Sabreliner Corp., a name long synonymous with the business jet market, has turned to designing and installing custom interiors in government VIP helicopters.
After months of dodging questions about the status of the program, Bell Helicopter officials yesterday announced the company has canceled development of the single-engine 417 helicopter, which made its dramatic debut just a year ago at Heli-Expo.
The Bell 429, a new light twin helicopter derived from the Bell 427i, will be dramatically unveiled at an 11:30 a.m. press event today at Bell Helicopter’s booth, No. 1087 in Hall D. Bell announced the 427i, an IFR-capable version of the 427, less than one year ago at Heli-Expo 2004.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration certification of the Bell 210, a single-turbine medium helicopter derived from military UH-1H Huey, is imminent and could happen this month, Bell CEO Mike Redenbaugh said yesterday at the Paris Air Show. “Our flight testing is completed, the FAA pilots have flown and now we’re just waiting for approval of the paperwork,” he said.
The Philippines Air Force, hampered by a long-term funding shortage and faced with the growing obsolescence of its combat fleet, has turned to its own workshops to perform low-cost upgrades and overhauls to return some of its stored fleet to service. The reworked aircraft are desperately needed as the Philippines has shifted its emphasis from national defense to internal security operations against various insurgent political factions.
Bob Fore works for AirScan, a contractor to the U.S. government supporting range activities in the Marshall Islands, a vast isolated archipelago sprinkled about 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii and 1,400 miles east of Guam. The company is based with the U.S. Army on Kwajalein Atoll, otherwise known as the Reagan Test Site (RTS).
At last month’s American Helicopter Society forum in Grapevine, Texas, several OEMs unveiled entirely new projects or reported major progress on projects under development. Two of those new projects are based on original designs that first flew more than 50 years ago. Of particular interest, given recent history, is that all but one of the designs are the result of American research and development.
At press time, FAA certification of the Bell 210, a single-turbine medium helicopter derived from the military UH-1H Huey, was imminent. Bell Helicopter begins with a refurbished UH-1H fuselage and adds Bell 212 dynamic components and an FAA-certified Honeywell T53-517B turboshaft engine. The result is a zero-time, commercial off-the-shelf helicopter with a useful load of 5,000 pounds.
Tempe, Ariz. manufacturer Van Horn Aviation is showing two new Bell UH-1 Huey products, an all-composite tail-rotor blade and a competitively priced main rotor blade. Owner Jim Van Horn said the tail-rotor blade that is currently undergoing certification is 90-percent carbon fiber and 10-percent fiberglass and uses a Boeing VR7 airfoil with 30 percent longer chord for increased thrust.
Coming off what CEO Mike Redenbaugh called “Bell’s best year in decades,” the company plans to unveil–literally–a new light helicopter this morning at 11:30 a.m. here at Heli-Expo.
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