The Helicopter Association International’s 2011 Heli-Expo show, which closes today, looks to have exceeded expectations, with exhibitors, attendees and orders indicating a strong climb out of the long economic downturn.
The leadership team at Dart Helicopter Services has changed. Mike O’Reilly, president of Eagle Copters, Calgary, Alberta, has succeeded Jeff Shapiro as president and CEO. O’Reilly will remain in his post at Eagle. Shapiro will continue at Dart in an advisory capacity while Steve Joseph continues as COO.
Aeromaritime, a Rolls-Royce authorized maintenance, repair and overhaul center, is sharing space in Booth No. 320 with parent company Industria de Turbo Propulsores (ITP), which acquired the Aeromaritime group in 2008. ITP plans to extend its repair and overhaul business in the U.S. Aeromaritime, with facilities in the U.S.
The past 12 months have seen Jet-Care (Booth No. 4442) growing its presence in the helicopter engine support sector. The company, which specializes in oil analysis and health monitoring for engines and equipment such as gearboxes, has won new business in the North American market while also making inroads into the growing South American sector.
A shiny red-and-white Eurocopter AS350B2, newly converted to Honeywell LTS-101-700D2 turbine power, dominates Soloy Aviation’s exhibit here at Heli-Expo2011 (Booth No. 1628). Inside is an operating example of a new electronic engine display soon to be added as an option to the already STC’d Soloy conversion kit for replacing the original Turbomeca Arriel B2 with the Honeywell engine.
Turbomeca chairman and CEO Pierre Fabre knows that for his company to grow and prosper, it is not only necessary to sell engines to helicopter manufacturers that deliver all over the world but also to allow engines to be built in countries like China. But it is naïve to think, Fabre said, that there is no risk of losing control of intellectual property when engines are manufactured by non-Turbomeca-owned entities.
Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services-North America (Booth No. 2137), a subsidiary of Vector Aerospace, came into Heli-Expo 2011 on the heels of “another banner year.” The Canadian MRO specialist saw the 2010 opening of new facilities in Huntsville, Ala.; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and Lanseria, South Africa.
Engine manufacturer Turbomeca is working 50-50 with Avic Engine, its Chinese counterpart, on the WZ16 turboshaft that will power the Avicopter AC352 medium twin, formerly known as the Z-15 (developed jointly with Eurocopter). Avic Engine is in charge of the compressor and accessory gearbox. The France-based company is responsible for the combustor, turbines and control system.
Eurocopter is believed to be working on an improved EC145–possibly to be designated the EC146, if recent trademark filings are any clue–featuring a fenestron shrouded tail rotor and Fadec-controlled engines. Aircraft spotter photographs reveal the light twin is already in flight test. An industry source told AIN that customers have been clamoring for Fadec since the commercial launch of the EC145 program.
The helicopter group of the Sécurité Civile, France’s emergency preparedness organization, has logged 200,000 hours of operation with the Arriel 1E2 turboshafts that power its Eurocopter EC145s. The group has taken delivery of 34 EC145s since 2002.