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April 1, 2015
  Joseph Ambrogne is the Technical Editor of Rotor & Wing. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va. 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.     Lee Benson is the retired senior...
March 11, 2015
Since the U.S. Airways landing on the Hudson River in New York, “bird strike” is one of those electrically charged buzz-phrases guaranteed to command the immediate attention of all pilots, perhaps especially operators of helicopters, who are largely consigned to spending the majority of their working lives flying at bird-rich altitudes. Many of us have bird near-miss stories, and quite a few...
March 11, 2015
On Feb. 5, Erickson Incorporated announced that it had initiated a drastic corporate restructuring process to, “create significant new efficiencies and cost reductions, improve profitability, and enhance the Company’s overall competitive position.” This process also meant that the company would lay off approximately 150 of its employees, primarily in its United States offices. Rotor &...
March 10, 2015
Guillaume Faury, president and CEO, Airbus Helicopters acknowledged that his company had been through a challenging year of change in 2014. During his first full year in charge, he had to contend with the fallout and reputation management from the North Sea accidents, as well as a corporate change and realignment with the Airbus brand away from the runaway brand that had been Eurocopter. The organization...
March 10, 2015
FEC Heliports Rapid Deployment Battery-Operated Helipad Lights FEC Heliports have improved the specification of their rapid deployment battery-operated helipad lights. The high intensity LED lights are now available with wireless control enabling the operation of color, intensity and flash pattern through a remote key fob. If used in conjunction with FEC’s Remote Lighting Controller, pilot operation...
March 10, 2015
Many in our industry fear unmanned aerial systems (UAS) will replace regular helicopter operations—a valid concern. Qualified pilots will always shuttle passengers from point to point, and fly to the middle of nowhere in the dead of night to pick up an accident victim. I do not believe the general public will ever accept pilotless aircraft for regular passenger flights, even though many new aircraft...
March 9, 2015
Ron Foudray Brett Lambert Northrop Grumman recently appointed Ron Foudray as vice president, business development for its Information Systems sector. With more than 25 years of experience in the field, Foudray will lead business development efforts to identify, assess and shape new business opportunities across global targeted growth areas. Foudray has been with the company since...
March 9, 2015
Image courtesy Airbus Helicopters. Even with next-generation airframes coming off the assembly line, some OEMs are revamping their internal processes. Airbus Helicopters, whose X4 is arguably the most highly anticipated design of 2015, has made its own safety contribution by publishing the first helicopter flight crew operation manual (FCOM) for the EC225 LP for offshore missions. This airframe is a...
March 6, 2015
Enstrom pilot Bill Taylor lifts the newly-designed Enstrom TH180 into the air for its first flight on Feb. 6. Photo courtesy of Enstrom Helicopters   HAI Heli-Expo 2015 Orlando, Fla. - Enstrom Helicopter’s newly designed, two-seat TH180 recently completed a successful first flight.The single-engine piston, which will be marketed primarily as an entry-level rotorcraft trainer and...
March 6, 2015
Brad Hayden Robotic Skies, an international network of service centers for commercial UAS, has gotten off to a promising start. Today, after one year in business, the company has nearly 60 repair stations across the globe, including its most recent one in South Africa. The company also recently completed its first repair and return-to-service of a service-drone G4 1.4 UAS. Rotor & Wing sat down with...
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...
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