All posts for the day March 6th, 2016


Turbomeca to offer S-76C+ engine upgrade program.

Louisville, HAI Heli-Expo, 2 March 2016

Turbomeca (Safran) will introduce an engine retrofit program to enable Arriel 2S1powered S-76C+ operators to upgrade to the Arriel 2S2 S-76C++ model. This engine upgrade will be conducted alongside an airframe retrofit program provided by Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin company.
Upgrading to S-76C++ configuration with Arriel 2S2 engines will deliver improved mission capabilities including greater take-off and cruising power, reduced pilot workload and higher payload.
Certified in 2005, the Arriel 2S2 is eight per cent more powerful than the Arriel 2S1. The engine delivers take-off power at 923 shp, cruise power of 832 shp and a maximum One Engine Inoperative (OEI) rating of 1033 shp. The 2S2 also features a dual-channel FADEC Arriel 2S2 meets the highest market standards in terms of reliability and robustness, with a TBO that has been extended to 3,850 hours.
Turbomeca Vice-President Support and Services Franck Saudo commented, “This upgrade program is a great opportunity to offer our customers greater performance and added value with the Arriel 2S2 which is an already proven high-performance engine on the S76”.
The engine retrofit upgrade will be available for order in the second quarter of 2016.
Around 12,000 Arriel units have been produced, of which 700 are Arriel 2S1 and 2S2, together logging 45 million flight hours. Ranging from 650 to 1000 shp, the Arriel engine family powers over 40 different helicopter types.
Arriel is the best-selling helicopter engine solution in its class. An Arriel-powered helicopter takes off every 15 seconds – all day, every day.



Finmeccanica and Era sign EMS platform development MoU for the AW609 TiltRotor program.

  • Addressing concepts around operations, regulations, support, configurations, commercial aspects towards certification of the first civil tiltrotor
  • Almost 60 customers have already chosen the AW609 globally to perform several missions
  • Successful collaboration between Era and Finmeccanica has resulted in Era becoming the largest civil operator of AgustaWestland helicopters

Rome, 2nd March 2016 – Finmeccanica and Era Group Inc. (Era) announced today the signing of a platform development Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the AgustaWestland AW609 TiltRotor program. The announcement was made at Heli-Expo (Louisville, Kentucky) during an official ceremony.

Under the MoU, Finmeccanica Helicopter Division and Era will engage in joint activities in support of AW609 program development for the emergency medical service (EMS) market including concepts around operations, regulations, maintenance, configuration optimization, as well as identifying possible areas of enhancement or modifications.  The partners would provide contribution to flying activities towards aircraft maturity and address commercial aspects for potential future AW609 acquisitions.

The signing of the agreement sets another major milestone for the development of the first commercial tiltrotor towards FAA certification.  This exclusive agreement further strengthens the long established partnership between Finmeccanica Helicopter Division and Era, the largest global operator of AgustaWestland products such as the AW119, AW109 Power, AW139 and AW189 covering offshore transport and rescue operational requirements. By joining forces through their respective expertise and know-how, the partners are moving towards a marketing and operational preparation stage for its future EMS operations. The agreement to further develop the potential capabilities of the AW609 marks a significant step towards the production of an aircraft type that will provide a unique emergency medical service solution in the future. EMS operators will leverage on the 275 knot maximum speed and 750 nm range of the AW609. With approximately twice the speed and twice the range of a helicopter combined with its all-weather capabilities, the AW609 can dramatically reduce the time it takes to support emergency tasks in demanding conditions.



Airbus Helicopters boosts its HCare material support offer.

  • Simplified and reshaped offer to better serve customers
  • New HCare Smart by the hour contracts
  • HCare Easy Repair now covers more than 800 components

Louisville, Kentucky (USA), 3 March 2016 – Through the launch of HCare, Airbus Helicopters simplified and reshaped its material support services to provide a more easy-to-use service, performance guarantees, competitive pricing and larger coverage. The objective of the enhanced Material Support offer is to enable operators to be the most agile and competitive in the market place thanks to controlled costs, a reduced administrative burden, secured mission success and a reliable supply.

“The HCare Material Management offer is a key area in which we innovate to improve on a daily basis,” said Matthieu Louvot, Executive Vice President of Customer Support & Services at Airbus Helicopters. “HCare transforms the vast improvements we are making in our operations into firm commitments to our customers.”

The numerous enhancements include:

  • The Easy Repair secured turnaround time offer, which now covers 800 components across the range, meeting the vast majority of customers’ repair needs
  • HCare Smart “by the hour” contracts, which have been reshaped around customers’ evolving needs:

o   Lower minimum hours

o   Larger discounts during the warranty period

o   No buy-in needed for single-engine aircraft & flexible buy-in possibilities for light twin-engines

o   Binding performance commitments from Airbus Helicopters

o   Fleet availability support for larger fleets of more than 10 aircraft

HCare is fully tuned in to the expectations of light single and light twin operators and through this new offer, bringing them a crucial business edge on the marketplace.


PRESS RELEASE – 4 March 2016

Airbus Helicopters Foundation supports Fiji in the aftermath of tropical cyclone Winston.

Marignane, France, 4 March 2016 – Airbus Helicopters Foundation provided support to humanitarian relief efforts following the tropical cyclone Winston that hit the Fiji Islands on 21 February  2016, killing at least 43 people and affecting 350 000 others. The disaster has left large areas of the Fiji archipelago without power, water supplies and communication and heavy rains have brought flash‎ flooding, landslides and coastal inundation.

“I am very proud that Airbus Helicopters Foundation was able to provide the first heliborne support within 48 hours of the disaster” said Guillaume Faury, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Foundation and CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “Helicopters are an essential tool in surveying the disaster areas, identifying the type of emergencies that allows the humanitarian aid to be organized subsequently”.

Before the cyclone hit the archipelago, Airbus Helicopters Foundation had anticipated the potential humanitarian crisis and had been proactively working to identify helicopters that could rapidly support rescue workers. That allowed the Foundation to provide helicopter support to Fiji archipelago rapidly, partnering with New Zealand operator Garden City Helicopters Ltd Fiji’s entity, Pacific Island Air. The Foundation already partnered with Vanuatu Helicopters one year ago, a Garden City local entity, to support Vanuatu rescue operations after cyclone Pam hit the country in March 2015.

In the framework of the partnership agreement between the French Foreign Affairs Ministry Crisis Center and the Airbus Helicopters Foundation, the French Embassy in Suva coordinated relief operations, allowing the Fijian National Disaster Management Office to benefit from an AS355. The AS355 ‎chartered by the Foundation performed a first assessment flight, transporting civil security experts, within the 48 hours in the wake of the catastrophe. This flight allowed the discovery of a village that had been totally destroyed on the island of Batiki and some emergency aid was then sent the day after by boat.

Many other flights followed during the week as the Foundation left the helicopter at the disposal of the rescuers for further assistance.  It helped notably to transport 8 tonnes of humanitarian materials to the most severely damaged areas that had become inaccessible.

These flights have also led to the rapid identification of the most badly damaged schools, revealing urgent need for repairs for around 100 of them before they can re-open.

Some flights were also conducted in inaccessible and seriously devastated villages at the request of the Fiji Red Cross team for their damage assessment and transport of Red Cross volunteers.

Airbus Helicopters Foundation has already had several opportunities to support the Red Cross over the last 2 years. This cooperation in Fiji marks the first helicopter support action since the Airbus Foundation signed a partnership last November with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent.

More information on the Airbus Helicopters Corporate Foundation is available on its website: