Turbomeca is ready to launch new variants of its helicopter engines. The French manufacturer (Hall 4 Stand B12) is working on technology demonstrators that can be the basis for a preliminary powerplant. But before launching any such program, it is waiting for the market to clearly indicate the need for new Arriel or Arrius turboshaft engines.
India’s Dhruv medium twin has reportedly impressed state oil corporation ONGC, which manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) says has a pressing need for a medium-class helicopter, for use in its offshore operations. Early last month the helicopter demonstrated Performance Class I criteria with 14 passengers on board, at all stages of a sector from Juhu, Mumbai, to Bombay High South Field, 80 miles off the coast.
French turbine helicopter engine manufacturer Turbomeca, coming off a record production year in 2005, is at Heli-Expo’06 working to secure a beachhead in its “American Invasion” program, an effort designed to emphasize increased production capacity and support capabilities at Turbomeca USA.
India’s Dhruv fleet was grounded in December after Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) identified a fault in the tail rotor blades. Investigation following a November accident led HAL to issue a technical advisory to all operators of the medium twin helicopter.
At press time, defense production secretary K. P. Singh confirmed that “the faults have been rectified and the helicopter will be flying again within days.”