Rotor & Wing Magazine :: Commercial :: Technology

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June 20, 2013
Eurocopter test pilot Hervé Jammayrac and experimental flight test engineer Dominique Fournier were at the Paris Air Show to discuss their record-breaking flight in Eurocopter’s X3 technology demonstrator aircraft. The X3 flew at 255 knots (293 mph) in level flight and 263 knots in a dive, topping the previous Sikorsky X2 record of 250 knots level/260 in decent set in September 2010. Fournier...
June 20, 2013
At the Paris Air Show, AgustaWestland announced that its electric tiltrotor “technology incubator,” called Project Zero, is to move from an all-electric to hybrid engine architecture. James Wang, vice president of research and technology, said that a diesel, a derivative from a car engine, is to be installed in the next 12 months. The unmanned Project Zero aircraft, first unveiled in March...
June 19, 2013
The CAE NH-90 simulator in Australia is the first to attain Level D certification, according to industry sources here at the Paris Air Show. The Australian Army and Navy will be sharing 24 MRH-90s. The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) is also believed to be considering buying simulators for its fleet of 20 NH-90s in the tactical transport helicopter (TTH) configuration. CAE is also the prime contractor for...
June 18, 2013
Eurocopter announced at the Paris Air Show that receiving formal EASA approval for an EC225 retrofit kit – intended to solve the ongoing main gearbox issue – is a matter of days. “We have found the full set of explanation, the full root cause; we have agreed with the authorities on the technical content of the measures that will allow return into service,” said Jean-Brice Dumont...
June 17, 2013
At the Paris Air Show, Bell Helicopter uncovered a new light single, so far codenamed the “short light single,” or SLS, which will receive power from a Turbomeca engine. First flight is planned for next year. Bell CEO John Garrison said that the target market segment is that of the Robinson R66 and Eurocopter EC120. “We are endeavoring to have the SLS certified as soon as possible after...
June 12, 2013
Eurocopter's X3 achieved an unofficial helicopter speed milestone on June 7 by attaining 255 knots true airspeed (KTAS) (around 293 mph or 472 km/hour) while in level flight. The company also reports that several days before that flight, the X3 reached a speed of 263 KTAS...
June 12, 2013
A group of six high-ranking officials from AgustaWestland, Bell Helicopter, Boeing, Eurocopter, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky took part in a CEO panel on May 21 during the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International’s Forum 69 in Phoenix, Ariz. Rotor & Wing International Bureau Chief Andrew Drwiega moderated the panel, which included incoming (as of July 1) chairman of the AHS board of...
June 11, 2013
CAE has started construction on its flight training center in Rimba, Brunei. Government officials from Brunei and executives from CAE attended the groundbreaking for the facility, which is part of...
June 5, 2013
U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has issued a contract to Sikorsky valued at $435.3 million to build four new CH-53K test article aircraft, as the Navy’s aviation branch prepares to launch the upgraded variant of the manufacturer’s C-53 series transport helicopters.   The CH-53K is designed to carry up to 27,000 lbs (around 12,250 kg) over a range of 110 nautical miles under...
June 4, 2013
Donaldson Aerospace & Defense has agreed to supply inlet barrier filters (IBFs) for three AgustaWestland AW109 SPs in operation with Helicopters New...
June 3, 2013
The U.S. Navy has issued a contract for more than $7.5 million to Lynn, Mass.-based General Electric covering the critical hard tooling required for the...
June 1, 2013
AgustaWestland is making its expectations for success in the North American market very clear. With opportunities in the U.S. government markets expected to top $20 billion over the next 15 years, according to AgustaWestland North America Chairman and CEO R. Scott Rettig, the company seems bullish in the face of sequestration issues and its own internal problems. AgustaWestland – at least its North...
June 1, 2013
The North American arm of AgustaWestland uncovered plans April 30 to build the AW169 at its 275,000-square-foot U.S. manufacturing complex at Northeast Philadelphia Airport (PNE), becoming a second location to the OEM’s plant in Vergiate, Italy. (The company also lists its facility in Yeovil, UK as “playing a major role” in the AW169 program). The announcement was revealed during a media...
June 1, 2013
Moving a step closer toward cleaner and quieter aircraft, Turbomeca displayed its core TECH800 demonstrator engine in public for the first time on Friday, April 26. This innovative core engine demonstrator was designed and tested by Turbomeca, although the program is the result of cooperation between 34 partners from 10 European countries, including 18 SMEs and 12 universities and other research centers...
June 1, 2013
  Think back to the first time you saw a multi-function display (MFD) screen in a cockpit. For me, it was around 1987, when I saw a McDonnell-Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle on static display at an air show. The high-tech fighter had a head-up display and thermal imaging system, too. That was all exceptionally impressive to me, a lowly student pilot with just a few hours in a Robinson R22. It might have...
June 1, 2013
  By the end of June, Le Bourget will be transformed, once again, into the aviation industry’s largest trade show. Helicopter manufacturers including AgustaWestland, AVIC, Bell, Boeing, Enstrom, Eurocopter, HAL, KAI, Russian Helicopters, Sikorsky and others will join the many service and equipment suppliers from the rotorcraft industry, in addition to the miles of fixed-wing aircraft displays...
June 1, 2013
  The use of helicopters to drop fire retardant, foam or water to suppress wildfires is an essential firefighting tool. Their speed, mobility and delivery capability make them very effective resources in support of firefighters on the ground. Small, medium and large helicopters can carry from 100 to 3,000 gallons of water, foam or retardant in either buckets slung beneath the aircraft, or in...
June 1, 2013
  Helicopter drivers usually start out their lives in very basic machines limited in power, and with no help when it comes to commanding the aircraft’s petulant tendencies. The green pilot must sense every rotation, translation, and acceleration and react accordingly to produce the desired flight condition. This can make for a very tired pilot at the end of the day. As we gain skill and...
June 1, 2013
FAA has selected FreeFlight Systems to provide upgraded automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) avionics to fulfill the requirements of the second phase of its Capstone Project. The project was originally launched in 1999 as a joint government-industry research and development effort to improve air traffic safety in Alaska, where aircraft are constantly flying in airspace beyond radar coverage...
June 1, 2013
How do you get high-speed, efficient performance from a hybrid rotorcraft design? The U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking for organizations to help answer that question as part of its vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) X-Plane program, and an Australian company is suggesting one possibility for the 52-month effort that has a budget of around $130 million. StopRotor Technology, based...
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