Proving perhaps that nothing sweeps cleaner than a new broom, Bell Helicopter CEO Mike Redenbaugh, in the job since late May, has announced plans to move Bell’s military helicopter manufacturing out of its historic Fort Worth, Texas facility and into a new site in Amarillo, Texas. The Amarillo site will also handle final assembly for the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, according to a recent message from Redenbaugh.
In a major marketing change spurred by the fallout from September 11, Salt Lake City, Utah-based Groen Brothers Aviation (GBA) recently announced it would slow the already lagging FAA certification program on its four-place Hawk 4 gyrocopter, and concentrate on selling the aircraft to government agencies as a noncertified public-use aircraft.
In what is claimed to be a first, EMS Technologies last month said that an AMT-50 multi-channel satcom antenna and HSD-128 high-speed data terminal have been installed aboard a helicopter. TC Communications of Irvine, Calif., performed the installation in a Boeing 234 (civil Chinook) twin-rotor helicopter for the National Fire Administration of Taiwan used for disaster management and search-and-rescue missions.
Owners of ex-military aircraft are up in arms over a rider to the Senate bill to appropriate military funds for next year. The Department of Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, S.1438, deals mostly with appropriations for regular military expenses but contains a small section, or rider, calling for the “demilitarization” of “significant military equipment” formerly belonging to the DOD.
The Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) of Taiwan recently displayed during public days at several ROCAF bases a new configuration of its Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF), with three 250-pound bombs on the centreline. Taiwan wants to upgrade the ROCAF to meet a growing military threat from mainland China, but progress has been slow.
To no one's great surprise, EADS finally admitted that the A400M airlifter will be late taking off. "The consequence on deliveries and cost is under assessment," the company added.
Frontier Airlines expects to take delivery of its first Bombardier Q400 this month and launch service aboard the 74-seat turboprop with its new Lynx Aviation subsidiary on September 5. Early last month the company waited for a waiver approval from the DOT to begin “advertising, accepting payments and selling” tickets on June 14 for its first four markets, all of which it plans to serve from Denver.
France and Germany’s militaries signed an accord to study future helicopter capabilities that could be available by 2020. The countries are interested in developing a transport helicopter larger than the NH90 medium twin.
Derco Aerospace has won a contract from Singapore Technologies Aerospace to install new auxiliary power units and improved environmental control systems on four
Israel’s Elbit Systems (Chalet A332) has won contracts to supply its aviator’s night vision imaging system/head-up display (ANVIS/HUD) for the helicopters of two more as yet undisclosed NATO countries.