The Avicopter AC352 medium-twin helicopter (previously known as the Z15, the Chinese version of the jointly developed Eurocopter EC175) is now expected to make its maiden flight in the second half of this year in China, according to Europe- and Asia-based industry sources. Entry into service is then expected late next year or early 2016. Certification had previously been planned for this year.
Russian Helicopters is asking the Russian government for an extra RUB1.15 billion ($34 million) to complete the development of the Ka-62 medium twin. According to Russian newspaper Izvestya, this will come in addition to the $59 million already invested in the helicopter program.
Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services North America (HS-NA), a subsidiary of Vector Aerospace, has signed a five-year, exclusive MRO support contract with Blackcomb Aviation, a privately owned helicopter and jet charter company.
The Turbomeca/Avic Engine Ardiden 3C/WZ16 turboshaft made its first run at the French company’s test facility. The two companies are developing the new Ardiden derivative on a 50-50 basis. Certification by the Civil Aviation Administration of China is expected in September next year. The Ardiden 3C, understood to produce nearly 1,800 shp, features a modular design and dual-channel Fadec. It is to power the Avicopter AC352 medium twin, the Chinese counterpart of the Pratt & Whitney Canada-powered Eurocopter EC175.
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.