Amid swirling dancers and projected rocky landscapes, AgustaWestland drew a crowd on the exhibit floor yesterday afternoon with the formal unveiling of the latest addition to its lineup, the AW109 Trekker, its first light twin to offer skid landing gear. Expected to receive certification and begin deliveries next year, the helicopter wore the colors of launch customer Dallas-based aeromedical transport provider SevenBar, which has also ordered another AW109 and a pair of AW119s as part of its first foray into rotorcraft operation.
Mike Hirschberg, executive director of AHS International, used a media presentation at Heli-Expo 2014 to not only highlight the educational and advocacy roles of his organization, but also to share his perspective on the state of future rotorcraft development.
Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services North America (Vector HS-NA) has introduced new services at its facility in Richmond, B.C., Canada, covering the Airbus Helicopters AS350, AS355 and EC130B4. A factory-approved maintenance and repair center, Vector HS-NA offers 12-year inspection service as well as structural repair capability on canopies, floors and aft structural assemblies, tail booms and vertical stabilizers. Also available are full component overhauls on Arriel 1 and Arriel 2 turboshafts, including lease and exchange engines.
Enstrom Helicopter unveiled a mockup of a new, low-cost, two-seat, piston-powered trainer on the opening day of Heli-Expo 2014. The TH-180 is a scaled-down version of the company’s popular FX-280 three-seat model. Company officials said the TH-180 should post direct operating costs of $175 per hour and an hourly fuel burn of less than 12 gph. The launch price is $365,000. It will be powered by the 210-hp Lycoming HIO-390 and feature an engine governor and electric clutch switch. First flight is anticipated this summer and certification is targeted for 2015.
Rotorcraft Services Group Products (Booth No. 1206) announced during Heli-Expo 2014 that it is teaming up with Heli-One (Booth No. 1804) to collaborate on, produce, support and even co-market supplemental type certified products for their customers.
Initial STCs available through the partnership include a dual pivoting litter system for the AS350 and a rappel system for Bell 412 and 212 helicopters. Both STC’d products are on display at RSG’s booth at Heli-Expo.
Milestone Aviation Group (Booth No. 5114) and Sikorsky (Booth No. 2822) recognized two noteworthy achievements for the companies during opening day of Heli-Expo 2014.
Kurt Robinson was generally upbeat about the prospects for his family’s iconic helicopter company, during yesterday’s Heli-Expo press conference. Last year the company delivered its 11,000th helicopter and it will soon deliver its 500th R66 single-engine turbine ship. Production currently stands at two to three R66s, five R44s and one R22 per week.
Canadian helicopter accessory provider Dart Aerospace (Booth No. 6814) announced that in cooperation with Pall Aerospace it has installed and flight-tested the PA100 PureAir engine protection system developed for the Airbus Helicopters AS350 and EC130 family of rotorcraft. The system features Pall’s latest PureAir technology and is self-cleaning and virtually maintenance free, according to the manufacturers.
Ramco Aviation (Booth No. 326) announced Tuesday at Heli-Expo 2014 that longtime customer Columbia Helicopters (Booth 4706) recently began the transition to Ramco’s Solution 5.6 integrated suite of maintenance, finance, human resources and payroll tracking software.
Sikorsky Aircraft highlighted its past achievements, and their influence on the company’s current direction, in introducing its theme of “Technology Meets Tradition” at Heli-Expo 2014 on Tuesday.