Posts Tagged offshore

First AgustaWestland AW189 takes to the air

Four months after going into production, the first AgustaWestland AW189 8-tonne-class twin-engine helicopter to roll off the line has taken its maiden flight at the company’s Vergiate plant in Italy.

Designed to meet market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole medium helicopter, the AW189 is optimised for long-range offshore transport and search-and-rescue (SAR) missions. The aircraft used in the maiden flight is destined to be delivered to the UK’s Bristow Helicopters by the end of the year to carry out offshore transport missions in the North Sea. AgustaWestland says that it has already received orders for more than 80 aircraft.

The cabin has a standard 16-seat configuration, but can be changed to a high-density 18-seat or a long-range 12-seat layout. AgustaWestland says the aircraft “is unique in having a 50-minute ‘run-dry’ capable main gear box, exceeding current certification standards and offering unmatched safety and reliability for long range offshore operations”.

The AW189 has a number of features that give it wide operational capabilities, including:

Offshore: All Weather Day and Night, VFR/IFR certified; high cruising speed and very high payload due to a highly efficient rotor system; superior OEI capability; enhanced situational awareness via next-generation avionics.

SAR: Unobstructed cabin accommodates rescue crew, longitudinal and transversal stretchers and mission consoles.

Parapublic: Can be configured with a wide range of advanced sensors, role and communication equipment; flexible cabin space; quickly removable options such as a fast rope system and cargo hook for special forces and utility operations.

Corporate/VIP: Speed and low internal vibration and noise deliver heightened passenger comfort; Auxiliary Power Unit on the ground provides air conditioning without the need to engage rotors; VVIP interiors available.

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Bond gets three EC225s for Thai offshore job

Avincis Fleet & Engineering Director Martin Whittaker (left) and Eurocopter Executive Officer for France and Vice President of Global Business and Services Dominique Maudet. © Eurocopter, Amélie Laurin

Avincis has bought three new Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma helicopters to be used by local subsidiary Bond Helicopters Australia to service its multi-million dollar, five year contract with the PTTEP Australasia Group of Companies, part of Thailand’s national petroleum exploration and production company.

This is Bond’s first major contract in the region and marks the company’s entry into one of the fastest growing offshore markets in the world.

Specifically configured for offshore flight, the EC225 is a high-performance heavy twin-engine helicopter weighing 11 tons and featuring two Turbomeca Makila 2A1 engines delivering 1776 kW of power each, a five-blade rotor and a gearbox that meets the 30-minute dry-run requirements of the latest JAR 29 amendments.

The aircraft has a seating capacity of up to 19 passengers in three configurations: Passenger (two pilots plus 19 passengers); search-and-rescue (two pilots plus four crew with comfort seats plus up to 20 passengers or three stretchers; and Executive/VIP (two pilots plus eight to 12 passengers).

Of special interest to oil and gas operators is the aircraft’s ability to easily change its mission role from passenger transportation to light SAR, thanks to ADELT (Automatically Deployable Emergency Locator Transmitter for Helicopters), an optional pod for additional fuel tanks or luggage compartment, space provision and basic wiring for SAR mission equipment and a cabin floor with integrated rails.

In the case of an emergency, the large windows push out to allow easy egress and thus quick and easy access to integrated life-rafts.

“We are delighted to have secured these aircraft for our new Bond business in Australia,” Avincis CEO James Drummond said in a statement. “This strengthens our strategic relationship with Eurocopter, who are an important partner in Avincis’ future growth.”

On Eurocopter’s side, CEO Guillaume Faury said: “Our long-term relationship with the Avincis Group has been built on a basis of mutual confidence, and I look forward to furthering this partnership with the delivery of three more EC225s.”

These latest additions to Avincis’ global fleet of around 350 aircraft will be support PTTEP’s operations in the Timor Sea. The first two aircraft will be delivered in December 2013, with the third EC225 due to arrive in the second half of 2014.

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Bell 412EPI gets all-clear for elevated helipads

Bell’s 412EPI helicopter, the newly upgraded version of the 412EP, is now compliant with single pilot Category “A” operations for elevated helipads.

This compiance means “almost no mission or operating environment is beyond reach for the 412EPI”, says Tony Jones, Senior Vice President, Aircraft Sales and Flight Services Group for Hawker Pacific, Bell Helicopter’s appointed distributor for Australia and New Zealand.

“The new certification further adds to the aircraft’s incredible appeal and capability as a special mission, offshore and emergency medical services (EMS) aircraft,” he adds.

Hawker Pacific is to bring a new 412EPI demonstrator to Australia in August to coincide with the 2013 ASA+FNA Aeromedical Conference to be held in Melbourne on August 28-30. It will be available for demonstration flights.

The 412EPI, unveiled at Heli Expo 2013 in Las Vegas, improves on the 412EP with the Bell BasiX Pro fully integrated glass flight deck – which features four 10.4in high-resolution LCD primary/multi-function flight information display units – and incorporates Pratt & Whitney’s PT6T-9 Twin Pac engines with the BLR Strake and FastFin System. The aircraft, Bell says, has a 15 percent increase in Shaft Horse Power (SHP), enabling improved performance and single-engine capabilities.

The avionics suite also includes high-resolution digital maps, electronic charts and approach plates, ADS-B transponder and optional HTAWS and XM satellite links.

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Three Superpumas join Asian oil and gas operations

© Anthony Pecchi

Three new Eurocopter EC225 Superpumas have been delivered to offshore oil and gas industry customers in Vietnam and Malaysia – the Southern Vietnam Helicopter Company (VNH South) and Malaysia’s Awan Inspirasi Sdn Bhd (AISB) and MHS Aviation.

VNH South’s EC225 is the third in its fleet, with a fourth to be delivered in 2014. The company’s first helicopter was an SA330 Puma, bought when it began oil and gas operations 27 years ago. The fleet has now expanded to include 10 Eurocopters, with four AS332 L2 helicopters and two EC155 Dauphins adding to its four EC225s.

Awan Inspirasi’s EC225 will enter service in Subang in September, replacing a leased aircraft and joining two other Superpumas in the AISB lineup.

“We were the first to introduce the EC225 in the Asia-Pacific region, as it answers our needs perfectly,” says Awan Inspirasi CEO Datuk Hanif Darimi. “It has been a strong asset for Malaysia’s deep-water exploration and oil and gas operations.”

The company is the only Malaysian service provider operating in deep waters.

The EC225 being delivered to MHS Aviation is the company’s fifth, and joins 13 other Eurocopters of the EC225, AS355, AS332 and AS365 types.

The EC225 is a high-performance heavy twin-engine helicopter weighing 11 tons and featuring two Turbomeca Makila 2A1 engines delivering 1776 kW of power each, a five-blade rotor and a gearbox that meets the 30-minute dry-run requirements of the latest JAR 29 amendments.

The aircraft has a seating capacity of up to 19 passengers in three configurations: Passenger (two pilots plus 19 passengers); search-and-rescue (two pilots plus four crew with comfort seats plus up to 20 passengers or three stretchers; and Executive/VIP (two pilots plus eight to 12 passengers).
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AgustaWestland AW189 begins full production

Full-scale production has started on AgustaWestland’s AW189 multirole medium helicopter, a new 8-tonne class, twin-engine aircraft optimised for long-range offshore transport and search-and-rescue missions.

The aircraft, which has a 50-minute ‘run-dry’ capable main gear box, is configured with 16 seats as standard but this can be adapted to a high-density 18 seat option or a more comfortable 12-seat layout for longer ranges.

AgustaWestland CEO Daniele Romiti said the company was proud to have gone into production on schedule: “The start of full scale production brings us closer to the first AW189 delivery later this year … when customers who already operate the AW139 will start benefitting from the family advantage.”

Romiti was referring to the fact that the AW189 shares the same cockpit layout, high-performance flight characteristics, safety features, design philosophy and maintenance concept as the AW139 and AW169 models.

This commonality will allow more effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets across the 4-tonne to 8.5-tonne categories, the company says.

Four AW189 prototypes and two pre-production airframes have clocked up over 1500 flight hours so far. A ‘PP6’ helicopter is being used for the development of search and rescue configurations and mission kits.

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