If helicopter sales at this year’s Heli-Expo had been any better, there might have been an executive conga line snaking its way through the exhibit floor today. Sales reported as of late yesterday had surpassed $732 million, $112 million more than at the same point in the show last year.
A CMC Electronics SureSight M-Series infrared enhanced-vision system (EVS) sensor has been installed on an AgustaWestland AW139 for a corporate customer by Edwards & Associates, a subsidiary of Bell Helicopter. The avionics installation specialist expects to receive the FAA STC for the installation soon.
AgustaWestland often is overshadowed by that “other” major European helicopter manufacturer, cross-continent rival Eurocopter. But while Eurocopter outsells AgustaWestland (Booth No. 529) by a wide margin, it has yet to come up with an answer to the AW139 (although it hopes its new EC 175 will be a strong competitor) and has nothing like the BA609 tiltrotor on its drawing board–as far as we know.
Cessna Aircraft opened its new $61 million Citation Service Center multi-use facility in Wichita in December and the interior refurbishment shop is hard at work. Since the start of the year, Cessna has done 10 cabin refurbishment jobs. A spokeswoman at Cessna said the ability to do interior refurbishment while an aircraft is in the same facility for maintenance substantially reduces downtime.
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.
Cessna Aircraft has entered into an agreement with Innovative Solutions & Support for the avionics maker to provide flat-panel display systems for legacy Cessna Citations. The new system replaces existing round dials and displays and will be distributed and installed through 34 Cessna Service Centers worldwide.
Some MROs are growing increasingly concerned about working on aircraft that are more than 18 years old because they fall beyond the statute of repose limits established in the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994. The concern is that litigation after an accident involving an older aircraft could shift to the maintenance shop. Yingling Aviation of Wichita does not let that concern limit its services.
AgustaWestland last month announced that its sales in India are growing, with seven deliveries last year (not all new rotorcraft), four planned this year and another 12 over the 2008-2009 period. In addition, Hindustan Construction has ordered a second Bell/Agusta BA609 Tiltrotor. Hong-Kong-based Sharp Ocean is now AgustaWestland’s distributor for India, Sri Lanka and The Maldives.
Raytheon Beech 99A, Milwaukee, Jan. 25, 2007–A Freight Runners Beech 99 collided with a company Cessna 402B at a runway-taxiway intersection after landing on Runway 25L at General Mitchell International Airport. The Beech 99 pilot, who was slightly injured, landed just past the intersecting Runway 19, slowed, and told Tower he could exit at A2 taxiway, which led to A, and he was cleared.
Shipments of general aviation aircraft last year increased significantly over 2005, resulting in record highs in billings and in business jet deliveries.