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April 2, 2008
Chelton Flight Systems reports it has begun field installation of its synthetic-vision glass-cockpit software capable of integrating and displaying Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast...
April 1, 2008
AGUSTAWESTLAND ARRIVES AT Heli-Expo with key civil product lines logging strong sales but military ones beset by problems. The manufacturer’s AW139 medium twin is proving a popular and versatile aircraft in diverse markets. AgustaWestland is featuring the AW139 in its display, showcasing the aircraft it delivered to its program partern Honeywell. Honeywell provided the Primus Epic avionics suite for...
April 1, 2008
Where is Raymond Orteig when we need him? Aviation history buffs know that name as belonging to the hotelier who in 1919 offered $25,000 to the first to fly nonstop between New York and Paris. The more recognizable name associated with his is that of Charles Lindbergh, who claimed the prize after landing The Spirit of St. Louis at Le Bourget airfield on May 20, 1927 following a solo flight of 33 hr, 29 min...
April 1, 2008
Flight Training Mistakes In response to your recent Question of the Month about the most troubling or curious flight training mistakes I’ve seen, a curious and somewhat troubling mistake I have both witnessed and committed is what I’d call "going on autopilot" (Feedback, February 2008, page 7). In this scenario, something that could be major is missed because the task being trained...
April 1, 2008
LEE BENSON is the retired senior pilot for the Los Angeles County Fire Dept. 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. REBECCA CHRISTIE this month contributes the Program Insider page of Rotorcraft Report. Based in Washington, she specializes in...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | AIRFRAMES To kick off Heli-Expo in Houston, Eurocopter unveiled the latest addition to its family: the EC175. The new, 7-9-ton helicopter garnered not only the attention of attendees, but 13 signatures in its order book totaling 111 orders in the three days of the show. U.S.-based Bristow Group and Canada-based VIH Aviation Group were the launch customers for the aircraft, and were part of the...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | AIRFRAMES Interest in Robinson Helicopter’s R66, strong from its launch last year, has grown with Bell Helicopter’s decision to cancel its 206B3 JetRanger line. The light, single, Robinson’s first turbine, has hundreds of dealers and customers ready to place orders based solely on the phenomenal success of the Torrance, Calif. company’s two-seat R22 and four-seat R44...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | AIRFRAMES Heli-Expo 2008’s first day on Feb. 24 proved a busy one for Bell Helicopters. Not only did it celebrate its 50th anniversary with the Los Angeles County Fire Dept., but it signed orders from Brazil’s TAM Airlines and Rotorcraft Leasing Co. for its new Model 429 and other aircraft. Combined with orders taken at the Singapore Air Show, which preceded the Helicopter Assn...
April 1, 2008
COMMERCIAL | SAFETY The FAA’s top helicopter official told Heli-Expo attendees that all night operations should be flown by pilots wearing night-vision goggles (NVGs). "NVGs should be the norm, not the exception," said David Downey, manager of the FAA’s Rotorcraft Directorate. A problem with that, of course, is that NVG installations in civil aircraft in the United States are done almost...
April 1, 2008
COMMERCIAL | SAFETY The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will hold a three-day forum on the safety of unmanned aircraft systems. The forum will be convened April 29 to May 1 at NTSB Headquarters in Washington. It is intended to help the board and interested parties better understand the safety implications of the growing use of...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS Engine makers Honeywell and Rolls-Royce project a hearty helicopter market worldwide for the next several years. Honeywell is projecting that 4,450 new civil, turbine-powered helicopters will go into service worldwide in the next five years, with corporate, emergency medical services (EMS), and law enforcement customers accounting for more...
April 1, 2008
April 6-9 — AAAA Annual Convention, Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Md. Contact: AAAA National Office, Phone: 203-268-2450; Fax: 203-268-5870; Web: www.quad-a.org. April 23-26 — Aircraft Electronics Assn 51st Annual International Convention and Trade Show, Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Md. Contact: Phone: 816-373-6565; Fax...
April 1, 2008
President Bush may have nominated FAA Deputy Administrator Robert Sturgell to head the aviation agency, but his man may never take the post. The nomination as FAA chief requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate, and that body has repeatedly put off hearings toward approving Sturgell for the job. A number of reasons have been rumored. Among them is that labor-friendly Democrats in the Senate are miffed at...
April 1, 2008
Igor Sikorsky, the godfather of the modern helicopter, perhaps summed it up best: "Aeronautics was neither an industry nor a science. It was a miracle." When I served as editor-in-chief of Rotor & Wing during the mid-to-late 1990s, I was always struck by the sheer passion of the people in the helicopter market. Their devotion to rotorcraft made editing this magazine a joy and a privilege. I...
April 1, 2008
Some would argue that rotorcraft engineering is as much an art as a science, and they could muster a compelling defense of that premise.. Take the case of Frank Robinson, the R44 Raven 2 main rotor blade, and the hacksaw. The engineers at Robinson Helicopter Co. were trying to come up with a design that would get more altitude performance out of the R44. They knew one thing they needed was more main rotor...
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
Eurocopter is adding training capabilities in the United States to respond to long-term market needs and shorter-term opportunities. In the latter category, the manufacturer’s American Eurocopter unit in Grand Prairie, Texas is developing a turbine-transition course targeted at the hundreds of flight instructors thrown out of work by the February shutdown of Silver State Helicopters and its network...
April 1, 2008
Sorting Out Silver State’s Impact Flight schools, former students and employees, and lawyers are trying to sort out the implications of Silver State Helicopters’ shutdown. Some former staffers are seizing the opportunity created by the Feb. 3 shutdown to open their own flight schools. One group of former Silver State instructors has started Veracity Aviation at New Braunfels, Texas Municipal...
April 1, 2008
That India is a big lure for helicopter makers was reaffirmed by strategic deals struck this year by key rotorcraft players. In February, Sikorsky Aircraft signed a memo of understanding with a unit of India’s Tata Group on the production of cabins for the S-92. That was followed in short order by Eurocopter’s move to expand its manufacturing capability in India in league with a key long-time...
April 1, 2008
The question of whether your aircraft is safe must be answered before every flight. Do you really know if it is airworthy and if not, what do you do about it? Maintenance has been in the public spotlight recently, and not for laudable reasons. Back in January, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board issued a probable cause for the March 27, 2007 crash of a Robinson Helicopter R22 at Ponte Vedra...
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