Making its Paris Air Show debut is the Russian Helicopters/Kamov Ka-62, a 6,500-kg mtow, 15-passenger helicopter in the same class as the AgustaWestland AW139, Eurocopter EC155 and Sikorsky S-76 series. The mockup made it first appearance on the international show circuit at last year’s Farnborough Air Show.
Innovation at AgustaWestland, according to Robert Farnese, company market positioning and promotion manager, comprises two elements. “First, you need to have an idea that works,” he told a Paris Air Show audience on Tuesday. “Second, you have to execute that idea.” He then added a caveat: “You must also master the present and have a vision for the future.”
AgustaWestland’s all-electric ducted fan Project Zero tiltrotor demonstrator is at the Paris Air Show, seen “in the flesh” for the first time.
The FAA proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness directive for the Robinson R22, R22 Alpha, R22 Beta, R22 Mariner, R44 and R44 II with certain main rotor blades. The existing AD currently requires inspecting each blade at the skin-to-spar line for debonding, corrosion, a separation, a gap or a dent and replacing any damaged blade with an airworthy blade.
Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Göttingen may have discovered a way to make helicopters more maneuverable, by reducing the dynamic load on the rotor head control rods.
During rapid forward flight or maneuvering, airflow stalls on the main rotor blade as it retreats (moves backwards), giving rise to a “dynamic stall” and subjecting the rotor head control rods to formidable dynamic loads.
“The Russian Hour,” sponsored by the Russia-based Helicopter Industry Association, featured the introduction of two of Russian Helicopters’ newest machines.
The Mi-171A2 is a follow-on upgrade to the venerable Mi-8/17 family and represents what program manager Dmitri Zuykov described as the next chapter in looking at broader global markets.
Bell Helicopter signed a memorandum of understanding with Van Horn Aviation to develop a composite tail rotor blade for the Bell 212 and Bell 412. Under the agreement, Van Horn will design, certify and manufacture the rotor blades, with Bell Helicopter Engineering participating in the design and certification processes. When certified, the blades will be distributed under Bell Helicopter’s Aeronautical Accessories brand.
Cobham Aerospace Communication’s Digital Audio Control System (DACS) has been selected for Life Flight Network’s 15 new AgustaWestland AW119Kx helicopters. The Aurora, Ore.-based aeromedical transport provider is the launch customer for the AW119Kx and will be taking delivery of its first aircraft this year. According to Cobham, the DACS is a compact and lightweight unit that “distributes and controls aircraft audio to/from all transceivers, receivers and audio warning systems.” Software in the DACS allows customization of the system to fit customer needs.
Van Horn Aviation (VHA) of Tempe, Ariz., wants to put more life into legacy helicopters by developing products that increase performance and lower direct operating costs by focusing on composite main and tail-rotor blades. At Heli-Expo’13, VHA is showing five examples of its work, all with different stories: tail-rotor blades for the Bell 206, UH-1 and 212/214; and main rotor blades for the MD Helicopters MD530F and Bell 206B.
Bell Helicopter is preparing to start assembling the first prototype of the 525 Relentless super-medium twin later this year at its facility in Amarillo, Texas. Four more prototypes are expected to join the test program before certification in 2015. Bell and its suppliers have begun manufacturing parts for the helicopter, which was announced in February last year and is slated to fly for the first time next year.