Eurocopter promised to bring its next-generation Dauphin–the X4 medium twin helicopter–to the Heli-Expo show next year in Anaheim, Calif. The new helicopter, which will include straked rotor blades and a fly-by-wire system, will be offered with a Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210 or Turbomeca TM800 turboshaft engine. First flight is scheduled for 2016, with certification planned for 2017. Meanwhile, the company said yesterday at Heli-Expo that it is working on X6 and X9 helicopters, but it would not release any details on these future designs.
Sparrow Aviation has become Advanced Helicopter Services (AHS, Booth No. C3407) and is exhibiting for the first time at Heli-Expo’13.
“We’re always looking for ways to improve our services and support with new innovations and ideas,” said company founder Sparrow Tang. AHS is also continually looking for motivated, talented A&P mechanics with previous experience on Bell, Agusta, and Eurocopter helicopters.
Eurocopter and helicopter support specialist Heli-One Norway have created Team Nordsar to bid in Norway’s competition for an all-weather search-and-rescue helicopter. The Nordsar version of the EC225 medium twin is touted as being well suited for missions in mountainous and coastal areas, as well as long-range operations in the Barents Sea. Eurocopter already has helicopters flying in SAR roles in the country.
A cornucopia of copters and rotorcraft-related gizmos, conference sessions and conversations awaits attendees at the Helicopter Association International’s annual Heli-Expo, to be held in Dallas February 11 to 14. This year, HAI is expecting more than 18,000 visitors, 65 helicopters and 600 exhibitors at the Dallas Convention Center.
Feedback from exhibitors at this year’s Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo show–the 63rd annual event–was notably positive, a clear indication that the record attendee and exhibitor numbers signal a strong performance by the rotorcraft industry during the past year. Heli-Expo 2011 attendance reached more than 20,000, according to HAI, and exhibitors totaled 625, up from 15,243 attendees and 596 exhibitors last year.
Offshore oil and gas helicopter company CHC is selling its training operations to Montreal-based CAE for an undisclosed price. The deal includes the transfer of 32 employees, four simulators and two training facilities to CAE as well as the ongoing training of 1,000 CHC pilots and another 1,000 maintenance personnel. The acquired training facilities–in Aberdeen, Scotland and Stavanger, Norway–will also be used to train non-CHC customers.
The British Government has selected a consortium that includes CHC as the preferred bidder for a 25-year, search-and-rescue helicopter (SAR-H) contract that could be worth as much as $10 billion. CHC, based in Vancouver, B.C., is the world’s largest commercial provider of offshore helicopter services with a fleet of more than 270 aircraft operating in 30 countries.
Bristow Group in late September ordered three AW139s for its offshore operations. The contract also includes options for the medium twin. It brings the number of firm orders to “more than 440.” Separately, AgustaWestland has signed an agreement with maintenance specialist Heli-One to establish a repair and overhaul center in Vancouver.
AgustaWestland (Booth No. 3728) has signed a service center network agreement with Heli-One of Canada to provide support for CHC Helicopter’s fleet of AW139 helicopters in Europe, North America and Australia. CHC provides helicopter services to the oil and gas industry, as well as search-and-rescue services to government agencies in the UK, Ireland and Australia.
Attendees who make their way to Anaheim, Calif., for the Helicopter Association International’s (HAI) Heli-Expo later this month will encounter the usual crowded and noisy convention-center floor occupied by companies unveiling their latest wares. But the event may lack some of the energy and exuberance of recent shows given the dreary economic picture.