The U.S. Navy released a draft request for proposals (RFP) for the long-delayed VXX Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program on November 23. The draft RFP revives an acquisition program that was cancelled more than three years ago. The formal RFP is expected to follow early next year.
The FAA is proposing an Airworthiness Directive for the Brantly International B-2, B-2A, and B-2B helicopters with a certain main rotor blade. The proposed AD was prompted by multiple reports of main rotor blade cracks and a 2007 accident in New Zealand in which a crack that originated near the main rotor blade trailing edge resulted in the loss of a large section of the blade.
The Z-10 and Z-19 helicopters both made their public debuts at Airshow China in Zhuhai last week. The Changhe-built Z-10 performed daily during the show, while the Harbin-built Z-19 appeared twice. Neither was available for close inspection in the static park. Both are tandem-seat machines with nose-mounted gyro-stabilized sensor/targeting “ball”-style turret, and stubby wings with weapons pylons.
Next year’s Heli-Expo show in Las Vegas (March 4-7, 2013) will include the Helicopter Association International’s (HAI) new safety education initiative called the Rotor Safety Challenge. The seminar series will offer 30 different safety topics designed to enhance safety in the rotorcraft industry worldwide. The 60-minute sessions–offered at no charge to attendees–will focus on four different safety tracks; flight operations, maintenance, safety culture and leadership and safety management.
Eurocopter announced today that Starlite Aviation is the launch customer for the new AS332C1e Super Puma medium-twin helicopter, a shorter-fuselage version that observers see as the manufacturer’s response to low-cost alternatives from Russia. The contract calls for two of the new helicopters to be delivered by the end of next year, following FAA and EASA certification. Starlite also has options for another two helicopters.
The U.S. Air Force issued a request for proposals (RFP) for its “high priority” combat rescue helicopter (CRH) acquisition on October 19. The RFP begins a second campaign to replace the service’s HH-60G Pave Hawk search-and-rescue helicopters. In 2009 the Pentagon cancelled the original replacement program, which had been awarded three years earlier to Boeing for the HH-47 Chinook, after successive contractor protests and delays.
Dublin, Ireland-based Milestone Aviation claims to be on track to lease $1 billion worth of helicopters by year-end. The company, created in 2010 by former NetJets top execs Richard Santulli and William Kelly, provides various leasing arrangements to helicopter operators, from lease on new helicopter delivery–the customer chooses the aircraft, negotiates the contract and then assigns it to Milestone–to sale-leaseback.
Bell Helicopter has delivered two Bell 407GXs, the first of that model operated in a sightseeing capacity, to Helicopter Flight Services, a New York-based operator. Helicopter Flight Services flies a fleet of five Bell 407s and the two new 407GXs, offering tours, charters, aerial photography, lift work and custom projects.
American Eurocopter is doing more than just showing off its offerings at its booth during the NBAA Convention. The company will also offer flying demonstrations of its EC135 and EC155 helicopters during the show.
Three contenders for the U.S. Army’s as-yet-undefined armed aerial scout (AAS) requirement–Bell Helicopter, Boeing and EADS North America–have just completed a series of flight demonstrations for Army evaluators who are studying alternatives to the aging OH-58D Kiowa Warrior for manned reconnaissance. They reported the results at the Association of the U.S.