The FIRST S-70i Black Hawk helicopter, built at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporations Company in Poland, PZL Mielec, has entered the flight test program me at Sikorsky s Development Flight Centre in Florida.
The S-70i helicopter is an international variant of the Black Hawk helicopter and utilizes a global supply chain. It is the first Black Hawk helicopter assembled in Europe and launches a new helicopter in the Sikorsky product line. Production flight tests are planned at PZL Mielec later this year.
Plans call for at least 20 S-70i Black Hawks to be produced per year, beginning in 2012, and for PZL Mielec to be the hub of the program me for international customers.
Meanwhile,Sikorsky Aerospace Services has announced the signing of a contract with the Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command (RSLFAC) to upgrade its fleet of Black Hawk helicopters from the UH-60A model configuration to the more modern UH-60L aircraft configuration.
Based on the success of the H-60 helicopter recapitalization and upgrade program me on US Army Black Hawk aircraft, the H-60 helicopter modernization program me includes comprehensive fleet upgrades.
The Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command A-to-L conversion plan is the second international modernization programs me under contract with SAS.
The A-to-L upgrade program me incorporates key improvements consisting of a T700 to T701D engine upgrade for increased power and reliability ,and upgrade flight controls, avionics and instrument panel modifications.
Additionally, the upgrade H-60 helicopters will be equipped with a new aircraft flight control computer as well as new wiring harness, high speed shaft and seal lead acid battery.
Third G650 Enters Flight Test
Gulf-stream Aerospace’s third ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulf-stream G650 has joined the flight –test program me for the company’s flagship model.
The third test aircraft is thoroughly instrumented for measurement of aerodynamic loads and ice-protection system performance .Additionally ,the aircraft is the primary test bed for the G650 avionics systems, including the latest features of Gulf-stream’s Plane View cockpit and new technology ,such as an advanced back-up instrument display that also serves as a control panel for multiple functions.
“The additional of the third test aircraft to the fleet means the test pace is picking up, with development and certification flight activities quickly advancing,” said Pres Henne, senior Vice president of program mes, engineering and test at Gulf-stream.
Adept Engine Rolled Out After Seven Years of Development
Durban- BASED adept Air motive has rolled out what it says is the worlds first modern multi-fuel lightweight, green general aviation (GA) piston engine ,the development of which was in part funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) Innovation Fund and supported by British-based Augusta West land Helicopters.
In addition to normal unleaded petrol (Mogas) ,with an octane rating as low as 85, or standard aviation fuel (AVGAS) ,the Adept 320T engine can operate on more environmentally friendly alternatives such as bio-fuel or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) .
“Our technology benchmarks South Africa against the finest aviation engineering in the world,” said Adept chairman, Andre Schoeman.
The liquid –cooled engine with advanced electronic engine management was made public recently at Virginia Airport,Durban,where it powered a South African-designed, all –composite SA Ravin 500 light aircraft ,which, in turn, was fitted with another local innovation, a “glass cockpit” digital avionics suite from MGL Avionics.
Adept says the engine, which produces 320 horsepower, boasts low lead, nitrous oxide(NOX) and carbon dioxide (co2) emissions and noise levels.
“This sets it apart from existing technology and benchmarks new standards in the GA industry,” said Schoeman.
At an installed weight of 158 kilograms, the engine is reportedly roughly 30% lighter than traditional piston engines of comparable horsepower and offers fuel efficiencies of up to 30% better than conventional GA power plants.
The architecture of the 320Ts compact engine is entirely different from that of traditional general aviation engines. It is a 120-degree V6 engine, which is a dimensionally short, ensuring high level of strength, durability and smoothness. A result, it is well balanced, reducing vibration and materials fatigue.
In addition, the 320T drives its constant speed propeller through a speed reduction unit, which allows the engine to rev higher, increasing both engine efficiency and providing optimum propeller efficiency.
Adept, in a media release, added that from the cradle to the grave, the 320T “is the most environmentally-friendly engine in world general aviation.”Upstream in the manufacturing chain, Adept used a digital prototyping design process that enabled it to use digital design data contained in 3D models from concept to final component, the statement added.
A full suite of hard tooling now exists for commercial production.
The emission-free foundry process used in the production of engine castings is the first in South Africa, and has only recently been introduced by a major European automobile manufacturer.
The process is the result of a technology collaboration between Adept and the German company, Ashland Sud-Chemie.
Adept further contains its carbon foot-print with the use of recyclable materials in its manufacturing process, the company said.
Adept was established seven years ago by Richard Schulz, Geoff Cronje and Raymond Bakker, with initial funding for the project from private investment company Tangle wood Private Equity (owned by company chairman Andre Schoeman).Since 2005, UK-based Agusta Westland Helicopters has provided significant support and continues to fund Adepts certification process through the European Aviation and Safety Agency (EASA).In 2007,the DST Innovation Fund invested R10,5-million to fund the company to a pre-production stage.
DHS Expands Global Reach
Dart Helicopter Service (DHS),a US-based producer and global distributor of more than 3000certified helicopter accessories, has completed an exclusive distribution agreement with South Africa –headquartered National Airways Corporation (NAC) that will establish a stronger DHS presence in the country.
This agreement will enable DHS to offer its complete inventory of helicopter components to operators across NACs entire market spectrum, supplementing its operations in North and South America, Europe, Japan, China and Singapore.
By utilizing NACs warehouses and service facilities, DHS will provide readily available accessories to customers worldwide, minimizing rotorcraft downtime and ensuring quick delivery of parts and systems.
As the air transport is becoming demanding everyday the manufacturers are striving to invent new aircrafts and helicopters which are cost effective,efficient and reliable to be able to compete competitively. We have more technology being introduced which will make air transport more faster and affordable than any other transport.
Anthony Juma is the Editor and Senior Aviation Director at Wings over Africa Aviation. <br><a href='http://www.wingsoverafrica-aviation.com’> This is an Air Charter Company that specializes on Flight News On Invention Of New Fleet Of Helicopters & Business Jets. </a> The website has guided thousands of travelers to achieve their dream holiday. For more information and guidance, visit the site at http:// www.wingsoverafrica-aviation.com/index.php/our-fleet.html </a>