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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...
October 15, 2014
Boeing AH-64. Photo by Ernie Stephens Reuters is reporting that India is nearing a deal to acquire AH-64 Apache and CH-47 Chinook helicopters from Boeing. The deal, believed to be worth $2.5 billion, will give Prime Minister Narendra Modi more military resources to “meet the challenges posed by China and Pakistan." The 22...
October 15, 2014
Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organization (DSTO) has presented One Atmosphere with its 2014 Eureka award in support of outstanding science for safeguarding Australia for its Pegasus helicopter emergency buoyancy system. The system is a lightweight, bolt-on/bolt-off buoyancy system – like an air bag – that inflates automatically when the helicopter impacts water. It is...
October 10, 2014
ADAC helicopters receive service at the operation’s maintenance facility. Photos by Andrew Drwiega Thomas Gassmann, director of business development and sales at the ADAC HEMS Academy at Bonn airport in Germany, runs ADAC’s annual international networking event for EC135/EC145 operators, now in its third year. The HEMS Academy provides what it claims is the world’s first civilian...
October 10, 2014
Legend has it that I showed up for my interview at the police aviation unit wearing a pocket protector. I categorically deny this. At that time, there existed a crusty, weathered Vietnam-Era instructor pilot who was heard to say, “I don’t care where you put that dweeb, just don’t put him on my team.” Well, you know how that request was answered. He had to live with me for years. I...
October 9, 2014
Well, friends, I saw something that confused me so much I had to read it three times to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood. But I hadn’t. There was actually an article in the August 31 edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that said several politicians are “pushing to scale back the 1033 program.” The Defense 1033 Excess Property program puts surplus military equipment into the...
October 9, 2014
Helicopter operator PHI has achieved Level 4 (the highest level) of the FAA’s voluntary Safety Management System (SMS) pilot program. PHI has used an integrated SMS for over a decade which enabled it to enter the FAA’s voluntary program...
October 9, 2014
Life Air Rescue, an air medical service located in Shreveport, La., has received an Airbus Helicopters EC135 from Metro Aviation. The rescue service was formed in 1993 when Life Air 1 and Air...
October 8, 2014
Puma HC2 on the tarmac in Portugal. Photos by Andrew Drwiega Three of the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) new Puma HC2 helicopters from 230 Squadron flew to the Ovar airbase in Portugal during July to take part in their first major foreign exercise since being upgraded by manufacturer Airbus Helicopters. The occasion was the annual European Defence Agency’s (EDA) Hot Blade Exercise that was taking...
October 8, 2014
I had the opportunity to do something truly unique this past month. I attended the opening of a new heliport. How unique is that, you might ask? Allow me to add some perspective. My name has been on the masthead of this magazine in some capacity for 25 years. In that time, I can recall the opening of only three heliports in the United States. I have attended exactly two grand openings of new heliports...
October 8, 2014
As the last quarter of 2014 begins, those who work and play with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - often referred to by the less technical term “drones” - continue watching for more FAA guidance regarding their remotely operated vehicles. To date, the agency has been moving slowly and uncharacteristically quietly towards establishing regulations that will allow UAVs to safely share the National...
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