Heli-Expo 2015 Photo Report

Heli-Expo 2015 Photo Report

Amongst the news from the HAI Heli-Expo in Orlando:

Airbus Helicopters H160

Airbus Helicopters launched the X4 medium as the H160, also adopting a suite of new marketing names for other products.

We recently discussed the sole selection of the Turbomeca Arrano for the H160.  As noted in one press report, Airbus Helicopters:

…has upped the maximum take-off weight to 5.5-6t, promising to be able to carry 12 passengers a distance of 120nm (222km) with a cruise speed of 160kt (296km/h) at ISA +20°. In other words, matching the performance of the AW139, while weighing 1t less.

X$ launches as H160

Airbus Helicopters H160 (All Photos Credit: Andy Evans)

H160 Note the canted fenestron, biplane stabiliser and MRB shape

H160 Note the canted fenestron, biplane stabiliser and MRB shape

More on the Airbus Helicopters fleet rebranding.

AW609

AgustaWestland have designated Philadelphia as the production site for the AW609.

AW anticipate FAA certification on 2017 and say:

AgustaWestland currently has two prototypes undergoing flight testing with a third in final assembly. The first prototype aircraft will continue flying at the AgustaWestland facility in Arlington, Texas in parallel with FAA Certification support work at AgustaWestland’s Philadelphia facility.  The fourth prototype will be assembled in Philadelphia in 2016.

Additionally the AW announced a platform development agreement for the  with Bristow Group.

The development agreement envisages AgustaWestland and Bristow working closely on a number of activities in support of AW609 program development addressing concepts around operations, regulations, maintenance, configuration optimization, as well as identifying possible areas of enhancement or modifications.

Under the agreement, AgustaWestland and Bristow will work to support the development of oil & gas and search and rescue dedicated configurations and capabilities. The companies would provide contribution to flying activities towards aircraft maturity and to address commercial aspects for future AW609 acquisitions.

On show was a real AW609 in a dedicated Bristow/Eastern Airways paint scheme.

AW609 right hand side

AW609 right hand side

AW609 left hand side

AW609 left hand side

Aw also had a mock-up in SAR configuration.

AW609 Mock-Up

AW609 Mock-Up

AW139

AW have also certified its popular AW139 at 7000kg and had an AW139 in HeliUnion colours on display.

HeliUnion 7t AW139

HeliUnion 7t AW139

AW139

AW139

Sikorsky S-92 SAR

On the first day of the show Sikorsky recognized Bristow Helicopters’ upcoming launch of the UK search and rescue (SAR) contract and the company’s dedication to SAR over the past 40 years.

Bristow SAR S-92A

Bristow SAR S-92A

S-92A SAR Sensor Station

S-92A SAR Sensor Station

Sikorsky have certified a 1,200lb increase in gross weight to 27,700lb.  This capability can be retrofitted with the addition of just 11lbs of structural reinforcement.  Aircraft from 920244 will have this increased capability from build.  An integrated TCAS2 capability has also been certified.

Crashworthy 'troop seats'

Crashworthy ‘troop seats’

Sikorsky S-76D

Sikorsky have also celebrated the EASA validation of the S-76D, though seemingly not for offshore operations (which has made up around two thirds of the S-76 family’s total flying).  Twenty five D models have been delivered to date, with the fleet leader, operated offshore by National Helicopter Services in Trinidad & Tobago at 1300 hours.  NHSL are expanding their fleet of D models to 4.

The S-76D has also been validated by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).  So far EASA have only approved the helicopter for 6 pax in the cabin (as defined in the EASA Type Certificate Data Sheet [TCDS]).  Floats have not yet apparently been certified nor is the S-76D cleared for operation in icing.  There are no Cat A vertical profiles validated either.  A single simulator is in service with FlightSafety at West Palm Beach.

S-76D

S-76D: Note the Dart external liferafts and the relocated fuel filler caps (only on Ds with the crashworthy rear seat row)

Also take a look out for our Super Medium Heli-Expo update.

For expert advice on helicopter design, acquisition, airworthiness, operations and safety, contact: enquiries@aerossurance.com

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