Industry News
Leonardo completed the initial flight test of its TH-119 IFR training helicopter in late December. The TH-119 is Leonardo’s bid to replace the U.S. Navy’s aging fleet of TH-57 Sea Ranger training helicopters, a variant of the AW119, manufactured in the U.S. with what the company describes as a strong local supplier base.
Sikorsky and Boeing in late December provided the first look at the SB>1 DEFIANT helicopter, which the companies have developed for the U.S. Army's Joint Multi-Role technology demonstrator program.
Whisper Ridge, a helicopter- and cat-skiing provider operating out of Eden, Utah, has added more than 11,000 skiable acres to its existing terrain for the 2018/19 season. The company explains its newly combined 70,000+ contiguous acres makes it the largest private backcountry ski resort in the world.
Boeing will upgrade all 17 of Spain’s CH-47D Chinook helicopters to the F-model configuration, adding features like the digital automatic flight control system, common avionics architecture system and advanced cargo handling to align that country’s fleet with those of other nations.
Paul Cockell has joined RotorLink Technical Services of Delta, British Columbia. He brings 36 years of aeronautics experience and 20 years of hands-on management experience to his new role.
Airbus has delivered Canada’s first H145 helicopter to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The aircraft will be based in Langley, BC, and support operations throughout the province. This new aircraft delivery builds on Airbus' dominant helicopter position in Canadian law enforcement, where it claims to have captured 83 per cent of the market.
The Los Angeles Fire Department is set to introduce a fifth Leonardo AW139 intermediate, twin-engine helicopter into its fleet. The aircraft is expected to be delivered from Leonardo’s Philadelphia facility in Spring 2019 and will be used to perform a range of missions like fire suppression, emergency medical service (EMS) and search and rescue (SAR).
CHC Group has been awarded the contract from OMV (Norge) AS, to provide helicopter services in support of its forthcoming drilling program at the PL 644 field in the Norwegian Sea. 
The first serial H160 to roll off a brand new assembly line in Marignane, France, performed a flight demonstration on December 17 in what Airbus describes as an end-of-the-year celebration of the program’s achievements in 2018.
Bell Helicopter and Team Valor marked the one-year anniversary of the V-280 Valor’s first flight by focusing on the aircraft’s continuing proof of performance and technical maturity. The V-280 is part of the U.S. Army led Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program.
Lockheed Martin Canada and L3 MAS are working together in the procurement competition to provide military aircrew training services for the Government of Canada’s Future Aircrew Training Program. Future aircrew training services, explains the government, will include classroom instruction, simulator and flight training, as well as numerous on-site support activities.
The Carlyle Group today announced it has agreed to acquire StandardAero, a global provider of aftermarket engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the aerospace and defense industries, from Veritas Capital. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory conditions and is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2019.
Robinson Helicopter added Avidyne’s IFD 400 series touchscreen GPS navigators to its R22, R44 and R66 avionics options.
DART Aerospace of Hawkesbury, Ontario, received STC approval from TCCA, FAA and EASA for the newest additions to its AS350/AS355 Quick Release Heli-Utility-Basket.
Heli-One, based in Richmond, BC, is set to expand its global maintenance, repair, and overhaul footprint after signing a Letter of Intent to provide services to China Southern Airlines. Focusing on providing China Southern Airlines with helicopter component MRO and design engineering support, Heli-One explains this deal signifies the beginning of a strategic agreement for a long-term cooperation between the two companies.

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