Aviation Technology - Page 16 Aviation Articles

Certified: Sikorsky S-76D Helicopter

Article By: www.aero-news.net
FMI: www.sikorsky.com
First Deliveries Expected Before Year's End

The FAA has approved the type certificate for the S-76D helicopter, moving the aircraft forward to its highly anticipated delivery into the medium-sized marketplace. The FAA signed the certificate on Oct. 12, capping an intensive flight test program to introduce the S-76D. The S-76D helicopter has a current backlog approaching a half-billion dollars and is expected to begin deliveries later this quarter.

“Our customers are excited to begin receiving the S-76D into their fleets. We are equally excited to deliver a new product that represents three and a half decades of continuous product improvement, to offer them a helicopter with improved efficiency, power and best-in-class noise signature,” said Carey Bond, President of Sikorsky Global Helicopters.

Ed Beyer, Vice President of Sikorsky Global Helicopters, added: “The S-76D helicopter ushers in a new era of excellence across mission segments. The S-76D will be incorporated into the fleets of our customers for every mission segment it currently performs including offshore support, VIP, Search and Rescue, and EMS. The S-76D helicopter will offer a higher cruise speed than its predecessors, coupled with more efficient fuel burn, making the S-76 more productive than ever.”

The S-76D helicopter is the latest in the family of popular S-76 helicopters manufactured by Sikorsky. There have been more than 800 S-76 helicopters delivered to the global fleet since 1979, contributing daily to a growing 6 million-plus flight hours.

Designed for safety, reliability and efficiency, the S-76D helicopter’s standard equipment features are all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades; an advanced THALES integrated avionics system and autopilot; health and usage monitoring system, active vibration control; and powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines. Rotor Ice Protection System for all-weather capability will be available as an option.

(Image provided by Sikorsky)

American Eurocopter Delivers First EC130 T2

Maverick Aviation Receives The First Of The New Model
By: aero-news.net
American Eurocopter has delivered the company’s first EC130 T2 to Maverick Aviation Group. The EC130 T2 is Eurocopter’s newest model, introduced to the industry at this year’s Heli-Expo (pictured). Maverick, a Las Vegas and Grand Canyon tourism company, was one of the launch customers for the new product line with a signed agreement to purchase up to 50 helicopters.

“Once again, Maverick has renewed their commitment to our product,” said American Eurocopter President and CEO Marc Paganini. “Today’s delivery confirms that the EC130 T2 is the ideal platform to meet their very demanding market requirements both now and into the future. We look forward to supporting the Maverick team and continuing our long-standing relationship.”

Maverick Helicopters began in 1995 with one aircraft and was one of the first customers for the EC130, taking delivery of its first “ECO-Star” in 2003. Since then, the company has grown into the largest operator of EC130s in the world. The order is part of an upgrade and replacement program for Maverick’s all-Eurocopter fleet of EC130s, which are used to provide air tours of the neon lights of Las Vegas, the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon, as well as the Arizona’s Sonoran Desert and the colorful red rocks of Sedona. “We made the choice early on to become an all-Eurocopter fleet because of the unmatched performance and safety features of the EC130,” said Greg Rochna, Chairman and CEO of Maverick Helicopters. “We provide our clients the safest, most comfortable VIP service possible and continue to use the ECO-Star product line because it is made for the tourism industry. The enhanced performance and technology, along with other improvements made to the EC130 T2, allows us to continue providing our customers with a unique tour experience.”

The EC130 can comfortably accommodate up to seven passengers. The EC130 T2 brings a more powerful 950 shp class ARRIEL 2D engine that provides improved fuel efficiency, an engine data recorder, and a 6,000 hour mature TBO (Time Between Overhaul), which will help reduce operating and direct maintenance costs. The additional power also results in an increased max weight and CG range for improved useful load.

Eurocopter also included several upgrades to increase passenger comfort that include an active vibration control system for a more comfortable ride, an improved air conditioning system, an optional right-side cabin sliding door, and other cabin and interior improvements.

(Photo provided by Eurocopter)

FMI: www.eurocopter.com

Bombardier Ponders Smaller Learjet 85 Derivative

Article By: Curt Epstein
As progress continues on the construction of the first flight-test Bombardier Learjet 85, the airframer said this week that it sees a niche for a smaller follow-on model of the all-composite midsize jet. “I think there is an opportunity between the 75 and the 85,” Learjet vice president and general manager Ralph Acs told journalists this week during a media event. “Our entire notion all along has been that you can come up with a platform and then you spin that to other things.”  
Bombardier continues construction of the first flight-test Bombardier Learjet 85 and plans to have a full airframe assembled and achieve power on by year-end. (Photo: Curt Epstein)

Bombardier has invested heavily in its composites production facility in Querétaro, Mexico, which supplies 85 percent of the composite content for the new Learjet 85. The fuselage components for the first flight-test airframe, as well as most of those for the complete aircraft structural test (Cast) article, are in the process of being joined at the Bombardier Learjet plant in Wichita. The company plans to have a full airframe assembled and achieve power on by the end of the year. It expects the Learjet 85 to enter service later next year.

When pressed for a possible launch date of a smaller derivative of the Learjet 85–possibly to be dubbed the Learjet 80–Acs deferred, citing Bombardier’s already extensive product development schedule. “The point will come downstream where we can have these other conversations,” he said.

Photos Leaked Of Second Chinese Stealth Fighter

Article By: www.aero-news.net
Aircraft Has Similarities To F-35 Lightning II, F-22 Raptor

Photos leaked Sunday out of China suggest the country is developing a second stealth fighter that has similarities with both the F-35 Lighting II and the F-22 Raptor. The photos were leaked as U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is visiting China.

The first photos of a shrouded new airplane showed up in video clips on the Internet in June. It is reportedly being built by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC), and may be in direct competition with the J-20 airplane being developed by Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC), according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The jet's designation is not clear, having been called 'J-21', 'J-31', and 'F-60' on various sites on the Internet. Observers say it appears to be similar in shape and size to the F-35, but also has contours reminiscent of the F-22. The Australian newspaper said that Chinese hackers had been able to mine design data after breaking into a computer system belonging to BAE Systems, which could account for some of the similarities.

The new jet has a twin engine configuration, which could give it a higher takeoff weight than the F-35 ... or it could be indicative of design inefficiencies or a lack of faith in domestic engine design.

Neither the new airplane or the CAC J-20 is beyond the prototype stage, according to the WSJ, and their capabilities are far from being determined. But it is clear that China is working on advanced fighter aircraft, and may have introduced competition in defense contracting into the mix.

(Image credit: www.aero-news.net)

Assembly Of Test Airframe For Bombardier CSeries Aircraft Well Underway

Article By: www.aero-news.net
FMI: www: www.bombardier.com
Virtual Flights Being Conducted With 'Aircraft 0'

Assembly of the test airframe for Bombardier's all-new CSeries aircraft is well underway at the company's Experimental Test Facility in St-Laurent, Quebec, the company said in a news release Friday. The test article will be used during the Complete Airframe Static Test (CAST) that is designed to demonstrate the static strength of the airframe and show compliance with certification requirements. 

"Every day brings a new development and it's very exciting. Whether it's the start of a new test, the results of a new test, or the arrival of a new production part, the team is very enthusiastic about all these milestones," said Rob Dewar, Vice President and General Manager, CSeries, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "The assembly of the test airframe is another significant development as we make headway in the intense ground testing phase before the CSeries aircraft's flight test program. The fuselage sections in the test airframe are being joined and we're looking forward to adding the wings and the empennage, and starting the stress tests."

The test airframe - comprised of both metallic and composite structures - is being fitted and assembled in a test rig consisting of a superstructure of steel towers and trusses, as well as loading structures and loading actuators that will be used to apply loads to the test airframe. To demonstrate static strength, a series of load cases - representing flight maneuvers, landing, take-off and other in-flight and on-ground conditions - will be applied to the free-floating, non-restrained, counterbalanced test airframe. For selected load cases, internal cabin pressure will also be applied when simulating in-flight conditions.

During testing, strain gauges will be used to measure and record up to 8,000 parameters at defined locations on the airframe. Data from the strain gauges will be monitored by Bombardier's stress engineers, as well as by the partners and suppliers that are involved in the development of structural components for the CSeries aircraft.

Bombardier also recently announced that the company is now conducting virtual flights with "Aircraft 0" - the on-the-ground Integrated Systems Test and Certification Rig (ISTCR) for the CSeries aircraft at Mirabel, Quebec. The avionics, electrical, flight control, fly-by-wire, hydraulic, landing gear and wiring systems are all commissioned, and systems integration and communication have been successfully demonstrated.

Other rigs being used during the ground test phase are: the Engineering Flight Simulator (ESIM) designed and built by CAE and now being installed at the Mirabel ground testing facility; the avionics Systems Integration Test Stand (SITS) and the Flight Controls Integration Lab (FCIL), which are already commissioned at Rockwell Collins' and Parker Hannifin's facilities respectively; and the Interior and Environmental Control Systems (ECS) rig which is being completed at Mirabel.

(Image Credit: www.aero-news.net)

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