Frasca International is offering a video gamer’s delight here at Heli-Expo: an opportunity to fly a Bell 206 simulator with a friend down the hall.
Pratt & Whitney Canada has won the contract to power Eurocopter’s EC 175, a new 6.7-metric-ton helicopter that will fill the gap between the EC 155 Dauphin and EC 255 Super Puma. The PT6C-67E turbine engine selected for the helicopter will be the first dual-channel Fadec-controlled PT6 from Pratt & Whitney Canada, noted company president Alain Bellemare.
Eurocopter, already the world’s largest helicopter manufacturer, shows no signs that its meteoric sales pace will let up anytime soon.
Last year the company delivered 381 new helicopters worth more than $5 billion and booked orders for 615 helicopters with a combined value of $6.45 billion. Those figures represent a substantial increase from Eurocopter’s 2005 order book, valued at $4.64 billion.
Eurocopter AS 350BA, Kapaau, Hawaii, July 12, 2005–The NTSB blamed the crash of the AS 350 on the in-flight separation of the tail-rotor system as a result of a loss of clamp force and fatigue fracturing of the attachment nut plates, likely due to a tail-rotor blade strike during a landing. This resulted in an imbalance and a high-frequency vibration that induced fatigue in the nut plates and caused one bolt to back out.
Several European helicopter pilots recently formed the Flying Bulls, the only civil helicopter aerobatic team in Europe. The team uses the BO 105 for its performances, the most recent of which took place in Kitzbuhel, Austria, on January 27.
At 6:34 p.m. on Dec. 27, 2006, while attempting to land on an oil platform, a CHC-operated Eurocopter SA 365N Dauphin 2 crashed into the Irish Sea. During the later stages of the approach to the Morecambe platform, the crew decided to go around. The helicopter continued a roll to the right with nose-down pitch. The copilot, the pilot flying, asked for assistance and the captain took control. The helicopter never stopped descending.
Agusta S.p.A., the Italian element of AgustaWestland, is suing the French procurement agency, the DGA, claiming that an unfair tender essentially eliminated the Milan-based company from the competition for helicopters for the French state.
AgustaWestland last month announced that its sales in India are growing, with seven deliveries last year (not all new rotorcraft), four planned this year and another 12 over the 2008-2009 period. In addition, Hindustan Construction has ordered a second Bell/Agusta BA609 Tiltrotor. Hong-Kong-based Sharp Ocean is now AgustaWestland’s distributor for India, Sri Lanka and The Maldives.
Late in January in Paris, Eurocopter disclosed that it took orders last year for a record 615 helicopters worth €4.9 billion ($6.4 billion). Of those sales, 47 percent are for civil aircraft. The European manufacturer’s backlog now stands at €11 billion ($14 billion). Eurocopter last year delivered 381 rotorcraft and saw revenue increase by 18 percent, to €3.8 billion ($4.9 billion).
During a Sunday morning press conference here at Heli-Expo, Eurocopter president Fabrice Bregier quietly announced a pending agreement with China to codevelop a new helicopter. Called the EC 175, the new 22,000-pound-gross-weight helicopter will be positioned between the EC 155 and the Super Puma to compete in the heavy-lift market.