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December 8, 2014
Sikorsky Sea King. Photo courtesy RAF The final Search and Rescue (SAR) conference organized by the Royal Air Force was held during early November at RAF Valley at the far tip of northwest Wales, on the island of Anglesey. In March 2015, the UK will begin the process of handing over responsibility for SAR to the new civil contractor, Bristow Helicopters. Bristow will gradually take responsibility over the...
December 5, 2014
Attendees at Heli-Expo 2014 examine the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X. Photo by Rotor & Wing Staff On Nov. 10, Bell’s newest helicopter design, the 505 Jet Ranger X successfully completed its first flight. Conducted at the company’s Mirabel, Quebec, manufacturing facility, the helicopter hailed by Bell as the aircraft that will “redefine the short, light-single class” was flown by...
December 4, 2014
This NVIS-compatible panel is made by Rogerson Kratos. It is installed aboard a Bell 429 that was on display at the Airborne Law Enforcement Assoc. conference in July, 2014. Photo by Ernie Stephens Night vision imaging systems (NVIS) can improve the safety of flying at night dramatically. But the enhanced safety can only be realized with proper implementation of the entire system, and not just the goggle...
December 4, 2014
Years ago, when I first joined the police aviation unit, I was fortunate enough to be partnered with a former Marine Corps CH-46 driver. As the new guy, I was very happy when this more experienced aviator would say, “You have the controls,” and give me command of the aircraft. As I made every effort to fly as smoothly and precisely as possible, there was always some wisdom he would readily...
December 3, 2014
Earlier this year, the high sheriff of Stanislaus County (Calif.) caught some heat for allowing his helicopters to participate in several charitable events that were either outside of the county proper, or involved organizations that were not entities of the county government. One such event occurred on May 15 at the Saddle Creek Resort, just 4 n.m. inside of neighboring Calaveras County. Apparently, a...
December 2, 2014
In the September issue, I wrote about laser strikes on aircraft. Since that article was written, in fact predating that article, there has been an effort underway to get the FAA to consider formulating some guidelines for eye protection devices from laser strikes. As I said in the previous article, I don’t think a regulation or full-blown rule change is necessary. A well written Advisory Circular...
December 1, 2014
FDC/Aerofilter manufactures this PMA filter for the Bell 206L-1, L-3 and L-4. Image courtesy of FDC/Aerofilter Protecting the power plant from the worst effects of the ingestion of particles has always been a problem. But when United States military helicopter forces began operating in the dusty environments of Iraq, and then the even worse and oft quoted “talcum powder” environment experienced...
December 1, 2014
 In mid-February of this year, I received a call from the publisher of this magazine asking me the most ridiculous question I have ever been asked in the 25 years that I have been a pilot: “How would you like to be trained to fly the AgustaWestland AW609 Tilt Rotor?” As it turned out, I would be the first person outside of the manufacturer’s own pilots to fly the current iteration of...
December 1, 2014
In February of 2014, Enstrom Helicopter introduced a prototype of its TH180, a brand new, single-engine piston design intended for the flight training and private ownership markets. Photo by Rotor & Wing Staff This month, we here at Rotor & Wing are reflecting upon what the industry has seen in 2014. As we flipped back through calendar, many things were brought back to mind. The year saw just about...
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...
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