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March 5, 2015
On the aviation side, the Army is requesting nearly $4.6 billion for its aircraft portfolio in FY ’16, up 9.6 percent from the nearly $4.2 billion enacted this year. The service is also requesting $820 million in aircraft modifications, down from the $878 million enacted in FY ’15. This funding request notably includes $49 million in overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding while the no...
March 4, 2015
You’re sitting in the hangar “fat, dumb and happy,” as my boss used to say, when you hear the sound that sends chills through your entire body every single time. It’s that terrified cry for back-up coming over the radio that signals something is so wrong, the officer on the other end can’t even pretend to be calm. Within minutes, you’re en route with the collective...
March 4, 2015
Last month, the Department of Defense (DoD) released its Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) Presidential Budget request which came in at $534.3 billion, divided accordingly: Army $126.5 billion; Navy $161 billion; and Air Force $153.9 billion. Procurement is allocated a 20 percent share of the budget at $107.7 billion. Among the objectives is the rebalancing toward the Asia-Pacific region, although security and...
March 3, 2015
One of the cardinal rules of engineering says that anything made by man can be broken. And one of the cardinal rules of man is that when something is broken, you should try to fix it. But if it can’t be fixed, you’ll just have to get a brand new one. In the aviation world, virtually everything that makes a machine fly can break, so there must be ways to replace those items once they fail, or...
March 3, 2015
The Finnish army has now received 20 NH-90s, although availability rates have caused concern. Photo courtesy of NH Industries “We started our helicopter force from virtually zero, and we have faced a lot of challenges,” said Major General Abdul Wahab Wardak, commander of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) speaking on the second day of the International Military Helicopter conference in London (Jan...
March 2, 2015
DJI S-900 with DJI A2 Flight Controller. Photo by Mark Colborn Small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) stole the show at the Consumer Electronics Show Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas, Nev. Who would guess that small consumer drones would create such a buzz? But apparently it was the event to attend. Left: Author’s hobby drone: a DJI F550 hexacopter with 2-axis gyro-stabilized GoPro Hero 3 camera. Center: DJI NAZA...
March 2, 2015
Bob Stenberg When money is tight—which, if we’re being honest with ourselves, is almost universally the case in this industry—aerospace buyers focus inward on cost centers rather than outward on the cutting edge. And with the latest drop in oil prices and U.S. defense spending, rotorcraft operators may forgo the next best ride and instead look for subtler ways to extend the life of their...
March 1, 2015
Joseph Ambrogne is the Technical Editor of Rotor & Wing. He earned a BA in English from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, and spent eight years as a technical writer in the software and manufacturing industries. He also holds a commercial pilot license and instrument rating, and has been flying helicopters since 2010.   Mark Colborn is a senior corporal and instructor pilot for the...
March 1, 2015
Mike Stanberry. Just three months into 2015, the commercial rotorcraft industry has already seen a revolution in satellite communication systems. Bristow’s search and rescue (SAR) flight crews in the UK use simultaneous voice channels and transmit uninterrupted Wi-Fi data thanks to Iridium Communications’ OpenPort service. Appareo Systems has partnered with Iridium to offer satellite-based...
March 1, 2015
A Chinook lifts underslung a 7,540 pound 777 howitzer during an exercise at altitude taking place around Fort Carson, Colo. in August 2014. Photo courtesy of Boeing Carrying an underslung load has been, and will continue to be, one of the mainstays of military logistical movement, particularly when any force is conducting an expeditionary campaign. For the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), it is...
March 1, 2015
Many of you are reading these words at HAI Heli-Expo 2015, the annual focal point of excitement, change and new product rollouts within our market, and that is entirely fitting on a number of levels. On Feb. 15, the FAA finally issued the long-anticipated NPRM on commercial use of UAV’s within U.S. airspace. I did not have a great deal of time to dig into the details of the NPRM. But rest...
March 1, 2015
Arrano engine. Photo courtesy Turbomeca The long-term engine of choice for X4, the prototype of Airbus Helicopters’ new medium class twin-engine rotorcraft, will be an uprated Turbomeca Arrano engine. Airbus Helicopters has been running with two turboshaft engine options, Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW210E and Turbomeca’s Arrano, since the first design concept in 2012. However following...
February 12, 2015
I told a story about one of my past chief pilots in my last article. His opinion, as it related to training on light turbine helicopters, was as follows: point the thing in the middle where you want to go, push the thing on the left down to make the houses bigger, pull up to make them smaller and adjust the pedals accordingly. In a moment of deadline-induced hysteria, I said push down or pull up on the...
February 11, 2015
Plenty of chatter this past year was devoted to the clear uprising of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology. This tech is now within the purchasable grasp of the general public. It has spread, almost virally, and as a result has outpaced much of the development of rules for use in the National Airspace System. The FAA is scrambling to implement some sort of legal control over the use of...
February 9, 2015
As we were going to press with this issue, I happened to notice two different stories in the mainstream media, both about new startup companies offering helicopter shuttle services. One story was from the Jan. 20 edition of the New York Post, and you can access it from our website at Why take a taxi to the airport when you can take a helicopter? The other was posted the very next day on the Wall Street...
February 9, 2015
Several times over the past couple of months, I was told horror stories about how great candidates for police pilot jobs were disqualified for employment by the polygraph during the application process. And the story was always the same: If it wasn’t because the applicant revealed that they had sampled a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) too many times or too recently, it was because they had lied...
February 9, 2015
The Sikorsky S-70i is manufactured by PZL Mielec in Poland. Photo courtesy of Sikorsky Contrary to the end-of-year rumblings that Sikorsky would withdraw its bid for the Polish military’s requirement for 70 medium-lift utility helicopters, when the announcement of the bidders was made by the Polish Armament Inspectorate on Dec. 30, 2014, Sikorsky’s name was present through subsidiary PZL...
February 6, 2015
Dr. Roman Sperl and Thomas Hütsch confirming the agreement for both companies to cooperate over the development of training systems and programs. Photo courtesy ADAC A new long-term partnership has been formed to develop synthetic training systems and training programs for helicopter operators in Germany and internationally. ADAC HEMS Academy and Reiser Simulation and Training will cooperate in...
February 6, 2015
PrecisionHawk, UAV manufacturer and Aerial Data Processing and Analysis Company, recently released its Low Altitude Tracking and Avoidance System (LATAS) to aid...
February 6, 2015
Metro Aviation recently obtained a supplemental type certificate (STC) for Airbus Helicopters’ AS350 B3 with Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B) capability, meeting the FAA’s 2020 deadline. “Metro had the opportunity to obtain the ADS-B STC in conjunction with a fleet order of AS350 B3s. Not only will future aircraft installations benefit from the STC, but we will be able...
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