At a Sunday morning press event, Turbomeca chairman and CEO Olivier Andriès listed the French turbine engine manufacturer’s 2011 successes, including a recovery in production numbers from the 2010 low of 800. Turbomeca delivered 950 turboshaft engines last year, and expects to produce approximately 1,100 before the end of 2012.
At Heli-Expo today, Eurocopter unveiled the EC130 T2, an updated version of its venerable single-engine helicopter. It also announced orders for 105 of the new aircraft from seven launch customers: Maverick Helicopters, Papillon Helicopters, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, Scandinavian Helicopter Group, Air Commander, Europavia and Enloe FlightCare. The EC130 T2 is powered by the Turbomeca Arriel 2D engine, which provides 10 percent more average power and lower specific fuel consumption than the original powerplant and has a higher time between overhaul interval.
Sagem Avionics, part of the Safran group, is at Booth No. 7517 celebrating Slave Lake Helicopters’ selection of Sagem’s Integrated Cockpit Display System (ICDS) for its new Eurocopter AS350 B3e. That machine joins three others in the Slave Lake fleet, an AS350 B2, an EC120 and a Bell 206 B3, all with the Sagem ICDS.
Honeywell’s new Sky Connect Tracker III arrived at Dallas Executive Airport (RDB) aboard the company’s Eurocopter AS350 AStar demonstrator, just in time for a flight around the south suburbs, augmented by the company’s helicopter Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS).
Turbine engine inlet filter specialist Donaldson Aerospace & Defense has completed a year marked by new products, a new St. Louis facility, and delivery of its 5,000th inlet barrier filter system.
Simplex Aerospace (Booth No. 6917) received an FAA supplemental type certificate for a powerline insulator and windmill cleaning system for the Eurocopter AS350 and AS355s. Simplex’s Aerial Cleaning system includes a 180-gallon water tank, a nozzled boom that extends past the rotor tips and a power-assisted operator control. “This new system will allow operators to accomplish the powerline and windmill cleaning mission with enhanced productivity and safety,” said Simplex president and CEO Mark Zimmerman.
Air Comm Corp. (ACC), a specialist in the design, production and support of environmental control systems for rotorcraft, is presenting “The Ultimate Guide To Helicopter Environmental Control Systems” today at 10 a.m. in Room C-148. The program is of interest to rotorcraft owners, operators and maintenance personnel.
Olivier Andriès, who has been the CEO of Turbomeca since June, predicts that helicopter engines will become fuel-electric hybrids around 2030. He also predicted that, in about 20 years, conventional turbine engine performance will be close to an asymptote. By that, he meant further improvement of turbine technology will be enormously difficult and expensive, if not impossible. So the next step will be hybridization, he said. “We will see integrated propulsion systems using thermodynamic and electric solutions,” he told AIN.
Eurocopter AS350B2 buyer Saul Maia has selected Uniflight’s Grand Prairie, Texas, maintenance and completions facility to perform a VIP completion on the helicopter. Maia’s AS350B2 was delivered to Uniflight last month. “I looked at a variety of completion houses,” Maia said. “There are many out there to choose from. I talked to industry people who I trust. I really did my homework. In the end, Uniflight was the obvious choice for me. I am very confident in the staff that I met there and their capability to give me the aircraft I imagine in my mind.”
Cessna’s 206 piston-powered single is a great airplane, but replacing the original Continental Motors or Lycoming engine with a smooth-running Rolls-Royce 250 makes the 206 a powerful performer that is quieter and easier to fly. Soloy Aviation Solutions has been stuffing the RR250 (formerly Allison) into the 206 since the mid-1980s, and demand for the extensive modification along with other 206 upgrades continues to grow.