With the Feb. 1, 2009 deadline approaching to replace 121.5-MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELT) with 409- MHz units, French firm ELTA is preparing to market a personal ELT that will meet the new mandate at about one fourth the cost of a unit installed in the aircraft.
Search and rescue
Shanghai Sikorsky has delivered two Shen 3A helicopters (license-built Schweizer 300Cs) to Tianjin’s Civil Aviation University of China (CAUC). Acceptance flights were carried out at the Shanghai Gaodong Maritime Search and Rescue Heliport, located in the Pudong New District. This heliport serves as the base of operations for the port’s Maritime Search and Rescue Flying Service and is operated by China’s Ministry of Communications.
Malaysia’s deputy prime minister has acknowledged the need for the government to acquire helicopters configured to conduct search-and-rescue missions. Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in Kuala Lumpur, “We recognize the fact that we do not have dedicated SAR helicopters. Instead, we have utility helicopters that are used for multiple purposes.”
SkyTrac Systems yesterday announced receipt of an order for 100 shipsets (plus options) of its satellite-based SkyWeb automatic flight-following and communication equipment from Canadian Helicopters.
While many medium to large turbine helicopters offer autopilots to enhance mission safety and comfort, Sikorsky is in the final stages of developing an automatic flight control system (AFCS) that the company says will be the first of its kind to fly automated approaches to a set position.
The recent delivery of the last of 16 AgustaWestland Super Lynx 300 helicopters to the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) has boosted export prospects for a program that is extending the life of a highly successful design. Oman has bought the Super Lynx, powered by two Rolls-Royce/Honeywell LHTEC CTS800 engines, to replace aging single-engine Bell 205s–an application that should be of interest to other operators of the venerable Huey.
Sarbe is synonymous with search and rescue and personal locator beacons (PLBs) and the Signature Industries’ company is launching a new emergency locator transmitter (ELT) approved to Cospas-Sarsat standards. The new product was initially developed to support the requirements of a major export customer who had concerns about the crash survivability of existing ELTs carried in military rotary-wing aircraft.
Starting July 1, 2008, all private and commercial airplanes operating internationally will need to carry at least one emergency locator transmitter, according to a proposed standard from the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The first of four Super Lynx 300 maritime helicopters destined for South Africa is on display here at the Farnborough airshow at Finmeccanica’s Outside Exhibit area (OE2).
The UK Ministry of Defence is spending more than $1.35 billion to upgrade the Merlin Mk 1 large maritime helicopter which has been operational for less than five years. The upgrade is necessary because the Merlin has been so long in development that its computer systems have become obsolete. It also signifies a determination to maintain helicopter systems engineering skills in the UK.