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May 24, 2013
Hundreds of rotorcraft engineers met in Phoenix this week for the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International’s Forum 69. Displays from AgustaWestland, Bell, Boeing, Eurocopter, Lockheed Martin, MD Helicopters and Sikorsky anchored a show floor that also featured a number of exhibits from companies such as AVX Aircraft, Advanced Turbine Engine Company, Applied Composites Engineering, Continuum...
May 1, 2013
The U.S. Army’s rotorcraft fleet is wearing out at a much faster rate than was predicted thanks to a decade of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Department of Defense findings state: “The Operational Tempo (OPTEMPO) in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) was, and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) is, five times that of peace time, and much higher than the design usage spectrum, further taxing the...
May 1, 2013
Sabers have been drawn and the battle is on for the deepwater offshore helicopter market that has already emerged. The large energy companies are now drilling exploratory wells in ocean depths of 10,000 feet or more at distances that exceed 200 miles from shorelines all over the world. The history of ocean drilling has always been in a leap-frog fashion with outward movement from shore generally being in...
May 1, 2013
Armed Aerial Scout: Will they or won’t they? “What do we do with the Scout? Do we buy new or do we do a SLEP [service life extension program with the Kiowa Warrior]?” asked Maj. Gen. William “Tim” Crosby, PEO Army Aviation, during his address at the annual Quad-A convention, held this year in Fort Worth, Texas. Addressing industry delegates in the audience, he continued...
May 1, 2013
What do the chief executives of a longstanding U.S. helicopter manufacturer, a London-based emergency medical services, offshore and SAR operator, and a hoist and winch supplier from New Jersey have in common? All of them sat down with Rotor & Wing during Heli-Expo in March for exclusive interviews that are part of our ongoing series featuring CEOs from the top companies around the helicopter industry...
May 1, 2013
▶ R&W’s Question of the MonthWhat will the future helicopter look like and how will it function? Who do you think will win the Joint Multi-Role/Future Vertical Lift contract? Getting it Right I very much enjoyed Dale Smith’s insightful interview with Bristow’s Mark Duncan (see March 2013, page 44). Back in the day when some of us were struggling to forecast the size and fit of the...
May 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...
May 1, 2013
NTSB’s investigation into an August 2011 helicopter EMS crash in Missouri (see story, page 16) made national headlines in early April after the safety board named text messaging and multitasking as one of the key factors that contributed to the Eurocopter AS350 B2 accident. Four people, including the pilot, died as a result of the incident, which has the distinction of being the first commercial...
May 1, 2013
One of the advantages of operating rotary wing aircraft is that we are not confined to established airports or operate under FAA fixed-wing standards of “one shoe fits everyone” ideology. In years past, we have all suffered from visibility limitations, controllers not understanding our unique capabilities, ramp positioning problems, prohibitive costs and so on. I will say that in some cases, it...
May 1, 2013
In 1998 at the Heli Japan Conference held in Gifu, Japan, I attended a presentation by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on what they thought future heliport design criteria should include. For instance, at that time the FAA was pushing a 4,800-foot straight line approach at a 3-degree slope. That means you would start the approach 4,800 feet from the pad 250 feet above the heliport. Until...
May 1, 2013
First of all, I hate partisan politics. There are too many times when it gets in the way of the nation’s—any nation’s—best interest. Second, while I knew the recent budget battle that raged on Capitol Hill was going to go down to the wire, I had good money that said a resolution was going to be reached at the eleventh hour, thus averting “sequestration,” the automatic...
May 1, 2013
Portland, Ore.-based Erickson Air-Crane has reached a stock purchase agreement to acquire Evergreen Helicopters, an operator of 64 aircraft—including helicopters and fixed-wing—with headquarters in McMinnville, Ore. The acquisition is set to almost double the size of Erickson as a company. Erickson owns and operates a fleet of 18 S-64 heavy-lift...
May 1, 2013
Africair, independent representative of Bell for Africa, has signed a purchase agreement with Scott’s–Bell 47 (SB47) for two 47GT-6...
May 1, 2013
The U.S. Navy’s future Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) requirement looks like it’s breaking down into a straight fight between a modernized version of the current aircraft, Northrop Grumman’s C-2A Greyhound, and the new contender in the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey. At the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition at National Harbor, Md. (from April 8-10), both of the contenders were...
May 1, 2013
Robinson Helicopters announced that the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee Aviation Register (IACAR) issued a type certificate for the R66 turbine on March 15, 2013, the culmination of a process that began in November 2010. The welcome news will now allow Robinson to export 22 R66 helicopters to Russia. A further 18 are in production and...
May 1, 2013
The saga of the British government’s drive to replace the 70-year tradition of military involvement in providing the majority of the UK’s search and rescue (SAR) helicopters with a privatized ‘for profit’ organization in order to divest the service off the military balance sheet is now at an end. The announcement by Patrick McLoughlin, the UK Secretary of State at the Department for...
May 1, 2013
Malaysia’s Weststar Aviation Services has placed an order for eight helicopters from AgustaWestland, consisting of a pair of large-cabin AW189s and a half-dozen...
May 1, 2013
Shanghai-based Avia-Tek aviation consultancy has forecast the delivery of 65 civil helicopters into the Chinese rotorcraft market during 2013, bringing the total number of airframes in China to 435. Avia-Tek publishes an annual report that in 2011 predicted that the Chinese civil market would have 357...
May 1, 2013
On March 21, 2013, the crew of a UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Sikorsky S-61 Sea King rescued a French trawler crewman with serious head injuries on the ninth attempt when a violent storm in the Irish Sea made a boat-to-boat transfer impossible. Although a Royal Navy hydrographic ship, HMS Echo, and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution boat Angel responded to the trawler captain’s call for help, the...
May 1, 2013
Russian Helicopters has delivered two Mi-171 transport helicopters with type certification to Russian charter carrier SKOL Airlines. SKOL’s new Mi-171s are equipped with...
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