HILLER AIRCRAFT has acquired the supplemental type certificate (STC) from Soloy to retrofit turbine engines into the Hiller UH-12E and Bell 47.

The STC will be a "perfect complement" to Hiller's planned re-introduction of the UH-12E, says Jeffrey Hiller, leader of the investment consortium which bought back the assets from Rogerson in July 1994..

Hiller expects to complete the STC agreement with Washington-based Soloy by April and will concentrate on developing a re- engineing line at Newark, California. Some 190 Lycoming piston-powered UH-12Es have been re-engined with the Allison 250-C20 turboshaft since the programme began in 1970, while some 160 Bell 47 -600 and -900 series helicopters have been re-engined.

Apart from re-starting production of the original UH-12E3, Hiller has also dusted off 30-year old plans to develop a five-seat utility version, the UH-12E5. A prototype was first flown in January and was displayed at Heli-Expo.

Hiller expects to certificate the new helicopter in April and will offer it with either the 250kW (340shp)-rated Lycoming VO-540 piston, or the 310kW (de-rated) Allison 250-C20B turboshaft. The first production UH-12E5 is expected off the line around October.

Hiller has begun assembling the first of 20 machines for a Thai investor group. These were originally ordered as three-seat E3s, but the Thai group now wants some E5s. The first of the three-seaters will be off the line by August. The E3 is also offered with the choice of piston or turbine engine.

Source: Flight International