Canadian aftermarket aircraft design and support company Heli-Lynx Helicopters is seeking to clinch European supplemental type certification for its AS350FX helicopter modification next year.

The approval will allow the company to tap into a potentially lucrative replacement market for the Eurocopter AS350 AStar on which the branded FX designation is based.

Richmond, British Columbia-based Heli-Lynx clinched in April last year EASA approval for the twin-engine AS355F Twinstar upgrade dubbed the AS355FX which includes two Rolls Royce C20F/R engines in place of the original Turbomecca Ariel 1D1 engines, a new electrical system, a glass cockpit and redesigned cabin.

The A350FX is powered by an upgraded Honeywell LTS101-700D-2 engine.

"We have delivered 55 singles and 15 twins to date and we hope to deliver up to eight more singles and three more twins before the year ends," says Heli-Lynx sales manager Hossain Gollanbari.

The Astar entered service in 1977 and the TwinStar six years later, with each fleet totalling around 5,000 and 600 aircraft worldwide respectively. "Our retrofit can reduce the operating costs and extend life of these helicopters by 20 years or more.

Although sales have slowed down due to the recession, demand is still strong and we plan to deliver up to eight singles and three more twins this year," says Gollanbari.

He adds that Europe is potentially the company's largest market outside North America with Austria, Switzerland and the UK holding the greatest potential.

Source: Flight International