upgrade its helicopter training portfolio substantially, according to David Davenport, vice president of operations.
“Helicopter training has been a high-growth business for FlightSafety for many years. We have always been the factory-authorized training provider for Bell and Sikorsky. We’ve also tried to branch out into highly successful helicopters such as the [Eurocopter] EC135 and [AgustaWestland] AW139,” Davenport said.
Dublin, Ireland-based Milestone Aviation claims to be on track to lease $1 billion worth of helicopters by year-end. The company, created in 2010 by former NetJets top execs Richard Santulli and William Kelly, provides various leasing arrangements to helicopter operators, from lease on new helicopter delivery–the customer chooses the aircraft, negotiates the contract and then assigns it to Milestone–to sale-leaseback.
Italian aircraft interior specialist Mecaer Aviation Group (Booth No. 4538) is displaying a full-scale mock-up of its new VIP interior for the AgustaWestland AW169 here. Mecaer was previously selected by Eurocopter as the VIP interior system supplier for its EC145.
American Eurocopter is doing more than just showing off its offerings at its booth during the NBAA Convention. The company will also offer flying demonstrations of its EC135 and EC155 helicopters during the show.
American Eurocopter (Booth No. 2546) has arrived at NBAA’12 with a pocketful of recently announced orders and deliveries.
The busy North Sea oil and gas rig transportation sector lost nearly a third of its capacity on October 23, after CHC Helicopter suspended all flight operations using the Eurocopter EC 225. The ban, pending further investigation, came after a company Super Puma ditched in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland the day before. CHC competitors Bond and Bristow also grounded their Super Pumas after the incident.
The aircraft suffered a cracked gearbox shaft, according to the UK’s Air Accident Investigation Branch.