The Robinson R22 turns 40

On March 16, 2019, Robinson officially celebrated the 40th anniversary of the R22. To celebrate the event, at Heli Expo, Robinson exhibited a new R22 featuring a paint scheme identical to that of the very first R22 (S / N 0001). While the exterior decoration was reminiscent of the historical origins of the R22, the flight panel featured modern avionics characterized by the Avidyne IFD 440 GPS / COM incorporating Wi-Fi and Synthetic Vision.

Founded in 1973, Robinson Helicopter Company is the world’s leading manufacturer of civilian helicopters.

Airbus Helicopters unveils medical cabin concept on the H160

Airbus Helicopters has introduced a new concept of aerial medical interior. 

A full scale model of the concept, developed in collaboration with Metro Aviation, was displayed at Heli Expo. This concept takes into account the needs of air medical operations in the United States. Milton Geltz, Managing Director of Metro Aviation, says: “At Metro Aviation, we spend a lot of time designing to ensure that all the configurations we offer exceed the expectations of air medical professionals.The EMS concept designed for the H160 has been developed to give medical teams the space and flexibility to work effectively.

Among the key features of the concept, Metro has integrated a machined aluminum cabin floor for multiple configurations, a new type of swivel chair for paramedics, a modular medical rack (MMR) and a touchscreen radio communication panel.

Sikorsky Expands IFly Performance Calculator to S-70i Black Hawk Helicopter Operators

Sikorsky released a beta version of its iFly Sikorsky performance calculator for the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter. Available on the Apple Store for iPad tablet operation, iFly Sikorsky offers S-70i-equipped administrators, pilots, and mission planners a “quick and easy” way to configure cabin layout and equipment that can be used according to the missions. The application allows to calculate the weight and balance of aircraft, access weather data, review take-off, landing and cruise profiles. It also makes it possible to predict the performance of the aircraft at each phase of the flight and to determine their autonomy with respect to their intended position and destination.

Pilots can compile accurate information about optimal flight performance. Launched in 2013 for Sikorsky S-92A and S-76D commercial helicopter operators, the Sikorsky iFly application has seen its content evolve from a simple performance calculator to a pre-flight planning application. The first version of the application for the Black Hawk S-70i helicopter contains many of the features of the latest commercial version 2.2.1.

Subaru and Bell Celebrate the sale of a Bell 412EPI for the Nagano Fire Department in Japan

Bell has signed a purchase agreement to provide Subaru Corporation with a Bell 412EPI. The helicopter will be operated by the Nagano Prefecture for firefighting as well as for rescue and emergency missions in Japan.

LCI is developing its helicopter fleet based in Australia.

Lease Corporation International (LCI), brought its fleet of helicopters based in Australia to 14 Leonardo AW139 with the arrival of two new machines. The two AW139s will be transferred by Babcock International Group from Aberdeen, UK, to Karratha, Western Australia, where they will be operated by Babcock Australasia. These helicopters will provide offshore transportation for a major Oil & Gas company.

Among LCI’s Australian fleet, ten aircraft are used for EMS (Emergency Medical Services) operations. Six of these aircraft are also operated by Babcock on behalf of Air Ambulance Victoria, which provides aeromedical services throughout the state, as well as rapid transportation service between major and rural hospitals. In addition two twin engines are used by Babcock Australasia for offshore missions. The growth of LCI’s operations in Australia is part of the expansion of its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, which now accounts for more than 40% of LCI’s fleet. In the last 12 months, LCI has started its first leases in China for three new AW139s for Shanghai Kingwing.

Additional H225 order for the Japanese coastguard

The largest operator of Super Puma in Japan, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), has acquired an additional H225. With this new helicopter, the fleet of Super Puma will include two AS332 and 11 H225, intended for the security services, territorial coastal activities and emergency missions in Japan.

David MacNeil first private customer to operate the new H145

Chicago-based David MacNeil is the first private business aviation user in North America to choose the new 5-blade H145. “As an aviation enthusiast, I am always on the search for the latest innovations, and I am very pleased that Airbus is giving me the opportunity to include such technologies with this new aircraft,” said David MacNeil, founder and Chief Executive Officer of WeatherTech and Pet Comfort. An Airbus customer since 2013, David MacNeil currently operates three helicopters – one H145 and two H125s – WeatherTech’s head office is located in Bolingbrook, IL. This automotive accessories and pet care company manufactures its products in the United States and distributes them in more than 84 countries.

Chinese Ministry of Transport Selects H175 for Search and Rescue

The Rescue and Salvage Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Transport is expanding its SAR helicopter fleet with two Airbus H175. These new H175s will perform SAR missions in one of the world’s busiest maritime regions (seven of the world’s ten largest container ports are located in China), as well as other popular offshore areas like the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea.

The ministry, which has been one of Airbus’ largest customers in China for more than 10 years, now has four H225s. It operates four main air bases along the Chinese coast: Shanghai, Penglai, Xiamen and Zhuhai.

This selection of the H175’s SAR version follows that of the Hong Kong Government Flying Service (GFS), which took delivery of the first multi-service configuration in June 2018.

Everett Aviation acquires a Sikorsky S-92A from Lobo Leasing

Sikorsky welcomed Everett Aviation as a new customer of the S-92A helicopter at a ceremony during Heli-Expo 2019.

Everett has signed a contract with Lobo Leasing Limited for the acquisition of an S-92A utility helicopter that will be used for offshore and utility missions in East Africa.

As soon as the exhibition was over, the helicopter, which was displayed on the Sikorsky booth, joined Everett’s headquarters in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Everett is the largest helicopter service provider in East Africa, and this S-92A configured to accommodate up to 19 passengers is the company’s first Sikorsky helicopter.

Transportes Aéreos Pegaso introduces the H145 to Mexico

Transportes Aéreos Pegaso (Pegaso) has acquired two H145 helicopters that will be operated in the Gulf of Mexico by the Oil & Gas industries. Pegaso becomes the first H145 operator in Mexico. The contract includes the HCare Smart assistance, as well as Flyscan, the predictive maintenance service that analyzes the data of the helicopter. Pegaso currently operates a fleet of 25 Airbus helicopters and was the H175 launch customer in Latin America.

JB Investments sells four Bell 407 Gxis in Poland

Bell and JB Investments, the Bell’s independent representative in Poland, announced the sale of three Bell 407GXi helicopters to the Polish police. This is the first sale of the Bell 407GXi platform for police purposes in Europe. 

A fourth helicopter of this type has been sold to a private Polish company.

Airbus confirms order for first Canadian H160

Airbus has signed an order for an ACH160 with a Canadian customer whose identity has not been disclosed. This helicopter will be delivered with a customized interior. “We are proud to announce the sale of the first ACH160 in Canada, where we have seen a lot of interest from private and business aviation users” said Romain Trapp, president of Airbus Helicopters Canada.

The Belgian Air Force will benefit from the Safran Expert video support service

Safran Helicopter Engines has indicated that the Belgian Air Force will use the Expert link video support service for the NH90’s RTM322 engine maintenance. The Belgian Air Force, which supports its engines in partnership with the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF), will benefit from the Premium level of this service.

Marketed since 2018, this service enables operators to communicate with Safran Helicopter Engines experts via a secure video stream to obtain technical evaluations or assistance during maintenance operations.

Airbus Helicopters selects Pratt & Whitney’s PW206B3 engine to equip the US Navy H135

Airbus Helicopters has announced the choice of Pratt & Whitney’s PW206B3 engine to equip the H135 in competition for the replacement of the US Navy’s training helicopters. « Pratt & Whitney engines power a large portion of the H135 fleet flying in North America, and we feel this choice reinforces the H135 as the best-value solution for the Navy’s initial entry rotary-wing pilot training requirement » said Chris Emerson, President of Airbus Helicopters Inc. and Head of the North America Region.

Arriel 2H engine now ready for service in China

Safran Helicopter Engines has obtained a Validation of Type Certification (VTC) from CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) for its Arriel 2H engine powering the Avicopter AC312E. A VTC is based on the EASA type certificate (obtained in 2018) and confirms that an imported engine conforms with Chinese airworthiness standards. This Arriel variant was selected in 2015 to power this helicopter developed by AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry Group, a subsidiary of Avic (Aviation Industry Corporation of China), and certified by EASA in April 2018. The AC312E made its maiden flight in July 2016. “This Chinese certification is an important milestone for the Arriel engine program. It emphasizes our ability to support new Chinese helicopter entry-into-service” commented Nicolas Billecocq, Safran Helicopter Engines Vice President Light Helicopter Engines Program.

SHE Signs Flight Assistance Agreement with Icelandic Coastguards for Makila Engines

Safran Helicopter Engines has signed a Support-By-Hour (SBH) contract with Icelandic Coast Guard, covering two H225. This contract formalizes a five year Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) agreement supporting a total of 4 Makila 2A1 engines. “With this contract, we will benefit from a the best engine-support for our Makila engines. We are delighted to have Safran on our side during our missions” said Höskuldur Ólafsson, Icelandic Coast Guard, Helicopter Director Maintenance.