Paris-based helicopter brokerage Heli Asset has launched a free quarterly pricing reporting service on pre-owned rotorcraft. Available on the company’s website, the initial reports for the first quarter of this year provide snapshots of the market for helicopters from the four major OEMs: AgustaWestland, Bell, Eurocopter and Sikorsky. The company, a spin-off of aircraft sales firm Regourd Aviation, was launched at last year’s Heli-Expo and operates internationally.
Reorganization of Great Britain’s police helicopter bases is well under way, in a campaign to provide “more efficient and accessible” air support to police forces in England and Wales. Although the number of bases is being cut, the improved efficiency of the system should eventually ensure that 98 percent of the population is within 20 minutes’ flight time of a base.
The FAA has adopted a new Airworthiness Directive (AD) for all AgustaWestland A109, A109A, A109A II, A109C, A109K2, A109E, A109S and A119 helicopters. It was prompted by the failure of the tail rotor pitch control link assembly on an A109E, caused by a production defect. The AD requires inspecting the link assembly for freedom of movement and taking corrective action if rotation resistance or binding occurs.
UK-based Bristow Helicopters, an affiliate of the Texas-based Bristow Group, today announced a 10-year contract with the UK’s Department for Transport for search-and-rescue (SAR) services for all of the country. The $2.5 billion agreement has a phased-in transition period beginning in April 2015 and continuing until July 2017.
Under the contract, Bristow will provide 11 Sikorsky S-92s and 11 AgustaWestland AW189 medium-twin helicopters across 10 UK bases. Each SAR base will operate either two S-92s or two AW189s. In addition, there will be two training aircraft.
On Monday, Italian helicopter maker AgustaWestland revealed that it has been secretly flying an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing demonstration aircraft powered by twin-electric, direct-drive tiltrotors. The “Project Zero” tiltrotor was designed and built in six months by the company’s advanced concepts group and has been flying since 2011.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) held a meeting yesterday at Heli-Expo to share its experience with the government/industry working group designed to rewrite FAR Part 23 certification rules for fixed-wing aircraft and encourage the helicopter industry to apply the model for possible revision of Parts 27 and 29 helicopter certification standards.
Mecaer Aviation Group is known industry wide for supplying landing gear and flight control systems to several different OEMs, but here at Heli-Expo ’13 the company has put its interior design and cabin comfort division on display. Front and center in the booth (No. N2107) is an elegant mockup of a corporate-outfitted AW169 passenger cabin, showcasing both the all-leather seating, LED lighting, wood veneers and a state-of-the-art communications and entertainment system.
Aircraft painting company Straube’s Aircraft Service (Booth No. N3317) recently announced it expects to receive Part 145 repair station certification for its paint shop at the AgustaWestland parts and repair facility in Philadelphia shortly.
“The 145 repair certification encompasses a five-part process, [and] we are currently finishing up phase three,” explained Straube’s chief inspector Kevin Darabant. The company expects to receive certification by this summer, he added.
A fourth AW169 intermediate twin joined the test program last month. The first AW169 flew last year and the PW210A-powered helicopter is expected to be certified next year. The test fleet has accumulated more than 150 flight hours. AgustaWestland also announced the appointment of William Hunt as the new CEO of AgustaWestland Philadelphia. The company’s plant there manufactured 54 AW139s and AW119Kxs in 2012 and employs 500 people.
AgustaWestland’s new CEO, Daniele Romiti, met the press here at Heli-Expo Monday night just days after his appointment by parent company Finmeccanica.