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Sikorsky S-97 Raider reaching for top speeds by “summer 2016”

Sikorsky will conduct a significant amount of ground testing on its S-97 Raider before returning to flight trials, with just 2.2h of a 110h flight test programme clocked since the maiden flight in May. S-97 chief test pilot Bill Fell says more testing will be done with ground-test rid at Sikorsky’s plant in West Palm Beach, Florida, to build “confidence” in the aircraft’...

Chinook, Apache face cuts if budget talks fail

Two Boeing helicopter programmes – the Boeing AH-64 and CH-47 Chinook – face several cut-backs if the Congress is unable to pass a new budget for Fiscal 2016, US Army acquisition leaders warn. The army’s request to buy 64 AH-64Es in the fiscal year that began on 1 October would be cut by half under a continuing resolution, says Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the army for a...

Thai army to boost AW139 fleet size

The Royal Thai Army is to increase its fleet of AgustaWestland AW139 utility helicopters to 10 units, after awarding the manufacturer a follow-on order for eight of the intermediate twins. Deliveries of the rotorcraft will be completed before the end of 2016, the European company announced during the Helitech exhibition in London. Flightglobal's Fleets Analyzer database records Thailand&...

Bell and Lockheed modify V-280 contract ahead of Sikorsky takeover

Lockheed Martin’s pending acquisition of Sikorsky has caused some contractual changes between Lockheed and Bell Helicopter for V-280 Valor development to ensure there is no cross pollination with its competitor, the Boeing-Sikorsky SB-1 Defiant. Bell president and chief executive John Garrison says Lockheed continues to be a good partner on the programme and already follows many of the fi...

AgustaWestland Plans To Fly Next-gen Tiltrotor in 2021

AgustaWestland is planning to fly its next-generation civil tiltrolor (NGCTR) in 2021, two years later than previously anticipated. The 20-passenger rotorcraft, which is much larger than the in-development nine-seatAW609 tiltrotor, is in the conceptual design phase. “Preliminary design will start in 2016,” senior vice president of helicopters and services marketing James Wang...

India's Global Vectra first worldwide customer to take up HCare Smart parts-by-the-hour contract for H130

Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd. (GVHL) has signed a PBH contract for its H130 light helicopter, benefiting from Airbus Helicopters' redefined customer service offer called HCare which was introduced early this year. GVHL's H130 will be covered by the HCare Smart PBH service, which has been developed with careful consideration of the support required by operators of light helicopters. The HC...

UK Puma crash kills five in Kabul

A Royal Air Force-operated Airbus Helicopters Puma HC2 transport crashed in Afghanistan on 11 October, killing five of the 10 personnel aboard the upgraded type. Announcing the loss of two RAF personnel on 11 October, the Ministry of Defence said: “The deaths occurred in Kabul following an accident involving a UK Puma Mk 2 helicopter”. An investigation has been launched and confirms...

Russia, China Agree on Loans for Joint Aircraft, Helicopter Projects

Russia and China agreed to extend subsidized loans to expedite work on joint long-haul aircraft and heavy helicopter projects, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Monday. "With regard to joint projects in aviation, the creation of a wide-body aircraft [and] developing a heavy helicopter, we have agreed on the possibility of allocating preferential loans to work at a fast...

Major New Orders Announced at Helitech International 2015

Helitech International 2015, Europe's largest exhibition dedicated to civil rotorcraft, comes to a close today after a packed three days of trade, networking and thought leadership. Multiple contracts and agreements were signed further illustrating Helitech International's position as the focal point for business in the civil rotary wing sector. Waypoint Leasing announced two major orde...

Super Stallion Helicopter Crash Blamed on Engine with History of Problems

A helicopter loaded with 17 Marines and eight Norfolk-based sailors approached the amphibious ship Mesa Verde in the Gulf of Aden a year ago. A few of the sailors were brand new to the service, eagerly watching out hatches as they came in for their first landing aboard their first ship in the Navy. The afternoon flight from a base in nearby Djibouti was more routine for the Marines on board;...

Russia has offered Egypt the helicopters developed for the Mistral

Russia has offered the helicopters developed for the Mistral to Egypt, which intends to purchase from France the helicopter carriers built for the Russian Navy, said Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Rostec Corporation. “If Egypt decides to acquire the Mistral ships, then of course we will offer them the helicopters that we adapted and created just for this ship,” said the head of Rostec Corp...

Bell Helicopter expands Service Facility network in Germany

Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, announces today that it is adding Agrarflug Helilift, located in Ahren, Germany, to its Bell Helicopter Authorized Customer Service Facility network. With thirty years of experience in the industry, Agrarflug Helilift is an established operator with over 40 helicopters in its fleet and offers charter services, aircraft maintenance and training ...