By S.L. Fuller | October 5, 2017
Are you caught up on the big news from Helitech International this week? The show took place this week at ExCeL London, with attendance estimated at more than 4,000. Here’s what happened:
Switzerland’s Air Zermatt selected another Bell Helicopter 429 to support search and rescue, and emergency medical service operations during the day and night. The company also selected the Premier Customer Advantage Plan to go with the aircraft. Air Zermatt pilots are to be trained at Bell’s Valencia facility using the Level D full flight simulator. The Bell 429 is set to be delivered next year to celebrate Air Zermatt’s 50th anniversary.
During Helitech, Bell Helicopter announced U.K.-based AS Aerospace Ltd. as the newest appointed Bell authorized customer service facility. The shop is to offer 429 field maintenance.
ITT Inc.’s Enidine brand brought its full line of rotorcraft products to Helitech. These included:
Kaman Aerosystems, part of Kaman Corp., secured a contract with Columbia Basin Helicopters. Under the agreement, two K-MAXs are to be delivered next year. The operator performs a variety of missions, including firefighting.
Pratt & Whitney Canada said its PT6C-67A engine received Transport Canada certification. FAA certification is expected before year’s end. The engine powers Leonardo’s AW609 tiltrotor, which is expected to received FAA certification next year.
The Norwegian Police Directorate is set to get a Leonardo AW169 with the new TrakkaBeam TLX high-intensity, high-power searchlight, Trakka Systems said. Leonardo selected the searchlight for the Norwegian Police Directorate’s helicopters, under a contract for three aircraft and an option for three additional aircraft, and a decade-long maintenance package.
Leonardo brought a new-generation AW169 to the London show. The display aircraft was configured for air ambulance operations. Available for demonstration during the show was the AW169 Virtual Interactive Procedural Trainer the Skyflight mission planning app and Heliwise health and usage monitoring system (HUMS) analysis services.
Leonardo said that the Polar Research Institute of China purchased an AW169, to be delivered early 2019. It is to feature a dedicated configuration to support missions including passenger transport, iceberg sighting and cargo sling operations. These missions would take place near the South Pole and North Pole.
Denmark is now set to get its first AW169. During Helitech, Uni-Fly A/S signed for two aircraft to perform wind farm support operations for DONG Energy in the North Sea. The helicopters are to delivered during the first quarter of 2018.
U.K.-based Starspeed and one unnamed U.K.-based customer each ordered one AW139. Announced during the London event, the contracts are for customized VIP interiors. They are to be delivered next year.
Leonardo Helicopters announced at Helitech that it has updated its Skyflight mobile flight planning service. The update helps pilots run CAT A operations, giving them the ability to manage data from the approved flight manual. The tool delivers CAT A data in one comprehensive view. It is available for the AW139, and the company said it will eventually be available for the AW189, AW169 and AW109 series.
Waypoint Leasing brought its Airbus Helicopters H225 Super Puma to Helitech. The aircraft, currently on lease to Global Helicopter Services (GHS) GmbH, was put on static display.
“Waypoint’s H225 lease to GHS demonstrates the improving market confidence in the H225 in multiple mission segments,” said Con Barber, director of Middle East and Africa sales and relationship management at Waypoint.
During Helitech, Airbus Helicopters announced the launch customer for its FlyScan data analysis software. Global Helicopter Service is now set to use the service, which helps customers analyze and manage health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS). Three different levels of FlyScan are available for the H225, H175, H145, H135 and Dolphin fleets equipped with HUMS. Those levels are Advise (for those already monitoring HUMS), Supervise (for those without a resident HUMS expert) and Guard (for those already managing HUMS).
France’s Airtelis is set to receive an Airbus Helicopters H215 this month. Announced in London, the operator, with support of Nova Capital Group, bought three Super Pumas, including two options. The company already has two H22s. The H215 is to be equipped for aerial work operations, as it is to support Airtelis’ power line construction and maintenance missions.
Airbus announced during the show that it received EASA certification for the Rig’N Fly for the H175. Rig’N Fly is the manufacturer’s acronym for “Rig Integrated GPS approaches with eNhancedFlyability and safety." This avionics upgrade is already certificated for the H225. It enhances mission capability by providing fully automatic rig approaches. Rig’N Fly uses a combination of sensors to provide flight precision and situation awareness and includes offset approaches that can be tailored for weather conditions and oil rig environment. The upgraded avionics suite also includes advancements in the synthetic vision and helicopter terrain avoidance systems.
Airbus also announced that it and NHV are celebrating three years of H175 operations. NHV was the global launch customer for the H175 and introduced it to the North Sea in December 2014. The first batch of 10 aircraft has been delivered, and six remaining aircraft are to be delivered at an undisclosed date.
Airbus Helicopters formally delivered Midlands Air Ambulance Charity its first H145, the manufacturer said. The aircraft is equipped with Airbus’ Helionix avionics suite, and is set to receive a Bucher medical interior provided by Babcock Mission Critical Services. Babcock is also set to operate the aircraft on behalf of the charity, according to Airbus.
Airbus Helicopters completed the first full-scale test of the CityAirbus demonstrator’s propulsion system. The multi-passenger, autonomous, electric VTOL urban mobility aircraft is on track for first flight next year. During the test, the CityAirbus team checked the individual performance of the ducted propellers, as well as the integration of the full-scale propulsion unit with two propellers, electric 100 KW Siemens motors and all-electrical systems.
Dart Aerospace announced it is opening a new warehouse during the London show. The facility in Amsterdam has received a first shipment of inventory, and is expecting a second shipment next month. This is the company’s second facility in Europe. The first was an office in London, opened last year.