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April 1, 2014
Jeff Pino. Jeff Pino, the ex-president of Sikorsky Aircraft who “retired” in 2012, is back in the helicopter business, this time as CEO of newly formed Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing, part of the U.S.-based Macquarie Group. “Leasing reduces risk and improves operator balance sheets,” stated Pino. Having served at the...
April 1, 2014
Before the curtain fell Bell Helicopter launched, in the words of President and CEO John Garrison, “the revitalization of the legendary Jet Ranger” during Heli-Expo. The launch of the 505 Jet Ranger X drew a huge crowd with Garrison introducing the new short light single (SLS) helicopter from a podium among the crowd. He reviewed the drive of Bell in terms of pushing forward with the 525...
April 1, 2014
MD530G at Heli-Expo 2014. Photo by Frank Lombardi MD Helicopters owner Lynn Tilton believes, or rather “dreams,” of taking her once-ailing company forward to rapid manufacturing and production of existing and new helicopters. A self-confessed “obsessive for technology and innovation,” Tilton believes that one of the ways to get her company back into the mainstream of helicopter...
April 1, 2014
Enstrom TH180. By Frank Lombardi At Heli-Expo 2014 in Anaheim, Enstrom Helicopter of Menominee, Mich., pulled the wraps off of a brand new design – a two-seat, piston helicopter. The aircraft, dubbed the TH180, shares the same general shape of the larger three- and five-seat Enstrom products, but scaled down to accommodate just two people. “The...
April 1, 2014
Scott’s Bell 47 during Heli-Expo 2014. Photo by Andrew Drwiega One announcement during Heli-Expo 2014 that brought the past right up to the present was that which saw engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce signing a multi-engine contract with Scott’s Bell 47, the owner of the Bell 47 type certificate since 2009. This brings Rolls-Royce’s RR300 light turboshaft powerplant to the Bell 407GT-6...
April 1, 2014
Erickson S-64. Photo courtesy of Erickson Erickson Air-Crane is now Erickson Incorporated, but has several divisions, announced Udo Rieder, the organization’s chief executive at a media briefing related to Heli-Expo. Following the acquisitions last year of Evergreen Helicopters and Air Amazonia, the company’s share price rose from $8 to $21 per share (a 163 percent growth). The group now...
April 1, 2014
Two major Waypoint Leasing orders with Airbus Helicopters were announced Tuesday as the global helicopter lessor intends to acquire 37 EC225 and EC145 T2 rotorcraft. These key transactions, Waypoint’s first deliveries in 2014, were detailed at the...
April 1, 2014
Thales Avionics 2020. Graphical image courtesy of Thales Group One of the most jaw-dropping pieces of technology on display at Heli Expo was Avionics 2020; which can legitimately be described as a new generation cockpit for helicopters. Basically it is an intuitive, all touchscreen cockpit display that Thales marketing director Richard Perrot demonstrated. Using only...
April 1, 2014
AW109 Trakker at Heli-Expo. By Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief During Heli-Expo AgustaWestland introduced what CEO Daniele Romiti called the new member of the AW109 family, the light twin AW109 Trekker. Performers, whose representation of...
April 1, 2014
Michael Hotze AgustaWestland Philadelphia has appointed Michael Hotze as vice president, customer support and training. He will manage product support engineering, technical representatives, customer support managers, the fleet operations center (24/7 AOG help desk), Part 145, and customer training. Hotze previously worked in customer support at Bell Helicopter for 24 years, both for the domestic and...
April 1, 2014
Milestone Aviation Group has increased its S-92 order book with Sikorsky Aircraft by eight units. The company has increased its firm and option S-92 orders to 37 aircraft valued at more than $1.2 billion. The...
April 1, 2014
500-32 Series Personal Locator Beacon with Speech Re-introducing the 500-32 Series Personal Locator Beacons; now available with full speech capability on the standard frequency of 121.5 MHz. The 500-32 retains it’s simple, compact 132mm x 72mm x 34mm lightweight form, weighing in at less than 370gms, making it one of the smallest and most effective beacons on the market. The PLBs are compatible with...
April 1, 2014
The North Sea, in many respects, is the epicenter of civil helicopter operations in the world. Since the ignition of the oil exploration boom in the area a half-century ago, Norway and the UK have become the primary users of helicopters, operating nearly 70 percent of the total fleet in Europe and 95 percent of airframes with more than 18 passenger seats. In the Norwegian and UK Continental Shelf sectors...
April 1, 2014
AgustaWestland’s booth at Heli-Expo 2014. Photo by Frank Lombardi AgustaWestland CEO Daniele Romiti wants to “keep the speed of the company at the highest value possible but like when you drive a car, if you start exceeding its performance, then there must be a safety device to ensure you do not lose control. We have to ensure that we have the ability to keep the company safe.” Romiti...
April 1, 2014
Garmin booth at Heli-Expo 2014. Photo by Frank Lombardi Peek into the cockpit of any aircraft on the ramp today, and you will be hard-pressed to find one whose panel does not contain a GPS, the common reference to global positioning system. At a time seemingly not long ago, GPS was a new device that, to the pilots on the front end, was not much different than the terrestrial-based LORAN navigation systems...
April 1, 2014
CAE 3000 Series. Photo courtesy of CAE After a long lean period when high-end Level D full-flight simulators were out of reach of most operators’ budgets and low-end “broomstick and a bucket” limited-capability flight training devices seemed the norm, helicopter training equipment is now every bit as sophisticated as that used for airline pilot training, if not moreso, particularly the...
April 1, 2014
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University booth at Heli-Expo 2014. Photo by Frank Lombardi Safety Management System (SMS) is the new standard of safety management programs that has officially been approved by the FAA for use in aviation operations. Right now, its use is mandatory for Part 121 air carriers but for the rotary wing community it is voluntary and recommended but not mandatory. FAA Advisory Circular...
April 1, 2014
Frank Lombardi The Power Required curve is not typically included in the rotorcraft flight manual, but contains a wealth of information and can help to explain some of the mannerisms of the helicopter. It plots the amount of engine power required to maintain level flight at various airspeeds for a given weight and altitude (see figure). It can be created by recording a series of airspeed and power settings...
April 1, 2014
Terry Terrell Late one night, not many years ago, we were delivering a patient to a large metropolitan medical complex. Since we were flying during the quiet hours after midnight, my highly experienced medical crew and I were enjoying the smooth winter air and sharp city skyline lightscape only offered up to helicopter occupants on rare occasions. We had made our standard radio calls, and had finished a...
April 1, 2014
Andrew Drwiega Good news on the Science and Technology (S&T) front in terms of pushing forward the performance envelope for vertical takeoff and landing combined with speed and range. The U.S. Defense Research Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) announced in mid-March that Boeing and Karem Aircraft will now join Sikorsky and Aurora Flight Sciences in the Phase 1 of DARPA’s VTOL Experimental Plane...
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