A VIP-configured Eurocopter EC145 Stylence was delivered to Spedition & Helicopterservice Linke, a northern Germany-based logistics company, during the recent Berlin Air Show. The new aircraft is the first of its kind in Germany and will be used for VIP transport and pilot training. The EC145 Stylence is equipped for single and dual-pilot IFR with an automatic flight control system (AFCS), cockpit voice and flight data recorder (CVFDR), TCAS and moving map display. The configuration includes provisions for weather radar, a rescue winch and an external load hook. The latest addition to Eurocopter’s Stylence family, the EC145 is the 5th Eurocopter model to enter the Stylence series following the EC120, EC130, AS350B2/B3 and AS355NP. Five EC145 Stylences are currently in service worldwide.
Bell has delivered the 1000th production 407 helicopter to longtime customer ShinNihon Helicopter at Bell’s manufacturing facility in Mirabel QC, Canada. Shin-Nihon Helicopter is 50 years old and currently operates 7 206L3s, 1 Fuji-Bell 204B2s, 3 427s and 2 407s. The company also has a 4th 407 on order in a transaction arranged by Mitsui Bussan Aerospace, Bell’s independent representative in Japan. Shin-Nihon Helicopter will use the Bell 407 to perform powerline patrols and to transport materials and equipment for construction, aerial survey and photography, filming and image analysis.
Ornge, an aeromedical and critical care transport operator in Ontario, Canada, has taken delivery of the 1st of 10 AgustaWestland AW139 medium twin helicopters. Equipped with an advanced full aeromedical interior, it is the first EMS-configured AW139 in North America to employ full ice protection system (FIPS) for flight into known icing (FIKI). Ornge’s contract includes an option for 2 additional AW139s. Depending on configuration, the AW139 can carry 2–4 litters and 4 medical attendants. A flat floor and ceiling provide maximum cabin space and easy reconfiguration. If cabin access to the baggage compartment is used, litter capacity can be increased to 6. AgustaWestland reports orders for more than 460 AW139s from customers in almost 50 countries for EMS, SAR, offshore transport, VIP transport, law enforcement and fire-fighting operations.
Bell Helicopter Training Academy in Fort Worth TX has placed its new Bell 429 flight training device into service. The FTD, the industry’s first simulator for the 429, was built to Level 7 specifications and is slated for FAA Level 6 certification by early 2011. Frasca Intl designed and built the simulator, which was manufactured using actual flight controls and a representative cockpit enclosure. All the functionality found in the actual aircraft is available to pilots training in the device.
Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland broke ground on Jun 22 for a new AW139 final assembly plant in Tomilino, near Moscow. Designed to meet the needs of the civil helicopter markets in Russia and the former Soviet Union, the facility will be run by HeliVert, a Russian Helicopters/AgustaWestland joint venture. The 10-acre plant will employ 100 people and produce more than 20 helicopters per year, starting with an initial 5 shipsets in 2011.
Sikorsky has made several modifications to the current version of the S92 aimed at improving reliability, performance and DOCs. According to the manufacturer, improvements to the rotor ice protection system resulted in reliability improving from 73% to 98% for the past cold-weather season. More recently Sikorsky increased the service life of the main rotor yoke from 9500 hrs to “unlimited.” A $50-million development program is under way to produce a new, more advanced main gearbox. Sikorsky has made incremental improvements to the existing main gearbox, including a failed-pump indicator modification, a 2-piece filter bowl, next-generation chip detectors and a stronger main housing. Based on the results of a recent study in Norway on noise and vibration in the S92, Sikorsky has added 3 more force generators and a cockpit hushkit, reducing vibration in the cockpit by 15% and in the cabin by 40%. The S92 now complies with Norway’s ISO2631 noise and vibration regulations. These mods are available as options.
Night Flight Concepts (NFC) recently provided night vision goggle (NVG) training to Mauna Loa Helicopters, a Part 141 helicopter flight training school and tour operator with locations on 3 of the Hawaiian islands. NFC spent 10 days in Kona, Mauna Loa’s base of operations, training the Mauna Loa instructor pilots and introducing NVGs to the previously daylight-only operation. Flight training was conducted using the Robinson R44. NFC maintains a similar relationship with Palm Beach Helicopters, a Part 141 training operation in Florida.