6 months ago

Magazine Helicopter Industry #102

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HELICOPTER INDUSTRY I BREAKING NEWS I EUROPE KOPTER SH09 TEST FLIGHT GO AHEAD IN SICILY The flight test activities of the third prototype of the SH09 single-engine helicopter (designated P3) have restarted in Pozzallo, Sicily, in Italy last week. The Kopter flight test & prototype maintenance teams arrived in Pozzallo earlier this month to prepare P3 and perform all necessary technical checks to resume the flight tests that had been halted since the 10th of March due to the Covid-19 situation. Richard Grant, Kopter Chief Test Pilot, commented: «We are very pleased to be back in Pozzallo to resume our work on P3. The first few flights have been used to re-familiarise ourselves with the operation and to complete some essential training for flight crew and ground staff; there has even been the opportunity to train new team members. Good progress has been made and we are ready to restart our experimental flights». The new flight testing activities are to further assess the benefits provided by the new main rotor configuration. Since January 2020, P3 has been flying with a modified main rotor head and next generation rotor blades, optimising the dynamic behaviour of the helicopter and further reducing the pilot workload in all phases of flight. In the forthcoming months, additional advancements in the programme will also be tested on P3, a new tail rotor hub design, currently being bench-tested in Ennetmoos (Switzerland), the Garmin avionics suite G3000H, a new aerodynamics package for the Tail Plane, vertical fin and upper cowlings, extensively validated through CFD analysis and Wind Tunnel testing and the final main rotor configuration with the latest blades and revised flight controls. During the three-month period without flying, Kopter has continued to maintain a good level of operational activities, while ensuring the health and safety of its staff at all times. Kopter has been able to leverage its extensive digital approach to operations and organisation of work to easily implement efficient home office solutions. A close collaboration with partners and suppliers have allowed the progress, under the restrictions in place, of the SH09’s development and industrialisation processes. Engineering teams continued the design activities for the upcoming P3 upgrades and for the PS4 (Pre-Series 4) configuration definition, while the Operations and Procurement teams continued to ensure the delivery of parts for both aircraft. Under the ongoing integration process with Leonardo, Kopter is already benefitting from complementary skills, resources and tools at all levels, greatly supporting the SH09 programme development and production of parts. The SH09 is a real game changer addressing evolving needs and delivering more capabilities at competitive costs. The end-to-end digitalisation of the SH09 programme will be a key enabler. MORE ABOUT SH09 HI I 10

©E.Raz FRENCH AERONAUTICAL RECOVERY PLAN : 10 H160’S FOR THE GENDARMERIE AND MORE. In order to support the aeronautics industry in France, the government launched on 9 June a vast support plan of 15 billion euros in aid, investments and loans and guarantees. The military component of this vast aeronautics support plan is based on the anticipation of orders to the tune of €600 million. According to the French Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, this acceleration will «make it possible to safeguard more than 1 200 jobs for 3 years, throughout France, half of which will benefit subcontractors». Airbus Helicopters and its sub-contractors have been given a boost in particular, since the manufacturer has been notified of an advance order for eight Caracal helicopters which will replace the Air Force’s Puma helicopters from 2023, instead of 2028-2029. The order is worth a total of 300 million euros and «the equivalent of 960 jobs preserved for 3 years», the minister said. Other air fleets benefiting from this support include the Civil Security, which should receive two H145s for a total of 32 million euros to partially compensate for the loss of four aircraft. The most important announcement, however, remains the advance order of ten H160s for the Gendarmerie in order to partially renew the fleet of 26 AS350 Squirrels. These single-engine aircraft have in fact become obsolete, particularly for missions in urban areas, which have been banned since 2014. This order, worth €200 million, should enable the Gendarmerie to have a streamlined fleet of fully multi-purpose aircraft. According to the Ministry, these twelve helicopters ordered (Civil Security and Gendarmerie) should preserve the equivalent of 640 jobs for 3 years. MORE ABOUT AIRBUS HELICOPTERS HI I 11