The Eurocopter EC135 light twin that crashed into a busy pub on November 29 in Glasgow, Scotland, was intact when it hit the roof, but neither the main rotor nor the fenestron tail rotor were rotating at that time, the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch preliminary report reveals. The helicopter had been flying for one hour and 33 minutes when the pilot requested clearance to return to Glasgow City Heliport. No further radio transmission was received.
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.
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.
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.
John Garrison, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter, announced yesterday morning at the Paris Air Show that it is developing a new “short, light single” (SLS) helicopter that will be powered by a Turbomeca Arrius 2R turboshaft engine. The new, “clean sheet” aircraft, which Garrison said is expected to fly next year, will be the first Bell helicopter to be powered by a Turbomeca engine. Certification of the new helicopter will take place “as quickly as possible” after the first flight.
The diesel engine demonstrator, which may replace turboshafts in light helicopters, is on track for flight tests on a Eurocopter EC120 in the second half of next year. It will feature a power-to-weight ratio between those of a general aviation diesel and a turboshaft. The engine is part of the Green Rotorcraft integrated technology demonstrator (ITD), itself part of Clean Sky, the European Union’s €1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) joint technology initiative.
Responding to demand from the aeromedical industry, Jet Support Services (JSSI) is adding Eurocopter EC135/145 services to its lineup. “We did a market-share analysis last June and found a total of 633 Eurocopter EC135s and 377 EC145s in service worldwide,” Kandi Spangler, JSSI v-p of marketing, told AIN.
Blue is the new green. Prompted by environmental concerns–regulatory and otherwise– Eurocopter took advantage of the Heli-Expo platform to formally launch its Bluecoptor program.
Bluecopter first emerged from a demonstrator EC120 modified to use a “high compression” diesel engine instead of the usual 504-shp Turbomeca Arrius turboshaft engine. The helicopter OEM is expecting a 40-percent reduction in fuel consumption.
Russian Helicopters is relaunching production of the Mi-34S1 light piston helicopter and simultaneously working on a turbine version, the Mi-34S2 Sapsan, powered by a Turbomeca Arrius 2F. The Sapsan (Russian for peregrine falcon) is expected to be certified under U.S. FAR 27 and European CS 27 regulations.
The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive for Turbomeca Arrius 2F turboshaft engines, citing insufficient clearance between the P3 air pipe and the rear right bulkhead. According to AD 2008-NE-43, investigations have shown that both the P3 air pipe and the rear right bulkhead were compliant with the original approved design.
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