Helibras has announced the opening of a new customer support center (CSC) at Atibaia, near the three main airfields of São Paulo. The facility forms part of Eurocopter’s global network and mirrors those established by the company in Hong Kong, Dallas and Marignane (France). Some 75 percent of the Brazilian Eurocopter/Helibras fleet is based in the southeast of Brazil.
Here at LABACE Helibras is displaying the first example of the EC130T2 to arrive in Brazil. This latest version of the helicopter introduces a host of new features that the company hopes will maintain the EC130’s position as the dominant type in the large single-engine marketplace.
Helibras is displaying the first example of the EC130T2 to arrive in Brazil this week at LABACE. This latest version of the helicopter introduces new features that the company hopes will maintain the EC130’s position as the dominant type in the large single-engine helicopter marketplace. Having arrived just a few weeks ago from the Eurocopter factory, the EC130T2 was reassembled at the Helibras facility at Itajubá, where it was also painted with a new type of ecologically friendly water-based paint.
Helicopter service, support and manufacturing specialist Helibras (Helicópteros do Brasil) recently received authorization from France’s DGAC aviation authority to produce the Eurocopter EC225 in Brazil.
China-based Avicopter has delivered the first three AC311 Air Sprites. The six-seat light single can be powered by a Honeywell LTS101-700D-2 or a license-produced Turbomeca Arriel 2B1A. Its mtow is 4,850 pounds and endurance claimed to be four hours. The helicopter received its Chinese certification last year. The AC311 resembles the Eurocopter Ecureuil/AStar.
The Eurocopter X3 hybrid made its record-breaking speed run just 10 days before the opening of the Paris Air Show, so it was not surprising that the EADS company brought both the unique aircraft and its crew to the Le Bourget biennial event. On June 7, the X3 flew at 255 knots in level flight and 263 knots in a dive, besting the previous record set by the Sikorsky X2 in September 2010 (250 knots level and 260 knots in descent).
European aerospace behemoth EADS has aligned its brand with its aircraft manufacturing division to become simply Airbus Group, and is also applying the Airbus brand to its two other main divisions. Thus, Eurocopter will become Airbus Helicopters, and the defense and space divisions, Cassidian and Astrium, will be merged into one unit–Airbus Defence and Space–representing the third division.
The EASA approved the interim solution–a combination of vibration monitoring, inspections and part modification–that Eurocopter devised for the EC225 to address main gearbox (MGB) lubrication issues after the type experienced two controlled ditchings last year. The manufacturer’s fix is intended to reduce the likelihood of an undetected crack, leading to in-flight rupture and ditching, to one per billion flight hours. At issue is the bevel gear vertical shaft, a part that is critical to main gearbox lubrication.
Milestone Aviation Group, the helicopter leasing firm headed by NetJets founder Richard Santulli, closed a new $300 million credit facility yesterday. The company will use these proceeds to acquire and lease helicopters–including Sikorsky S-92s, Eurocopter EC225s and AgustaWestland AW189s and AW139s–valued at $400 million to affiliates of Bristow Group. The credit facility is the largest ever for a helicopter lessor, the company said.
The first of some 80 EC225 helicopters subject to a series of airworthiness directives to address main gearbox lubrication issues will start resuming flight operations by the end of July, Eurocopter confirmed.