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November 11, 2014
Attendees at Rotorfest 2014. Photo by Ernie Stephens The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center (AHMEC) in West Chester, Penn. attracted a crowd of rotorcraft enthusiasts to its annual RotorFest event October 11 and 12. Young and old, industry professionals and the curious alike, endured Saturday’s drizzle and reveled in Sunday’s clear skies to enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere around...
November 11, 2014
The annual exposition and convention of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) was staged in Washington, D.C. from Oct. 13-15, 2014, and demonstrated a more upbeat feel than last year’s sequestration blighted event. International Bureau Chief Andrew Drwiega provided photos and comments from the event. Sikorsky recently...
November 10, 2014
The development program for the U.S. Army’s latest Apache AH-64E attack helicopter is being planned to ensure that the aircraft will be fit for maritime operations, said Colonel Jeffrey Hager, U.S. Army attack helicopter project manager. “We need to extend the radar and broaden the bandwidth to pick up small and medium ships in various sea states,” Hager explained. He added that the main...
November 10, 2014
A team of aviation hobbyists from Canberra, Australia, has won this year’s UAV Outback Challenge, successfully delivering water to a pretend lost hiker in the Australian outback. The competition, which was launched in 2007, is designed to demonstrate potential civil applications for unmanned aerial vehicles. The competition is run by Queensland’s University of Technology and Australia’s...
November 10, 2014
 EC135 T3/P3. Photo by Charles Abarr, courtesy Airbus Helicopters The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified Airbus Helicopters’ new EC135 T3/P3, continuing the development history of the EC135 airframe. Following in the footsteps of the EC135 T2+/P2+, the EC135 T3/P3 sets new standards in terms of...
November 7, 2014
M250-C47E engine. Graphic courtesy Rolls-Royce Rotor & Wing recently sat down with Jason Propes, SVP Helicopters & Light Turboprop Engines at Rolls-Royce to get an update on the status of their C47E engine program - the latest iteration of the venerable M250 - which was announced at Heli-Expo in 2013, and for which they recently received certification. R&W: Can you give us a brief update on the...
November 7, 2014
Integrating Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS) is arguably the most difficult task the FAA has ever been assigned. Aviation regulations were promulgated for manned aircraft, so new regulations and stringent guidance from the FAA is required. UAS pilots and crews will need to be certificated. Control stations, data links and UAS’s must comply with stringent...
November 6, 2014
I once heard a well-known and highly experienced leader of a very large petroleum services helicopter enterprise postulate that, “If it weren’t for the people and the equipment, this business would be easy.” It turns out that despite a constantly advancing evolution of helicopter development, avionics breakthroughs that consistently outpace all conventional industry expectations, and...
November 6, 2014
The StartStick weighs less than 15 lbs., but can crank a variety of single- and twin-engine helicopter models. Photo courtesy ABS Aviation Battery Systems’ StartStick is an external start battery capable of cranking a wide range of helicopters. And at 10 lbs. for the standard unit and 13 lbs. for the StartStick Fleet, the weight and size make it small enough to be stowed under the seat of the...
November 6, 2014
HeliOffshore is a not-for-profit industry association founded by five operators in the oil and gas sector: Avincis, Bristow Group, CHC Helicopter, Era and PHI Inc. The idea behind the establishment of the organization came from a joint operators review of helicopter safety, born out of a spate of accidents in the North Sea, in addition to a safety review conducted by the European Helicopter Operators...
November 5, 2014
An Airbus Helicopter EC155 B1 in Marshall, Minn. Photo courtesy Metro Aviation Just like the helicopters that Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) and Helicopter Flight Data Monitoring (HFDM) systems are installed in, there is no single solution for every user’s needs. Each system has its own unique capabilities just as each manufacturer has its own approach. But to be a viable solution in the...
November 5, 2014
Photo courtesy BDN GE Capital Aviation Services’ (GECAS) acquisition of rotorcraft lessor, Milestone Aviation Group for $1.78 billion raises some interesting questions. Does this purchase of the Dublin-based Milestone signal the beginning of consolidation of the rotorcraft leasing business? Or is this an isolated case of a larger lessor of airliners looking to diversify, and a rotorcraft lessor...
November 5, 2014
Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, and General Dennis Via, commanding general, Army Materiel Command were grilled by the media about the who’s and why’s of defense cutbacks at this year’s annual Association of the United States Army (AUSA) gathering in Washington, D.C. Shyu, who is often praised by Army individuals for ‘getting...
November 4, 2014
I have a confession to make. For a very long time, I was not convinced that the new Bell 505 Jet Ranger-X was actually going to be an all-new aircraft design. I had been at a different press briefing in Paris when Bell made the official announcement, and the first question I asked our editor who covered the Bell briefing was, “Did they say it would be an all-new Type Certificate?” “Yes...
November 4, 2014
Ray Prouty, the dean of helicopter aerodynamics and a long-time Rotor & Wing columnist and Vertiflite contributor, passed away peacefully at his home on Sept. 26. Prouty began his career as an aerodynamicist at Hughes until 1954 when he moved on to work for Sikorsky. He...
November 4, 2014
EC135. Photo courtesy Airbus Helicopters Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first helicopter to China dedicated for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS). China is one of the world’s fastest-growing helicopter markets and continued growth is expected following the relaxation of airspace regulations. Airbus is already well-established in the country, with customers in the utility, police and...
November 1, 2014
These Diamond J, Inc. torque and turbine outlet temperature gauges installed in a Bell 206B3 catch everything, including this 103 percent for one second torque. Photo by Mark Colborn “The engine quit,” is a common claim or perception by pilots following an uncontrolled descent into terrain. A recent International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) analysis, however, determined that many accident...
November 1, 2014
Maintaining a PT6 turboshaft engine. Photo courtesy Pratt & Whitney Canada The bridge between a manufacturer simply supplying an engine to a customer versus committing to it with the operator was brought into the modern era by Rolls Royce’s Power by the Hour (PBH) concept in the early 1980s. While PBH has become a regular feature of supplier/owner maintenance agreements, Safran subsidiary...
November 1, 2014
Powered by a single Rolls-Royce 250-C20W turbine engine, the Enstrom 480B can be an entry-level turbine, or outfitted for higher-level duties. Photo by Ernie Stephens Turbine helicopters have come a long way since 1958 when Charles Kaman had his engineers remove the piston engine from his HH-43 Huskie and replaced it with a T53-L-1B powerplant, making it the world’s first turbine helicopter to go...
October 15, 2014
An AgustaWestland AW101 on display at this year’s Farnborough airshow. Photo by Andrew Drwiega Although still conducting its investigation into whether senior managers from Finmeccanica’s subsidiary AgustaWestland paid bribes to win a defense contract for 12 AW101 Merlin VIP helicopters, Reuters news agency reports that the...
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