Concorde continues to expand its STC coverage, with several new international validations for popular battery STCs. The company’s batteries recently received EASA STC approval for the AgustaWestland AW109 and AW139; Dornier Do-328-100; multiple King Air models; and the MD Helicopters MD900. Transport Canada recently approved Concorde batteries for the Challenger 600-2B16, 2B19, 2C10 and 2D24; and Brazil’s ANAC OK’d them for the Sikorsky S-76A, B and C.
The first ICH-47F Chinook helicopter destined for the Italian army made its maiden flight on June 24 at Vergiate, in northern Italy, program prime contractor AgustaWestland announced.
AgustaWestland has confirmed reports that certification of the AW609 civil tiltrotor has been pushed out to 2017, a one-year delay. A company spokesman told AIN that the schedule change is the result of numerous upgrades being made to the design in terms of aerodynamics and systems, including new engines, avionics and fly-by-wire flight controls.
AgustaWestland announced several AW139 orders and an AW189 milestone at Paris 2013. The Finmeccanica company (Chalets A232, A260) signed a contract for the sale of its first AW139 medium twin-engine helicopter in Senegal. The contract includes in-country support services and training for both aircrew and maintainers. The helicopter will be operated by Senegal’s air force.
GE’s 2,000-shp CT7-2E1, the powerplant for the twin-engine AgustaWestland AW189, received FAA certification last week. The CT7-2E1 is the latest civil-certified addition to the CT7/T700 line, with Fadec and what GE describes as a state-of-the-art hot section for power and reliability. The first production-certified CT7-2E1s will be delivered to AgustaWestland this month, GE said.
GKN Aerospace (Chalet B73, Hall 2b F169) has completed coordination of a nine-nation European project, which has succeeded in developing a new optical ice-monitoring concept. The new system promises fully automated inflight ice protection for the first time.
Innovation at AgustaWestland, according to Robert Farnese, company market positioning and promotion manager, comprises two elements. “First, you need to have an idea that works,” he told a Paris Air Show audience on Tuesday. “Second, you have to execute that idea.” He then added a caveat: “You must also master the present and have a vision for the future.”
Survival systems specialist Aero Sekur (Hall 1 F24) is highlighting major new contracts for the company’s floatation and external liferaft systems. The company is also opening a new repair and overhaul joint venture and it has increased its international presence and appointed a new COO, Marco Borghesi.
On March 26 this year the UK’s Department for Transport announced that Bristow Helicopters (part of the U.S.-based Bristow Group) had won the contract to provide a search and rescue helicopter service for the whole of the UK. The 10-year, £1.6 billion contract will officially begin implementation in April 2015, and will be fully in place by 2017, managed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
British Helicopter Association CEO Peter Norton has urged UK authorities to abandon plans for new restrictions on rotorcraft operations over urban areas following the January 16 accident in which an AgustaWestland A109 Power crashed in central London. The crash prompted British Prime Minister David Cameron to order a review of helicopter operating rules, and an Air Accidents Investigation Branch inquiry is in progress.