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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Rotorcraft Report: Enstrom Modifies 480B For Indian Business Shuttle

COMMERCIAL/AIR TAXI

An Indian operator has started a business shuttle with a specially modified Enstrom Helicopter 480B.

Venture Aviation, a division of Goa-based Rajaram NS Bandekar Group, is running the non-scheduled service between Pune and Mumbai on the west coast of India and between destinations in the western state of Maharashtra.

For Venture Aviation and other customers in India, Enstrom gained certification of an option for the 480B to operate at temperatures up to 122F (50C). The option requires putting screens in the engine compartment doors and boring 18 3.5-in breather holes in the aircraft’s belly. Two production aircraft have been completed with this modification and, according to Enstrom, have proven effective in lowering component temperatures. Enstrom said it anticipates orders for two more 480Bs from Venture Aviation by the end of the year.

Initially, Venture Aviation is charging 60,000 rupees ($1,400) an hour for the service aimed at business travelers. A flight to Mumbai takes at least 40 min.

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