AgustaWestland's 1st prototype AW169 completed its maiden flight on May 10. The flight included an assessment of the helicopter's general handling and basic systems. The 1st prototype will be joined by 2 more aircraft later this year and a 4th prototype in 2013. The AW169 program is on schedule to achieve basic civil certification in 2014.
Keystone Turbine Services (KTS) opened the doors of its new Coatesville PA engine maintenance and overhaul facility on May 4. KTS was formed when M Intl and SF Alpha Defense Manufacturing, both of Maclean VA, purchased nearby Keystone Engine Services from Sikorsky Global Helicopters. The 30,000 sq ft facility is an authorized MRO center for Rolls-Royce M250 engines and an authorized warranty and repair station for Honeywell accessories. The new company includes all staff from the former Sikorsky subsidiary.
Russian Helicopters presented the new KA62 on May 17. It features a single 5-blade rotor with an enclosed tail rotor. The version presented can be fitted with 2 Turbomeca Ardiden 3G engines with dual-channel FADEC. Production aircraft will also include a glass cockpit developed by St Petersburg-based Transas. The KA62 is designed for cargo transportation, medevac and SAR operations, and can also be used in the oil and gas sector and for corporate purposes.
Eurocopter delivered the 1st of 4 EC225s to Omni Helicopter Intl (OHI) on Apr 20. At the same time, OHI placed a follow-on order for 6 additional EC225s, bringing the total to 10. Delivered in offshore configuration, the helicopters will be operated by OHI's Brazilian subsidiary Omni Taxi Aéreo for the oil company Petrobras.
Russian Helicopters delivered 2 modified KA32A-11BC rescue helicopters to Kazakhstan's Emergency Situations Ministry on May 4. The helicopters are intended for EMS duties, rescue operations and firefighting. Delivery of the helicopters marks the completion of a contract signed last August.
Bell has delivered the 1st model 407GX for operation in Canada. The delivery to Newfoundland Helicopters on Apr 30 was Bell's 21st 407GX delivery since the subtype was introduced 14 months ago at Heli-Expo 2011. The 407GX is the only helicopter equipped with the Garmin G1000H integrated glass flightdeck.
Night Flight Concepts (NFC) has been chosen by North Slope (AK) Borough to provide a night vision goggle (NVG) repair and maintenance solution for its search-and-rescue (SAR) unit. NFC's FAA certified repair and maintenance services include NVG inspections and will augment North Slope's existing night vision program. Located in the northernmost city in the US—Barrow AK—North Slope Borough SAR Unit relies on NVGs to mitigate operational risks in the harsh northern environment.
Metro Aviation delivered the 1st of 2 EC145s to Duke University Life Flight in May. Life Flight Admin Dir Henry Ward accepted the aircraft during a delivery ceremony at Metro's main facility in Shreveport LA. Eurocopter Group Pres & CEO Lutz Bertling and American Eurocopter Pres Marc Paganini attended the event.