Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has an ambitious plan to design, develop and manufacture 1,500 helicopters in next 10 years. According to a senior HAL official, "100 of those will be advanced light helicopters (ALH), 300 will be light utility helicopters (LUH) and the rest will be multi-role helicopters (MRH)." HAL will invest $4.4 billion to modernize and expand its capacity to execute current orders worth $22 billion.
The U.S. Army could issue a formal request for proposal (RFP) early next year for what could become a helicopter armed aerial scout (AAS) program. The AAS–which might encompass at least 300 helicopters–is a potential $5 billion bonanza for the winner and could have significant implications for civil helicopter manufacturers, not just in terms of revenue but also with regard to driving, or not driving, new technologies such as the Sikorsky X2.
Sikorsky has announced it will use an X2 Technology light tactical helicopter (LTH) simulator to show its customers the capabilities of its flying X2 technology demonstrator. One of those customers could be the U.S. Army, which would use it as an armed aerial scout.
Helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland is here at the Farnborough airshow with three new aircraft: the civil GrandNew and the military AW159 Lynx Wildcat and AW149. All made their first flights during the last 12 months, although flight testing for the development of the Grand derivative is believed to have started two years ago.
At Eurocopter’s annual Heli-Expo breakfast press conference yesterday, CEO Lutz Bertling said the company is using the current economic downturn to retool its business for greater performance and efficiency, while actively pursuing the next generation of helicopter technologies including its Blue Edge and Blue Pulse blade and other research and development programs “so that we will be ready for the market once the upturn comes.” He also said t
Poland-based PZL-Swidnik late in October delivered its 1,000th helicopter fuselage–an
American Eurocopter has signed the first long-term commercial customer for the full-motion EC 135/EC 145 training device at its Grand Prairie, Texas campus. Stat MedEvac will use the simulator to train EC 135 and EC 145 air medical service crews operating in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and the District of Columbia. The U.S. Army began using the simulator last December to train crews for the UH-72A Lakota, an EC 145 variant.
Executives at two of the world’s largest helicopter makers insisted at Heli-Expo that the industry can continue to flourish even in the face of a severe economic downturn.
Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling revealed this morning that the company is working on bringing diesel power to a light helicopter, most likely the EC 120. He said the helicopter would fly within 30 months. He added that ongoing projects at Eurocopter include upgrades for existing models and “preliminary design” of a new turbine-powered helicopter.
Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling rebuffed concerns about how his company would fare in the face of the ongoing global economic crisis by stressing the company’s market dominance and its commitment to conserving euros. “Cash is king,” he said, adding that Eurocopter has improved its cash position and dramatically reduced production lead times–by 35 percent–over the last year and that the company has “exceeded our efficiency goals.”