A New Zealand company plans to build an all-composite, six-seat turbine single for less than the price of a new Robinson R66.
The pair of “low-observable” Sikorsky Black Hawks used in the raid by U.S. forces against terrorist Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani compound May 2 were kitted with a variety of stealth and radar-defeating features that had been in development since the 1970s, and maybe longer. The helicopters came to light after one had to be left behind and intentionally detonated after apparently clipping a compound wall and making a hard landing.
Bell Helicopter made the first flight of its OH-58 Block II demonstrator at its Xworx research and development facility in Fort Worth on April 14.
Helicopter Technology Company (HTC) has announced development of new composite main- and tailrotor blades for the MD369, 500 and 600 helicopter series.
Bell Helicopter and Van Horn Aviation (Booth No. 1521) of Tempe, Ariz., yesterday at Heli-Expo 2011 put the official stamp on an agreement that allows Bell to distribute Van Horn’s composite tail rotor blades for Bell 206 models.
With dry ice, bright lights, loud music, CEO Lutz Bertling in the cockpit and four glamorous passengers in helmets and flight suits, Eurocopter rolled out its newest helicopter here at Heli-Expo shortly after the convention opened yesterday morning. The EC145T2 introduces a fenestron, new engines, a new main gearbox and what Bertling described as “25 percent more mission performance” than its predecessor.
Bell 429 operators continue to give positive feedback about the new light twin as it enters its second year in service. Bell manufactured more than 30 of the helicopters last year and completed customer kit options.
Eurocopter is believed to be working on an improved EC145–possibly to be designated the EC146, if recent trademark filings are any clue–featuring a fenestron shrouded tail rotor and Fadec-controlled engines. Aircraft spotter photographs reveal the light twin is already in flight test. An industry source told AIN that customers have been clamoring for Fadec since the commercial launch of the EC145 program.
U.S. and European civil aviation authorities have issued new airworthiness directives (ADs) for the inspection and possible repair or replacement of the Sikorsky S-92A’s main gearbox. The updated ADs build on 2009 directives and mandate action on a new gearbox design that was supposed to solve the problem, at least temporarily.
Eurocopter’s compound helicopter demonstrator, the X3 (x cube), met its first speed target–180 ktas in level flight at “reduced engine power,” the manufacturer announced last week. The aircraft features a conventional main rotor, two propellers on stub wings and no tail rotor.