Building on the sales success of its AW139, AgustaWestland received EASA certification for the larger AW189 in February, delivering the first two aircraft to offshore operator Bristow Group. Credit: AgustaWestland
EC225 Final Fix
With the April approval of a redesigned bevel gear vertical shaft for the EC225, Airbus Helicopters was able to field a permanent solution to failures that caused two Super Puma ditchings in 2012 and fleet grounding that disrupted offshore operations. Credit: Airbus Helicopters
CH-35K Rolls Out
Sikorsky rolled out the U.S. Marine Corps’ CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter in May. Ground tests began in January 2014, but gearbox issues have pushed first flight into the first quarter of 2015. Credit: Sikorsky Aircraft
Sikorsky Wins VXX, and CRH
Sikorsky won two programs in 2014 for which no other company bid: in May the U.S. Navy VXX Presidential helicopter with the S-92; and in June the U.S. Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopter, with the HH-60W. Credit: Sikorsky Aircraft
JMR Demonstrators Picked
In August, the U.S. Army selected the 280-kt. Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor and 230-kt. Sikorsky/Boeing SB-1 Defiant rigid coaxial-rotor compound helicopter as its Joint Multi Rotor technology demonstrators, to fly in 2017.
Credit Top: Bell Helicopter
Credit Bottom: Sikorsky/Boeing
Marenco Swiss Flies SH09
Industry newcomer Marenco Swisshelicopter’s SKYe SH09 made its belated first flight in Switzerland on Oct. 2, with production of the Honeywell HTS900-powered light turbine single planned to begin by 2016.
Credit: Marenco Swisshelicopter
S-97 Raider Unveiled
The first of two industry-funded prototypes of the S-97 Raider rigid coaxial-rotor high-speed helicopter was unveiled by Sikorsky on Oct. 2, with first fight of the 220-kt. armed scout planned by year-end. Credit: Sikorsky Aircraft
Bell 505 JRX Flies
Bell returned to the five-seat light helicopter market when the Model 505 Jet Ranger X flew at Mirabel, Quebec, on Nov. 10. The JRX is the first new Bell to be powered by Turbomeca, with an Arriel 2R. Credit: Bell Helicopter
New Mils Progress
Russian Helicopters continued its commercial push; the first improved Mi-171A2—the latest iteration of the long-running Mi-8/17—joined the new Mi-38 medium helicopter in flight testing in October. Credit: Russian Helicopters
After a two-year delay, Airbus Helicopters delivered the first EC175 “super-medium” helicopters in December. Its first all-new design in a decade, the EC175 has been developed jointly with China. Credit: Airbus Helicopters
Graham leads Aviation Week's coverage of technology, focusing on engineering and technology across the aerospace industry, with a special focus on identifying technologies of strategic importance to aviation, aerospace and defense.