Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison told AIN that his company is seeking airframe partners on its new 525 Relentless super-medium twin, which was announced last month at Heli-Expo in Dallas. “We’re looking at that. On the airframe side there are some potential partners that we are in detailed discussions with, but it is too early to announce anything yet,” he said.
Simplex Manufacturing of Portland, Ore. (Booth No. 1547) announced here yesterday it has delivered one of its next-generation fire-fighting systems to Hafei Aviation Industry, a subsidiary of Harbin Aircraft Industry Group in the People’s Republic of China.
Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AVIC) is undergoing another restructuring so that all of its assets are incorporated into a single company listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The plan would consolidate some $22 billion worth of aircraft production assets under the mantle of AVIChina as the group attempts to establish a corporate structure to match that of Boeing and Airbus.
Airbus and a group of Chinese industrial partners today signed a contract to establish a joint-venture manufacturing center in Harbin, China, to build composite material parts and components for the Airbus A350XWB and A320 family.
Brazil’s Embraer last month signed a long-anticipated agreement to build a production unit in China through a joint venture with AVIC II subsidiaries Harbin Aircraft and Hafei Aviation. The contract creates a new company called Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry Co., of which Embraer will maintain 51-percent ownership.
According to a high-ranking official with the Hafei Aviation Industry Co., of Harbin, China, that nation expects to manufacture Eurocopter EC 120 helicopters in the near future. “It has been approved in principle to let us build a new assembly line to manufacture the EC 120 helicopter outside France,” said Qu Jingwen, general manager of Hafei Aviation Industry.
Embraer and its Chinese partners Harbin Aircraft and Hafei Aviation resumed building ERJ 145s at their plant in Harbin, China, on November 30, three days after production stopped due to a chemical spill. An explosion at a petrochemical plant in northeast China’s Jilin province, 165 miles upstream of Harbin, on November 13 killed five people and spilled 100 tons of benzene and other toxins into the Songhua River.