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Show News Ahead of Helitech International 2016

Updates regarding exhibitors and events at Helitech in Amsterdam.

Thommen Expects STC For HSL-1600 Searchlight

Thommen Aircraft Equipment AG and GVH Aerospace are expecting EASA supplemental type certificate (STC) approval for installation on the Airbus Helicopters H135 of Thommen’s HSL-1600 high-performance searchlight with integrated infrared capability.

Fully integrated (with self-contained electronics), the HSL-1600 provides an easy means of installation and significant weight savings compared to traditional helo searchlights, the companies said. An optional infrared illuminator provides excellent long-range IR performance with no speed restrictions on IR transition. The searchlight can be integrated with FLIR, moving maps and other mission equipment for fully integrated slaving with no need for external components.

Robinson DeliversFirst R44 Cadets

Robinson Helicopter delivered in July the first two production R44 Cadets to Heliflite Australia, a Robinson dealer.

The two-place Cadet achieved FAA certification on May 6 and Robinson has received 12 orders for it from U.S. and Australian customers. Certification by many other countries, including some in Europe, is pending, Robinson said, but the company won’t accept orders from customers in those nations until the respective certification is complete.

Photo courtesy of Robinson Helicopter

Meanwhile, Robinson said, about 740 turbine R66s have been delivered since certification in 2010, including 56 to customers in Europe, where it was certified in 2014.

Rhino911 for Anti-Poaching in Africa

Nonprofit Rhino911 established by BBM Inc. President Fred Hees in cooperation with Heli Africa Wildlife will use a Bell Helicopter 407GT to combat Rhino poaching South Africa.

Rhino911’s goal is to stop poachers long before reaching their targets.

Photo courtesy of Rhino911

Unlike other active anti-poaching efforts, Rhino911 has tactical air assets and support groups using advanced night vision and FLIR/WESCAM thermal imaging.

McMurdo to Develop FastFind For Offshore

McMurdo, Inc. has been awarded a $3 million contract with the U.S. Coast Guard to supply 16,000 FastFind 220 personal locator beacons over the next five years.

With a compact, handheld design, the FastFind is used to notify emergency personnel during a land, air or water emergency in remote or high-risk environments using the 406MHz frequency.

Once activated, the PLB transmits a distress signal containing unique beacon identification information and location data via the international search and rescue satellite system operated by Cospas-Sarsat. The signal is then quickly passed to regional search and rescue authorities who will rapidly respond to the emergency.

Photo courtesy of McMurdo

Device features include an LED light, at least 24 hr continuous usability, six-yr battery storage life and a floatation pouch.

Offshore Airbus H175s Begin Ops in Denmark

NHV has successfully begun Airbus Helicopters H175 operations in Denmark for Maersk Oil.

The contract entails provisions of passenger and freight transport services to Maersk Oil installations in the North Sea from the town of Esbjerg.

Photo courtesy of NHV

NHV will provide a dedicated crew and technicians as well as two Airbus H175s and H155s for the Maersk operations.

As the global launching customer of the H175 model, NHV now has a fleet of eight aircraft of this type. Since their entries into service in December 2014, the rotorcraft have completed more than 3,000 flights and accumulated almost 5,000 flying hr in the challenging North Sea and western Africa regions.

Since last year’s Helitech International, the company opened a new base in Aberdeen.

Flightcell Exhibits Push-to-Talk Solution

New-Zealand based Flightcell (Stand 10C41), supplier of satellite and cellular phone and aircraft tracking systems, presents its latest push-to-talk (PTT) solution for the Flightcell DZMx, the world’s only all-in-one aviation communication system providing Iridium satellite and 3G/4G cellular communications with remote GPS tracking.

DZMx is a single unit installed in the instrument panel, resulting in low weight and low installation costs. Iridium PTT leverages Iridium’s constellation of 66 low-earth orbit satellites and extends the push-to-talk “walkie-talkie” worldwide.

DZMx works with Iridium Extreme PTT handsets to provide a secure global service, switching between Iridium PTT and Iridium voice modes with a push button.

England's Elite Expands

Elite Helicopters has expanded its operations to Fairoaks Airport, near London. Elite, owned by Sharon Douglas and Glenn Curtis, has been based at Goodwood Aerodrome in West Sussex for the last 21 years.

Photo courtesy of Elite Helicopters

It operates as an ATO and conducts ab-initio private pilot training as well as type ratings, CPL(H) modular and flight instructor courses. The company will be operating the Guimbal Cabri G2, Robinson Helicopter R44, Bell Helicopter 206 Jet Ranger and Airbus Helicopters AS350 from both bases. Elite operates a fleet of 15 helicopters and will be adding an Agusta A169 later this year and two by 2017.

CHC S-92 for Marina Oil Field

Statoil UK and CHC Helicopter celebrated the inaugural flight to the Mariner oilfield, Statoil’s first operated field development on the U.K. continental shelf.

Photo courtesy of CHC

The flight left CHC’s Aberdeen Airport base for the Mariner B floating storage unit located 250 km off the northeast coast of Scotland.

CHC will initially be operating one Sikorsky S-92 to support the Mariner B and the Noble Lloyd Noble jack up rig, which is due to be on location later this year. Support will increase to two S-92s during the main hook-up and commissioning phase from mid-2017.

Bucher EMS For H135

Bucher Leichtbau (Stand 12D70) is showcasing its newly redesigned emergency medical systems for Airbus Helicopters’ H135 and H145 aircraft.

The modular AC67 HEMS kit for H135 can be adapted to a variety of missions in a flexible way. Rear- and side-loading are retained, and the new equipment offers more space for medical equipment.

The AC70 HEMS kit for H145 features the same flexibility, with “quick-release” fittings to easily change configuration within minutes.

The modular system is certified under one STC.

Bristow Rescues Louisiana Flood Victims

Bristow Helicopters assisted in rescue efforts for flooded Louisiana residents.

Working with the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness for Livingston Parish, Bristow teams based in the towns of Galliano and New Iberia mobilized a Leonardo AW139, a Sikorsky S-76C++ and a Bell Helicopter 407.

Bristow crews provided critical assistance to displaced residents and their pets. Emergency calls and search-and-rescue tasks were communicated to Bristow’s SAR dispatch, triaged for severity and relayed to rescue crews.

Bristow’s SAR AW139 equipment included a 700Mhz radio, external rescue hoist system and critical care medical equipment. There were two pilots, a hoist operator, rescue swimmer and flight paramedic.

Frasca Bell 407 SimGets Certified

The FAA has certified Frasca’s Bell Helicopter 407 level 7 flight-training device at the Helicopter Flight Training Center in Louisiana as a B407GX with NVG capabilities.

The new certification allows the training center to take the cockpit from analog to glass, a change that will occur about once a month for students flying Bell 407GX aircraft.

The cockpit allows for inadvertent IMC training with eight projector screens providing clear visuals, including low, medium and high illumination NVG training. Going from analog to glass cockpit takes about four hours.

20 Years for Airbus H135

Airbus Helicopters will be celebrating 20 years of the H135 with customers.

The model has had a successful year, with the confirmation in June of China’s purchase of 100 of them, setting the stage for Airbus’ first final assembly line in China with partners in that nation.

The manufacturers are expected to brief attendees on future upgrades of the model, such as the Helionix avionics suite.

In May, the H135 and H145 were selected for the U.K.’s military flying training system.

Certification on the H135 is expected soon.

Air Ambulance Northern Ireland Seeing Double

Air Ambulance Northern Ireland (AANI) announced Babcock Mission Critical Services Onshore as the aviation supplier of the charity’s two aircraft. It will provide aviation training and the pilots.

“After a European-wide tender process, we are pleased to announce Babcock as our HEMS provider,” said AANI trustee Ray Foran.

Photo courtesy of AANI

The contract will initially run for three years with a possible extension for a further two years, said Foran.

AANI Chairman Ian Crowe said: “Having two air ambulances permanently based in Northern Ireland will significantly reduce maintenance downtime. The two EC-135s will be fully equipped HEMS aircraft. Having one helicopter on duty every day will ensure we are there for those who need us.”

Heli Service Takes AW169 For Offshore Wind Project

Heli Service International has received the first Leonardo AW169 for offshore wind farm work.

Photo courtesy of Caterina Jahnke

The twin-engine helicopter of the 4.8-ton class is the first specifically designed for offshore wind farm support applications. The operator is the first customer to employ this new type in that role in Europe. The AW169 features a lightweight configuration to transfer maintenance personnel to and from wind turbines. R&WI