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June 1, 2013
  Think back to the first time you saw a multi-function display (MFD) screen in a cockpit. For me, it was around 1987, when I saw a McDonnell-Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle on static display at an air show. The high-tech fighter had a head-up display and thermal imaging system, too. That was all exceptionally impressive to me, a lowly student pilot with just a few hours in a Robinson R22. It might have...
June 1, 2013
Lee Benson is a retired senior pilot for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Before he was named senior pilot, Lee ran the aviation section’s safety and training programs, including organizing the section’s yearly safety meeting with other public agencies and the press. Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief, is a senior defense/aviation journalist with a specialization in international...
June 1, 2013
Admiral Tony Dalton became head of Helicopter Systems for the ADF in September 2012. He joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 1980, graduating as a pilot in 1981 and going on to fly helicopters with four RAN helicopter squadrons, an exchange posting with the UK’s Royal Navy and a tour flying peacekeepers in the Sinai. Counting time on the Iroquois, Sea King, Gazelle and Seahawk, he has logged a...
June 1, 2013
  By the end of June, Le Bourget will be transformed, once again, into the aviation industry’s largest trade show. Helicopter manufacturers including AgustaWestland, AVIC, Bell, Boeing, Enstrom, Eurocopter, HAL, KAI, Russian Helicopters, Sikorsky and others will join the many service and equipment suppliers from the rotorcraft industry, in addition to the miles of fixed-wing aircraft displays...
June 1, 2013
  The use of helicopters to drop fire retardant, foam or water to suppress wildfires is an essential firefighting tool. Their speed, mobility and delivery capability make them very effective resources in support of firefighters on the ground. Small, medium and large helicopters can carry from 100 to 3,000 gallons of water, foam or retardant in either buckets slung beneath the aircraft, or in...
June 1, 2013
R&W’s Question of the Month Which manufacturer(s) do you think will win the U.S. Navy’s relaunched VXX Presidential Helicopter replacement program? Let us know, and look for your and others’ wresponses in a future issue. You’ll find contact information below. Other Side of History I was enjoying reading the May 2013 print edition, when one article caught my attention. I’m...
June 1, 2013
AgustaWestland is making its expectations for success in the North American market very clear. With opportunities in the U.S. government markets expected to top $20 billion over the next 15 years, according to AgustaWestland North America Chairman and CEO R. Scott Rettig, the company seems bullish in the face of sequestration issues and its own internal problems. AgustaWestland – at least its North...
June 1, 2013
My father was a U.S. Navy hero in World War II, so at an early age I had developed a keen appreciation for several aspects of seamanship, and became, largely in an effort to please my dad, something of a junior knot-tying expert. I pursued this admittedly arcane activity with great energy, memorizing a respectable vocabulary of useful knots, and precisely how to tie them. I could deliver rote verbal...
June 1, 2013
The North American arm of AgustaWestland uncovered plans April 30 to build the AW169 at its 275,000-square-foot U.S. manufacturing complex at Northeast Philadelphia Airport (PNE), becoming a second location to the OEM’s plant in Vergiate, Italy. (The company also lists its facility in Yeovil, UK as “playing a major role” in the AW169 program). The announcement was revealed during a media...
June 1, 2013
Moving a step closer toward cleaner and quieter aircraft, Turbomeca displayed its core TECH800 demonstrator engine in public for the first time on Friday, April 26. This innovative core engine demonstrator was designed and tested by Turbomeca, although the program is the result of cooperation between 34 partners from 10 European countries, including 18 SMEs and 12 universities and other research centers...
June 1, 2013
The U.S. Army’s Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) procurement saga took another twist in May when Lt. Gen. William Phillips, Army acquisition advisor to the Secretary of the Army, appeared before a Senate Armed Services Congressional subcommittee on Airland. Commenting on last summer’s flying technology demonstrations provided by each helicopter manufacturer looking to participate in a new Request for...
June 1, 2013
Eurocopter “now fully understands the root cause of the cracking and need to go to validation of both the final and immediate fix,” said outgoing President and CEO Lutz Bertling at the company’s headquarters in Marignane on April 18. He was addressing the problem with the main gear bevel shaft that has been identified as the “root cause of the crack initiation” that lay behind...
June 1, 2013
Products | R&D Eurocopter conducted the first public flight of its optionally manned capability in late April at the Istres air base, located in the south of France and near the company’s Marignane facility. The demonstration aircraft, an EC145 with 70 lbs of control equipment onboard, flew two demonstration paths within a restricted area inside the airfield. The first flight, with a pilot...
June 1, 2013
L-3 Wescam has conducted flight demonstrations for several new weapon systems at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, using MD500 helicopters. The flight tests demonstrated L-3 Wescam’s MX series designator systems...
June 1, 2013
FAA has selected FreeFlight Systems to provide upgraded automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) avionics to fulfill the requirements of the second phase of its Capstone Project. The project was originally launched in 1999 as a joint government-industry research and development effort to improve air traffic safety in Alaska, where aircraft are constantly flying in airspace beyond radar coverage...
June 1, 2013
How do you get high-speed, efficient performance from a hybrid rotorcraft design? The U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking for organizations to help answer that question as part of its vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) X-Plane program, and an Australian company is suggesting one possibility for the 52-month effort that has a budget of around $130 million. StopRotor Technology, based...
June 1, 2013
Marcus Bryson, CEO of GKN Aerospace, reports that the company’s sales are up 13 percent to just under £7 billion. GKN is a Tier 1 supplier to the aviation industry and operates through four divisions with facilities in 35 countries and an employee base of 50,000. Bryson said that GKN has turned its traditional reliance of the defense market around from 70-30 percent defense/civil to only 39...
June 1, 2013
The first OH-58F Kiowa Warrior has conducted its maiden flight at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. There are currently three aircraft with the U.S. Army—two OH-58Fs and one OH-58D with F model. Col. John Lynch, TRADOC capability manager, emphasized that the aircraft were the first to feature the CASUP (Cockpit and Sensor Upgrade Program) improvements. The overall weight of the Kiowa Warrior has been reduced by...
June 1, 2013
Safran, parent company of Turbomeca, has reached an agreement to acquire Rolls-Royce’s 50 percent share in the joint RTM322 helicopter engine program for $380 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, and...
June 1, 2013
A full scale mock-up of Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8C, the unmanned platform that is to succeed the MQ-8B, was on show in early April at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space exposition at National Harbor, Md. The MQ-8C is built around the Bell 407 helicopter while the MQ-8B was originally modeled around the Schweizer 333 platform...
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