In an industry first, a Eurocopter AS350 AStar has flown with a combined electric motor and turboshaft internal combustion engine. The hybrid demonstrator is equipped with a supplemental electric motor designed for use during an engine failure. In the event of power loss, the electric motor provides power to the rotor, allowing the pilot to maneuver the aircraft and land safely. The motor and battery system are located in the center area of the helicopter and electric controls provide precise power deployment during an autorotational landing.
Bell announced at this year's NBAA Convention that the 407GX has received FAA certification following its certification earlier this year by Transport Canada. Introduced in Feb 2011, the Bell 407GX is the only helicopter certified with the Garmin G1000H. This integrated glass cockpit features two 10.4-inch high-resolution LCD displays and an integrated avionics system that includes traffic information system (TIS), helicopter synthetic vision, moving map, helicopter terrain avoidance warning system (HTAWS) and range ring calculation. In addition to power situation indicators, fuel flow and automatic power assurance checks, advanced features include critical flight parameter storage on an SD card for postflight analysis.
Sikorsky delivered an S70i Black Hawk to the Mexican State of Jalisco on Sep 18. The state-owned helicopter, which was delivered straight from Sikorsky's PZL-Mielec facility in Poland aboard an Ilyushin IL76 cargo plane, will be used for law enforcement and personnel transportation. First missions will take place during the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara. Twenty Black Hawks are currently operated in Mexico, and authorities expect to receive an additional 3 UH60Ms for the Federal Police in early 2012. Designed specifically for international markets, the S70i is manufactured for Sikorsky in Mielec. It delivers the same power and lift capability as the UH60M.
Haughey Air has ordered an AgustaWestland AW139 for corporate and VIP transport. It will base the helicopter in Northern Ireland. Haughey Air, which provides corporate and VIP helicopter services throughout Ireland and the UK, expects delivery of the new aircraft in 2012. AgustaWestland reports that more than 400 AW139s are in operation worldwide.