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April 1, 2008
Developers of the X2 Technology Demonstrator are drawing on components and systems from other aircraft to expedite prototyping of the high-speed aircraft. The Sikorsky Aircraft development team has been striving to achieve a first flight of the coaxial main-rotor helicopter, a milestone delayed (due to a variety of factors) by more than a year from the original target of late 2006. Nonetheless, Sikorsky...
April 1, 2008
Patience is probably not considered a virtue by the helicopter operator who is waiting on some aspect of customer support. A review of Rotor & Wing customer perception surveys spanning a decade, however, shows that operators have seen improvements over that time in most areas of airframe makers’ customer support. Hence, our use of the cliché, "Good things come to those who wait"...
April 1, 2008
May 2008: Air Med on the European Continent — We examine in depth the factors spurring (and limiting) development of air medical operations on the Continent. Offshore Operations — As the offshore industry gathers in Houston for its annual Offshore Technology Conference, we look at what’s driving helicopter operations in the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, and elsewhere. Satellite Tracking...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | AVIONICS Intelligent Automation Corp. is making headway in persuading helicopter operators of the value of its aircraft monitoring and diagnostics systems. Much of Poway, Calif.-based IAC’s success has come with military operators. Its health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS) are...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | MISSION EQUIPMENT Axsys Technologies has reorganized its operations to offer current and potential customers streamlined, integrated, high-definition surveillance capabilities. The Rocky Hill, Conn. company, which last year acquired the video camera and infrared imager company Cineflex, has divided its operations in two. The Imaging Systems segment...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | AVIONICS The FAA plans to begin testing the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) communications, navigation, and surveillance system this year. The tests are be carried out are on a system of transponders placed on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. If implementation in...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | AIRFRAMES Bell Helicopter is reorganizing its engineering shop and going outside for managers. Among its new hires is long-time tilt-rotor critic Nick Lappos. In a March 19 e-mail to employees, Bell President and CEO Richard Millman said Lappos, a 32-year veteran of Sikorsky Aircraft and most recently a Gulfstream executive, will head Bell’s XworX R&D shop...
April 1, 2008
Continuing the discussion we began with my last column on helicopter acquisitions, I focus this month on helicopter selection ("Aircraft Life Lessons," February 2008, page xx). We all have favorite helicopter makers and models. Next to hot fudge sundaes with no calories, being allowed to pick my favorite helicopter without regards to cost or justification would be at the top of my Christmas list...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | AIRFRAMES Sikorsky Aircraft unveiled its prototype X2 technology demonstrator to attendees at Heli-Expo 2008 Feb. 24 and sought input from potential customers on how they might make use of high-speed helicopters based on that technology. With the X2 program, Sikorsky aims to...
April 1, 2008
Taking on Needles In Bigger Haystacks Planning on getting lost at sea? Try to wait a few years. The U.S. Coast Guard is in the process of installing new emergency beacon locators on all of its aircraft. The new DF-430-F electronic director finder, made by Rockwell Collins, can pick up emergency signals from 60 mi away, a huge improvement over older systems that required rescue aircraft to be within a few...
April 1, 2008
Armed Dolphins Replace Stingrays The U.S Coast Guard is now flying its own armed helicopters to interdict drug runners, after nearly a decade of using leased aircraft because its own weren’t powerful enough to lift the guns and crews needed for the mission. The Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron in Jacksonville, Fla., dubbed HITRON, switched to Eurocopter HH-65C Dolphins from leased...
March 28, 2008
The Helicopter Assn International is planning safety forums focusing on the U.S. emergency medical service and offshore oil and gas support segments of the industry. HAI...
March 26, 2008
Look for Sikorsky Aircraft to move all S-76 production out of its Stratford, Conn. headquarters into its Keystone Helicopter subsidiary in Coatesville, Pa. The company has been streamlining production in Stratford to clear the way for a 60 percent...
March 25, 2008
The Topeka, Kansas City Council is set to revisit its decision to acquire a second police R44 over the objections of the mayor and a local prosecutor, The...
March 24, 2008
Aviation Today will host a webinar examining ongoing opportunities presented by the current helicopter boom and the potential impact of global economic turmoil on the industry. The webinar...
March 24, 2008
CHC Helicopter has placed the first AgustaWestland AW139s in the hands of the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Two of the search-and-rescue-configured medium twins will be based at the...
March 20, 2008
Nick Lappos has spent a lot of  time and energy in recent years critiquing  the promise and performance of Bell Helicopter and its vaunted tilt-rotor technology. Now he is going to work for Bell and, presumably...
March 14, 2008
The Omaha, Neb. Police Air Support Unit has received a $25,000 grant to aid interoperable communications among air and ground police units, KETV television reports. The TV station said the Iowa West Assn presented the...
March 13, 2008
The South Korean government has ordered another AgustaWestland AW139 for firefighting and utility work. It would be the third of the medium twins to operate in...
March 7, 2008
The helicopter industry may be booming, with many segments appearing to be recession-proof, but it's not getting any easier to land our aircraft. Take the New York City market. Operators there are operating under new restrictions that they accepted to fend off political and community over...
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