Eurocopter has signed a contract with Héli-Union to supply the first ever AS365N3 Dauphin flight simulator. Developed and built in partnership with Thalès, it is scheduled to become operational in 2011 at Héli-Union's training center in Angoulême, France. The simulator will be dual qualified as a Level 3 flight training device (FTD) and Level B full flight simulator (FFS). Overall target is 3000 hrs of training per year. It will allow operators to perform several types of training, ranging from ab initio and recurrent training to specific programs, as well as flights over mountainous terrain and low-altitude navigation.
AgustaWestland has received an order from Petroleum Air Services (PAS) of Egypt for 2 AW139 medium twin-engine helicopters plus options for 2 more. This is the first Egyptian order for the AW139. PAS is modernizing its fleet of medium twin helicopters, and will use the AW139s for offshore oil and gas support operations. According to the manufacturer, a total of 110 customers in 40 countries have ordered more than 430 AW139s.
American Eurocopter's dynamic component repair (DCR) facility has completed its first overhaul of an EC135 main gearbox. The DCR facility now offers local repair and overhaul services for all EC135 dynamic components. In order to add EC135 repair and overhaul to the DCR facility's offerings, it was necessary to certify American Eurocopter staff and acquire initial inventory and tooling. One major achievement was extending the scope of the company's multipurpose test bench beyond its existing capabilities for AS365, BO105, BK117, EC120 and EC145 main gearboxes.
Goshen Air Center subsidiary Aircraft Charter Services has added an Enstrom 480B to its charter certificate. Located in Goshen IN, Goshen Air Center is an Enstrom regional dealer. According to Enstrom, this is the first 480B to be put on a Part 135 air carrier charter certificate in the US. The manufacturer reports that the aircraft's configurable cabin and low operating costs have generated "a lot of interest" from Part 135 operators. Another 480B operator in Texas is currently in the process of obtaining a Part 135 certificate.
Bristow Group has acquired a 42.5% interest in Líder Aviacão Holding of Brazil for $174 million. Concurrent with the deal, Líder purchased 1 large and 4 medium aircraft of unspecified type from Bristow for approximately $55 million, reducing the latter's cash outlay to some $119 million. In addition to operating 29 fixed-wing charter aircraft and engaging in ground handling, aircraft sales, management and maintenance, Líder is the largest helicopter operator in Brazil, with 46 aircraft serving the offshore oil and gas industry. Bristow's interest in Líder centers on these activities, which are currently thriving from deepwater oil discoveries being funded for recovery by the Brazilian government. Over the next 5 years the agreement allows Bristow to provide up to 100% of Líder's helicopter lease requirements. The agreement also gives Bristow 20% of Lider's voting rights, in compliance with Brazilian aviation regulations limiting foreign ownership.