_Tony Osborne

_Tony Osborne
Articles
U.K. SF Community Hit By Afghan Lynx Crash
Five British forces personnel were killed in the crash of a Westland Lynx helicopter near Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Airbus Group Entering Electric- Powered Light Aircraft Business 
Airbus Group is entering the light aircraft market with plans to produce two electric-powered general aviation and training aircraft by the end of the decade.
BAE Systems Studying Typhoon Conformal Fuel Tanks 

BAE Systems is carrying out wind tunnel trials to assess the aerodynamics of mounting conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) onto the Eurofighter Typhoon.                                                                       

Sikorsky Finally Delivers S-76D Into Offshore Services 

Bristow Group has taken delivery of the first two Sikorsky S-76Ds, configured for offshore oil support, initially for services in the Gulf of Mexico.

Delivery of the first VIP-configured helicopter is imminent, with emergency medical service (EMS) and search-and-rescue (SAR) variants to follow.

Eurocopter Calls For EC135 Fuel Tank Monitoring Checks 

Eurocopter is requesting operators of all EC135s twin-engine light helicopters to carry out checks on the type’s fuel supply tanks and fuel monitoring systems. The move follows the recent short-term grounding of the U.K.-based fleet of EC135s operated by Bond Air Services after a series of what have been described as “supply-tank fuel-gauging errors on some aircraft.”

Bell To Produce SLS In Louisiana 

Bell Helicopter is planning to build its SLS helicopter at a new facility in Lafayette, La.

Bell CEO John Garrison jointly announced with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal plans for Bell to lease a newly built 82,300-sq.-ft., $26.3 million hangar facility at Lafayette Regional Airport. The facility, to be constructed on a 14.5-acre site, will be funded by the state of Louisiana.

Eurocopter’s EC175 Captures Climb Records During Testing 

Eurocopter has claimed two climb records for its twin-engine EC175 as it moves the aircraft closer to certification.

Eurocopter’s two records for the EC175, which have been ratified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, are a time-to-climb to an altitude of 6,000 meters, performed in 6 min., 54 sec., and a time-to-climb to 3,000 meters, achieved in 3 min., 10 sec. The record-setting flights were performed in February of this year and are claimed by Eurocopter’s lead EC175 test pilot, Alain di Bianca.

To Restart Production 

The designer of the distinctive Edgley EA-7 Optica is looking for new investment to restart production of the lightweight observation aircraft.

John Edgley, who designed the EA-7 in the 1970s, believes there is now a wider market for observation aircraft for security and utility operations. He claims that the Optica, with its unique, helicopter-like visibility around the cabin, could find a niche in operations for which helicopters would be too expensive.

Optica Designer Seeks Investment 

The designer of the distinctive Edgley EA-7 Optica is looking for new investment to restart production of the lightweight observation aircraft.

John Edgley, who designed the EA-7 in the 1970s, believes there is now a wider market for observation aircraft for security and utility operations. He claims that the Optica, with its unique, helicopter-like visibility around the cabin, could find a niche in operations for which helicopters would be too expensive.

AgustaWestland Secures Largest AW189 Order For Offshore Support 

Gulf Helicopters has signed the largest order by an offshore operator so far for the AgustaWestland AW189 eight-metric-ton helicopter.

The Qatar-based operator will buy 15 of the aircraft, which is awaiting imminent certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency. The firm order, announced during the Dubai Airshow, is the second-largest for the new helicopter, behind Bristow Group’s, which has ordered six aircraft for offshore operations and a further 11 to support its U.K. search-and-rescue (SAR) contract awarded this year.

Swiss Helicopter Ready For Unveiling 

Marenco Swisshelicopter is to unveil the first prototype of its SKYe SH09 single-engine light helicopter during a ceremony in Switzerland this week.

Boeing Selects Challenger 605 For MSA Offering 

Boeing will fly a demonstrator of its P-8 Poseidon-based Maritime Surveillance capability in a Bombardier Challenger next year.

Partner Field Aviation has begun modifying the business jet to carry a Selex 7000-series radar, mission system, electronic support measures (ESM) system as well as an electro-optical camera, which will turn the aircraft into Boeing’s Maritime Surveillance Aircraft offering.

Eurocopter Begins Dispatching Interim EC225 Fix Kits 

Eurocopter has begun dispatching kits for the interim fixes needed to put its EC225 helicopter back into operations.

U.K. Helicopter Operators Warned Of Complacency Following London Crash 

The head of the British Helicopter Association is warning helicopter operators about complacency and to not bow to commercial pressures over safety.

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