Bell Helicopter will build its new short light single (SLS) helicopter at Lafayette Regional Airport in Louisiana, the company announced on Tuesday.
Helicopter engine manufacturer Turbomeca announced that the Ardiden 3C/WZ16, which was jointly developed with China’s Avic Engine, made its first run at the French firm’s test facility in Bordes in southwest France. The successful ground test confirmed the turboshaft engine’s aeromechanical behavior and performance, according to Turbomeca.
Certification of the EC145T2, an upgraded version of Eurocopter’s light twin, is now expected next spring rather than this year, as originally planned. Program leader Manfred Merk attributed the delay to longer-than-expected aerodynamic and avionics development work.
“It took us one month to solve a problem that was appearing in sideways flight,” Merk said. The helicopter was shaking, a certification red flag, so the engineers recontoured the edge of the vertical tail fin and the mod proved successful.
“The year 2013 has been exciting for Vector Aerospace Engine Services–Atlantic,” said Jeff Poirier, president of the Canadian company. “We have heightened our mobile repair team capabilities and coverage worldwide to offer our customers faster turn times on their engines,” he continued. Vector Aerospace holds approvals for supporting dozens of engines, including those manufactured by Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rolls-Royce, Turbomeca, GE and Honeywell as part of its Global Engine Management program.
The Bell 412EPI will be cleared for more procedures at elevated helipads early next year, according to Bell Helicopter, which is launching an upgrade program next month to incorporate improvements to increase operational flexibility for CAT A Part B procedures. The program will cover the use of circular and rectangular elevated heliports and should be finished in time for initial deliveries of the 412EPI in the first quarter of 2014, said the company.
Brazilian operator TAM Executiva has awarded a contract to Vector Aerospace and its Seca subsidiary to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul covering engines in its fleet. The agreement includes repair, hot-section inspections, testing, modification, overhaul and parts distribution on PT6A and JT15D series turbine engines, and engine repair, major periodic inspection, testing, modification and core zone inspection on the TFE731 series.
China-based Avicopter has delivered the first three AC311 Air Sprites. The six-seat light single can be powered by a Honeywell LTS101-700D-2 or a license-produced Turbomeca Arriel 2B1A. Its mtow is 4,850 pounds and endurance claimed to be four hours. The helicopter received its Chinese certification last year. The AC311 resembles the Eurocopter Ecureuil/AStar.
Bell Helicopter is providing more details on the Short Light Single (SLS) helicopter it announced at the Paris Air Show in June. Performance goals for the SLS include a speed of 125 knots, a range of 360 to 420 nm, a useful load of 1,500 pounds and a ceiling of 11,000 feet.
Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services North America (HSNA) has named Eric Hicks as regional sales director for Western Canada, Alaska and Hawaii. Hicks will support helicopter operators across Western Canada from British Columbia to Saskatchewan, the Yukon, Northwest territories , Alaska and Hawaii, representing HSNA’s Rolls-Royce 250, Turbomeca Arriel 1 and 2, Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T, GE CT7A and CT58 engine lines as well as providing helicopter dynamic component and airframe and avionic MRO services.
Among a crush of onlookers at the Paris Air Show on Monday, Turbomeca and Bell unveiled the Arrius 2R turboshaft, which is destined to power the new Bell “short, light single” (SLS) helicopter. Olivier Andries (left), Turbomeca chairman and CEO, said, “We are incredibly excited to be working with Bell Helicopter. Our teams have been working together for some time now on this project.”
The Arrius, which provides power in the 450- to 550-shp class, will be controlled by dual Fadecs and will meet ICAO Stage 4 noise targets.
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