Yesterday the NTSB released the finding of the cause of the May 24, 2008, Island Express helicopter accident in Two Harbors, Avalon, on Catalina Island, in California. The Eurocopter AS350D collided with terrain while landing after a flight from the Queensway Bay Heliport, Long Beach, Calif.
VIH Aviation Group (Booth No. 3728) ordered a pair of Eurocopter EC225s to support its oil and gas offshore activities in Australia. The helicopters will be flown by HNZ Cougar Helicopters, a new joint venture. VIH is the only Canadian-controlled helicopter company to operate the EC225, according to VIH CEO Ken Norie. The EC225 is powered by two Fadec-controlled Turbomeca Makila 2A1 engines.
Engine manufacturer Turbomeca is revamping its Tech 600 and Tech 800 demonstrators to enhance fuel efficiency in the 500- to 1,000-shp power category and increase power density in the 1,000- to 1,500-shp bracket, respectively. The goal of Techsys, a third demonstrator, is to resduce Fadec costs by 20 percent through simplification.
There are surprisingly active developments in the single-engine helicopter field, with new rotorcraft on the way such as the turbine-powered Robinson R66 and Sikorsky S-434. Kit manufacturer RotorWay is even coming to market with a planned certified turbine helicopter, the 300T Eagle, announced at last year’s EAA AirVenture show. The Russian Helicopters Mi-34S2 Sapsan will also offer turbine power.
France-based turboshaft manufacturer Turbomeca has delivered its 2,000th Makila engine to Eurocopter. The engine powers an EC225. The latest version of the Makila, the 2A1, offers 2,411 shp at maximum emergency power (one engine inoperative). The engine maker plans a TBO increase, to 4,000 hours.
Safran’s helicopter subsidiary Turbomeca could be back in the contest to provide the powerplant for the Z15 helicopter following China’s recent decision to re-evaluate the engine. Late last year, executives with Eurocopter’s EC 175 program indicated that discussions are under way for the possible launch of a new engine for the Chinese version of the medium twin.
Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise, one of the companies in holding firm Russian Helicopters, has completed a phase of tests with a Turbomeca-powered Kamov Ka-226. The aircraft–the Ka-226T–is the first coaxial-rotor helicopter to be fitted with Turbomeca turboshafts, in this case Arrius 2G. Production of the helicopter is expected to start next year.
Turbomeca has approved MRO Vector Aerospace to perform repair and overhaul of Arriel 2 engines for operators in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Vector has been
a major contributor to the Turbomeca support network and provider of Arriel 1 engine repair and overhaul services for nearly 20 years. The company also holds approvals as an Arriel 1 overhaul center and an Arriel 1 and 2 service center.
Vector Aerospace has received Turbomeca’s approval to repair and overhaul civil Arriel 2 engines in North America. The approval opens the company’s market reach to operators of current and future Eurocopters, Sikorskys and AgustaWestlands. According to president and CEO Declan O’Shea, Vector has been a major contributor to the Turbomeca support network and provider of Arriel 1 engine repair and overhaul services for nearly 20 years.
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Westcor Aviation has been certified a Turbomeca-approved maintenance center.