Former Bell Helicopter CEO Terry Stinson has joined the board of directors of Fidelity Flight Simulation. Stinson served as the CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Bell Helicopter from 1997 to 2002, during which time he acquired a number of Boeing helicopter lines, launched a joint venture with Agusta and opened the V-22 Osprey facility in Texas. He currently serves as group vice president of structures and systems, for AAR.
At a small airfield near Horseheads, N.Y., Sikorsky is slowly expanding the flight envelope of its X2 technology demonstrator. After a first flight at the end of August, the coaxial rotor helicopter is currently midway through the first of four flight-test phases that should enable it to reach a forward speed of 250 knots by the middle of next year.
Unfazed by (or perhaps because of) murmurs from within Bell Helicopter management to the effect that development of the BA609 might be accelerated, Agusta- Westland has released some details of its developmental Erica tilt-wing aircraft (so-called because in the Erica’s case the entire wing is rotated between fixed- and rotary-wing flight).
The history of the Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey military tiltrotor is that of the rankest of Hollywood cliffhangers.
While praising the efforts of his predecessor, Bell Helicopter’s freshly appointed CEO has been offering his own vision of the future for the beleaguered rotorcraft giant. What emerges is a daring strategy that essentially bets the company on the success of the embattled V-22 Osprey military tiltrotor and, later, the BA609 civil tiltrotor programs.
A VTOL UAV is displayed in model form by American Dynamics Flight Systems (Hall2 Stand 20). Unusual in its use of a single PW200 to power tilting ducted fans and provide some pure jet propulsion, the AD-150 is currently undergoing tests that are expected to lead to first flight early next year. a
Florida is a land with a reputation for competitions with contested results, and that tradition continued at HAI’s 2002 edition of its annual trade show and convention as two major rotorcraft makers debated over who has global domination of the vertical-takeoff flying machine market, while a third major player announced its plans for getting back into the game.
CMC Electronics (Hall 4 Stand C16a) has brought its new TacView portable mission display to Farnborough as part of a global marketing effort aimed at both manufacturers and users of fast jets, fixed-wing military transports and helicopters. The new product, which the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) already has adopted, is derived from the company’s PilotView electronic flight bag (EFB).
The fortunes of the Bell/Agusta BA609 are closely linked to those of the U.S. Marines’ MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor transport, still grounded following a pair of well-publicized fatal accidents and even more sensational charges of records falsification and related wrongdoing by senior Marine program managers.
Despite the fact that the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67A engines are installed on the first BA609 prototype tiltrotor, Bell is letting the development schedule of that aircraft slip, with its previously planned first flight moving from last month to sometime this summer. Assembly of a further pair of prototypes has also slowed dramatically.