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March 1, 2008
AN INTERNATIONAL COALITION OF manufacturers, regulators, operators, and customers aims to convince the helicopter world to embrace safety management systems as critical tools for both improving the industry’s reputation and managing businesses more effectively. The coalition, the International Helicopter Safety Team, formed in late 2005 with the goal of slashing the helicopter accident rate 80...
March 1, 2008
EUROCOPTER IS DEVELOPING A new protocol for avionics displays aimed at helping pilots better focus on flying aircraft and further reduce the risk of being involved in an accident. The effort seeks to consolidate and simplify the display of critical systems and performance data so a pilot "can concentrate on his environment 90 percent of the time and on his helicopter 10 percent of the time,"...
March 1, 2008
THE QUESTION ON MANY MINDS IS what will Bell Helicopter do this year? For the last several years, Heli-Expo has marked turning points for Bell, with most proving less than favorable. In 2004, for instance, it launched the IFR version of the Model 427, only to cancel that a year later in favor of the 429. In 2006, it unveiled the Model 417, which lasted until Heli-Expo 2007, when both it and Bell chief Mike...
March 1, 2008
India is widely considered one of rotorcraft’s biggest potential growth markets. But how will that growth develop? Slowly, some experienced with doing helicopter business there argue. Demand for offshore-support services is rising, spurred by increased exploration and production efforts in response to record oil...
March 1, 2008
COMMERCIAL India’s government will now allow foreign investors to own 100 percent of the stock in helicopter operators in that nation. The Indian...
March 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | ENGINES Soloy Aviation Solutions has obtained approval from Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) for its Honeywell engine conversion for the Eurocopter AS350BA and B2. The company already had supplemental type certificates from the U.S...
March 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | ENGINES Rolls-Royce won FAA type certification of its 300-shp-class RR300 turboshaft engine in late 2007, the manufacturer revealed at Heli-Expo last month. The engine maker launched development of the RR300 in January 2006 and received the type certificate in late December. "So we were able to do the design, development, and complete certification — through receipt of the type...
March 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | AIRFRAMES Bell Helicopter is betting a drive by major operators to cut their aircraft operating costs will translate into a greater industry appetite for common sets of helicopters. The manufacturer is embarking on a new product development plan that calls for creating families of aircraft around single aircraft types, said Bob Fitzpatrick, Bell’s senior vice president for marketing and...
February 25, 2008
Here's a round-up of other news from Heli-Expo 2008's first day in Houston. Check back occasionally for additional news: On Jan. 30, the EC225 received its type certification from the FAA. The way is now cleared for the commercial operation in the...
February 22, 2008
Eurocopter plans a couple of product debuts at Heli-Expo in Houston next week. The company on the show’s opening day, Feb. 24, at 11:30 am, will unveil "a new member of its comprehensive...
February 4, 2008
The U.S. FAA is proceeding with plans to draft basic standards for low-cost flight recorders for helicopters. The effort is aimed at correcting a shortcoming identified by the International Helicopter Safety Team: the paucity of information on what was happening in the...
January 31, 2008
India's government will now allow foreign investors to own 100 percent of the stock in helicopter operators in that nation. The Indian Cabinet today also...
January 24, 2008
Bell Helicopter is ending production of four civil aircraft lines—the 206B3, 427, 430, and 210—and focusing on developing derivative families of its remaining lines, starting with the...
January 9, 2008
Goodrich expects 2008 to bring a shift toward greater use of health and usage monitoring systems in commercial helicopters. Various forms of such systems are finding greater use on military aircraft, driven in part by U.S. Army efforts to reduce helicopter...
January 7, 2008
International efforts to dramatically improve helicopter safety face a fundamental challenge: no one can state definitively the safety level of operations today. The benchmark of aviation safety discussions is the safety rate, i.e. accidents (or incidents) per some standard...
January 7, 2008
To support that international safety effort, engine maker Turbomeca is undertaking an initiative to develop accurate, real-time means of tracking each helicopter...
January 1, 2008
The former Boundary Layer Research’s strakes and fin kits have impressed operators with their performance benefits. Now the company wants to get credit for those benefits in the books. "I just don’t understand how they can fly." When someone finds out that you fly, maintain, or build helicopters, how many times have you heard them say: "I just don’t understand how they can...
January 1, 2008
One of the best parts of running Rotor & Wing is the chance to step back every now and then and take in the "Big Picture" of the helicopter industry. This latest edition of our Annual Reports special section offers such a chance. Read through this collection of views from the industry’s top executives of prospects and challenges for the coming months and you’ll find confirmation...
December 17, 2007
Bell Helicopter's  Model 429 is scheduled to undergo an internal review today to determine whether the aircraft's configuration should be frozen and regulators advised that the new...
December 13, 2007
Bell Helicopter was scheduled yesterday to wrap up its last official meeting of the customer advisory council for its new 429 light twin. The two-day...
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