Paris-based operator Trans Helicopter Service (THS) has its twin-engine Eurocopter AS 355 Ecureuil II available here at EBACE 2007 for demo flights of Safe Flight’s helicopter powerline detection system (PDS). The system has just been awarded certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on the AS 355. THS conducted the certification work on behalf of Safe Flight, based in White Plains, New York.
The market for executive/VIP helicopters is growing, according to Eurocopter representatives here at EBACE, but the biggest challenge to sales is still cultural.
Spain-based Gestair Private Aviation is planning on buying up to $60 million worth of new business jets in the 2007 to 2010 time period, general manager Fernando Flores told EBACE Convention News here on Tuesday. These aircraft will be midsize and very light jets (VLJs).
The twin-engine Eurocopter EC 135 helicopter, well established in the emergency medical services and law enforcement sectors, is gaining greater acceptance as an executive aircraft, with about 100 delivered to this market, according to the manufacturer. Here at EBACE, Eurocopter (Booth No. 7513) is showing one of these aircraft, OE-XFB–owned by The Flying Bulls of Austria.
Helicopter manufacturers have come to EBACE 2007 riding high on the wave of some $732 million in new orders announced at the industry’s Heli-Expo held in Orlando, Florida, in March. They will be looking to chase more business here in Geneva, mindful of the latest market report from avionics and engine maker Honeywell, which has forecast an increased fleet replacement rate of 20 percent among European operators over the next five years.
Eurocopter AS 350BA AStar, Princeville, Hawaii, March 8, 2007–Four people were killed and the Heli-USA Airways AStar was substantially damaged following loss of control while it was landing at Princeville Airport. VMC had prevailed for the 45-minute air-tour flight.
Helicopter Support has received certification from American Eurocopter to support the AS 350, AS 355, EC 120 and BO 105. A wholly owned subsidiary of Sikorsky, Helicopter Support is based at Tweed New Haven Airport in Connecticut. It provides parts and services.
In late March Eurocopter inaugurated the new Eurocopter España plant in Albacete, in east central Spain. The new plant will produce the rear fuselage sections–made from composite materials–of the EC 135. The plant will also house the final assembly line for EC 135s destined for the Spanish market, and it is involved in several Eurocopter military programs. The site provides 355,000 sq ft of covered production facilities.
Marignane, France-based Helisim plans to offer a Eurocopter EC 225/725 FAA level-D flight simulator starting in 2007. This will come in addition to the level-D qualifications that the training service provider, since its inception in 2000, has received for the Super Puma Mk1, Super Puma Mk2, Dauphin N2 and EC 155 helicopters.
The prodigal sons of the North Sea oil-support community, brothers Stephen and Peter Bond, have returned to the fray more than eight weeks early. The first operational flights by Bond Offshore Helicopters (BOH) took off last month. Managing director Geoff Williams said there are several reasons behind the move, but it was always their intention to start flying in advance of the contracted date of August 1.