Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW210 turboshaft has been selected to power the Eurocopter X4, which is slated to replace the AS365/EC155 Dauphin series. Entry into service is pegged for 2017. AIN understands the X4 will be offered with two engine options, the other choice coming from Turbomeca.
The American Helicopter Society bestowed its Howard Hughes Award on Eurocopter’s experimental X3 hybrid demonstrator for helicopter technology improvement. The X3 has been in flight test since 2010 and has achieved 232 knots in level flight using 80 percent of available power. It is expected to arrive at American Eurocopter’s Grand Prairie, Texas campus on June 20 as part of its U.S. tour.
Heli Air Design’s Helineo turbine-powered, two-seat helicopter made its first flight on April 26, the company announced last month. In rainy weather, test pilot Stéphane Ligier performed a series of 15 takeoffs and flights in ground effect at Metz Nancy Lorraine airport. The helicopter performed as expected, the company said. First flight had initially been pegged for July last year.
The pilot of a Robinson R44 helicopter—N512RT, according to an FAA spokesman—was caught on video pulling a series of low-level flying stunts that endangered the safety of people nearby.
Shell Oil announced on May 31 that it is pulling the plug on plans to sign a multimillion-dollar deal with UK-based Bond Offshore Helicopters to provide transportation within the UK.
A Eurocopter EC225 operated by Bond Offshore Helicopters with 14 on board ditched safely into the North Sea on May 10. At 12:13 p.m., G-REDW made “a controlled descent 24 nm offshore,” according to Bond. The investigation is focusing on the failures of two main-gearbox lubrication systems–the standard one and the back-up one.
RTE (Réseau de Transport d’Electricité), the company managing France’s network of electric power lines, took delivery of its second medium twin, a Eurocopter EC225, last month. It recently created a new subsidiary, Airtelis, that offers specialized aerial-work operations to third parties. In more than 250,000 flight hours over decades of operations, RTE claims to have developed patented techniques to use helicopters in power-line building, maintenance and surveillance.
Preliminary Report: Cause of Turboprop Ditching Still Unknown
The FAA has approved the Sikorsky S-92 for sea state 6 (SS6) conditions, meaning up to 20-foot waves. Thanks to additional sponson floats, the S-92’s emergency flotation system becomes the first one to be FAA certified for SS6, according to Sikorsky.
“This system was designed by the S-92 landing-gear design group, with close coordination with electrical and airframe design and structural analysis,” said Ben Del Monte, chief of propulsion/landing gear/mission systems.
The FAA issued a second Emergency Airworthiness Directive [2012-10-53] for the Eurocopter EC135 on May 18. This EAD supercedes the earlier EAD [2012-10-51] for an inspection of the main rotor hub shaft flange for cracks.