AgustaWestland has clearly looked to the example set by leading airliner-makers Airbus and Boeing when it comes to instilling its so-called New Generation Helicopter Family with a strong sense of both commonality and flexibility in terms of applications.
Ontario’s Legislative Assembly will continue its hearings over the summer into alleged performance failings and mismanagement at the Canadian province’s government-funded air-ambulance service known as “Ornge.” The hearings started on March 28 and, as of press time, it was unclear when Members of the Provincial Parliament (MPPs) would issue their final report into what appears to have gone badly wrong after Ontario’s Liberal Party-led government gave overall control of the service to privately owned Ornge.
The Sikorsky S-76D medium-twin helicopter is progressing toward certification, although this goal has been moved to the right once again. Aircraft certification is now expected in October, at least four months later than the previous estimate.
The AgustaWestland AW169 medium-twin helicopter made its first flight on Thursday at the company’s Cascina Costa plant in northern Italy. According to the company, the eight- to 10-passenger, 9,000-pound helicopter performed “as expected” during the flight to check out general handling and basic systems.
Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW210 turboshaft has been selected to power the Eurocopter X4 medium twin, which is slated to replace the AS365/EC155 Dauphin series. Entry into service is pegged for 2017. The PW210S, a variant produced for the Sikorsky S-76D medium twin, was certified in 2011. AIN understands the X4 will be offered with two engine options, the other choice coming from Turbomeca.
The Japan Coast Guard has ordered four Sikorsky S-76Ds, which will replace “several helicopters that were damaged in the tsunami of 2011,” the manufacturer said. The Japan Coast Guard had been a long-time user of the S-76C, C+ and C++. Sikorsky has also received an order for one S-76D from Swiss-based Air Engiadina. It will be operated in the UK or Switzerland for VIP and other passenger flights. Delivery is scheduled for next year.
Last year’s announcement of schemes aimed at opening some lower-altitude airspace (LAA) in China offered a glimmer of hope to the rotary-wing sector that it would soon be easier to operate helicopters in the country. However, there is still some way to go before the industry can grow much further, as officials grapple with how to manage airspace once the experiments finish.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is to deliver a new S-92 helicopter to China Southern Airlines’ Zhuhai Helicopter Branch next week. This follows the delivery of two S-76s in December last year. The offshore utility aircraft will support expanding oil operations in the South China Sea.
Sikorsky Aircraft recognized Vancouver-based Helijet International as operator of the world’s highest time Sikorsky S-76 airframe. Helijet’s S-76A, S/N 760074, has logged a total of 37,025 flight hours. It entered service in July 1980 and then flew 2,287 hours during nine years’ service as a corporate transport in the northeastern U.S. Helijet acquired the aircraft in January 1990. In scheduled service, it has carried more than 500,000 passengers some three million miles between Helijet’s passenger terminals in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.