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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Heli-Expo: Simulators, Safety, Solutions, and Surprises

Exhibitors at the helicopter industry’s biggest trade show are offering everything from parts and financing to training solutions and completions.

James Careless

HELI-EXPO HAS GROWN APACE with the industry it represents. Just as operators and manufacturers are hard-pressed to field helicopters to meet all the demand before them, visitors to the annual gathering’s exhibit hall can barely find the time to see all the displays and products of interest.

To help its readers meet that challenge, Rotor & Wing has gathered snapshots of what some of this year’s exhibitors plan to show on the floor of Heli-Expo 2007 in Orlando, Fla. True to the nature of the burgeoning show, there are more snapshots than we can fit on these pages. So if you are in Orlando and want more of a sneak peak (or couldn’t make the show, but are curious what you may be missing), check our Web site for more tidbits on the floor action.

Now, on to that action.

Pratt & Whitney Canada

Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. (www.pwc.ca) has a number of booths at Heli-Expo 2007. The company proper is in Booth 100. Pratt & Whitney Canada Tooling Solutions is at Booth 201. Pratt & Whitney Canada Aerospace Component Solutions can be found at Booth 205. Altair Avionics is in Booth 300, and Pratt & Whitney Canada Tool Support Services is at Booth 304. Among the products PWC is displaying is the new-generation PW210, a 1,000-shp-class engine for large, single-engine and intermediate/ medium, twin-engine helicopters offering improvements in power-to-weight ratio and fuel burn. The PW210S will power the Sikorsky S-76D, and successfully completed its first run in October 2006.

FlightSafety

FlightSafety International’s (www.flightsafety.com) display at Booth 217 is featuring an advanced Bell 206 flight training device. The trainer will be available for attendees to evaluate first hand. "We have something of interest for you regardless of the rotorcraft you operate, but light and mid-size rotorcraft operators in particular should make it a point to stop by," said George Ferito, FlightSafety’s director of rotorcraft business development.

Simplex Manufacturing

Simplex Manufacturing (www.simplexmfg.com) is bringing an assortment of new products to the show. The company, celebrating 61 years of manufacturing helicopter mission-support equipment, will be displaying its latest advances in firefighting and rescue equipment at Booth 1401.

One of its newest products, the high-pressure washer, has attracted the attention of the power utility industry as a solution for insulator contamination.

FLYIT Simulators

FLYIT Simulators (www.flyit.com) is introducing financing as low as 0 percent and free delivery of its training products in the continental United States," said President Terry J. Simpkins. FLYIT is exhibiting its Professional Helicopter Simulator for the seventh year at Heli-Expo. Two will be providing demonstration flights at Static Display No. 4. New features include the Bell 206 startup procedure, higher definition, out-the-window views that can be panned right and left 360 deg, additional and improved worldwide scenery, and a four-year warranty.

Aviall

Aviall (www.aviall.com) is highlighting its services at Booth 4019. A key part of the exhibition will again be Aviall’s LIFT helicopter support program, a family of services specifically tailored to a helicopter operator’s needs, all designed to add value and cost reductions to their bottom line. LIFT provides users access to more than 225 product lines, local stocking, central inventory, inventory management, electronic ordering via www.aviall.com, electronic data interface, and the support of local Aviall sales personnel.

SRT Helicopters

SRT Helicopters (www.srthelo.com) is promoting its emergency-response and rescue training programs at Booth 454. Aimed at helicopter crews, this training covers initial and recurrent pilot training, crew resource management/human factors for aircrew and management personnel, technical rescue (including hoist operations and maintenance), incident management and incident command, special operations missions (including airborne use of force, and operations in austere environments.

Aerospace Filtration

Aerospace Filtration Systems (www.afsfilters.com) is showcasing its line of inlet barrier filtration systems at Booth 609. It is displaying its line of supplemental type certificated (STC’d) inlet barrier filters for helicopters such as the Eurocopter AS350, MD500, Bell 206B, 407, and 205/210/UH-1H, and AgustaWestland A119. As well, the company will be showing products soon to be STC’d for the MD900 and EC130, said AFS President Mike Scimone.

Center Capital

Heli-Expo attendees wondering how to finance equipment they see at the show should visit Center Capital (www.centercapitalcorp.com) at Booth 3504, said Greg Renna, senior vice president and general manager of its General Aviation Div. Center Capital specializes in loans to helicopter owners and operators. As a subsidiary of the Webster Bank, Renna said, Center Capital has direct access to billions of dollars in loans. Since helicopters are typically big-ticket items, this company is worth getting to know.

Dart Helicopter

Dart Helicopter Services (www.darthelicopterservices.com) is highlighting its new Eagle Single (based on the Bell 212) and Bell 407 at Booth 3411, said Dart President and CEO Jeff Shapiro, plus a full-scale Eurocopter AS350 mock-up loaded with Dart and Geneva accessories. The Dart products displayed include external life-raft and float systems for the AgustaWestland AW139, Sikorsky S-76, Bell 412, and Bell light aircraft. Also on hand are a full line of Robinson products, such as bear paws, ground handling equipment, pilot doors, and windows, plus the complete line of Canam hooks, Nordam windows, and AFS filters. STC’d products from Dart’s two latest acquisitions, Geneva Aviation and EAS, are also on display.

ELITE Simulation

ELITE Simulation Solutions (www.flyelite.com) is showing their new helicopter advanced aviation training device, the ELITE S623, at Booth 5203. A single-engine turbine trainer modeled on the Eurocopter AS350, it is designed for both IFR and VFR training. It features dual flight controls, pilot- and copilot-specific instruments, full autopilot capability with flight director and navigation coupling to VOR and GPS, 120-deg external visual system, and a fully interactive instructor station. Options include the King EFS 40/50 electronic flight instrument system and Garmin 430/530 GPS. Glass cockpits are also available.

"If your need is IFR training, CRM or confined-area operations, the S623 is a natural fit in any curriculum or training program," said ELITE President and CEO John Dixon. "We invite all attendees to exam the quality and aerodynamic fidelity for themselves."

Frasca International

The Frasca Model 342 Bell 206 flight training device with TruVision is the main attraction at Frasca International’s display (www.frasca.com) at Booth 1238. Across the aisle at the Bell booth, you can view a Frasca MentorH deployable simulator. Frasca International manufactures flight simulators for all helicopter types. Its products range from simple flight training devices for aircraft like the R22 to full-motion simulators for the Bell 412.

"Frasca simulators are enabling helicopter operators to do better training more efficiently," said Frasca Vice President John Frasca. "By adding simulators to the fleet, an operator can perform its own training at its own location. This shortens the pilot training periods, allowing for more revenue."

Heli-Mart

Looking for helicopter parts? Then stop by the Heli-Mart display (www.helimart.com) at Booth 807. With $14 million worth of parts in inventory at its Costa Mesa, Calif. facility, Heli-Mart is a reliable source for items ranging from nuts and bolts to engine components, replacement MD blades, and helicopter doors and windows.

"Heli-Mart now has a presence in Latin America, with headquarters in Bogota, Colombia and soon in Buenos Aires," said President Don Nichols. It offers Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 and Rolls-Royce 250 PMA engine parts by Extex, power supplies and APUs by Red Box, and parts direct from its huge California warehouse.

Kaman Aerospace

At Booth 2315, the Helicopters Div. of Kaman Aerospace (www.kamanaero.com) is introducing HeliworX, the company’s new, helicopter-focused manufacturing facility. Kaman intends HeliworX as a full-service rotorcraft innovation and manufacturing support center. Its mission is to deliver vertical flight solutions to the world’s prime helicopter manufacturers.

"From all-composite rotors to airframe integration and installations, HeliworX brings a new level of competency to America’s rotorcraft supply chain," said Sal Bordonaro, president of the Helicopters Div. "There’s never a question about if or when your work will get done. We deliver so you can deliver."

Kaman’s booth is also spotlighting products such as the K-Max medium-to-heavy lift helicopter and its FIREMAX firefighting variant, the SH-2G Super Seasprite, and the BURRO+ vertical takeoff unmanned aerial system.

Paradigm Aerospace

Visitors to Paradigm Aerospace Corp. (www.paradigm-aero.com) at Booth 435 are in for a surprise. Paradigm has chosen Heli-Expo 2007 to reveal a whole new identity and booth graphics, including a big-screen monitor displaying customizing, maintenance, and the overall facilities, as well as Bell and Agusta aircraft completions. Over the past 20 years, Paradigm Aerospace has customized nearly 400 helicopters. "At Paradigm Aerospace, we take the time to work with customers to determine what their needs and expectations are and then respond to those needs and expectations through innovative solutions, quality craftsmanship and very personal service," explained Ed Pears, the company’s president.

Turbomeca

Turbomeca (www.turbomeca.com) designs and manufactures Arrius, Arriel, Makila, TM333 and Ardiden gas turbine engines for helicopters. Not surprisingly, these products will be front and center at its display at Booth 2021. Its engines offer a power spectrum ranging from 450 to 3000 shp. There are 14,500 Turbomeca engines in use worldwide, operated by 2,200 customers in 150 countries. To support them, Turbomeca operates 14 sites, 25 TurboSupport centers, and 26 repair centers. It also has 90 technical field representatives to aid its clients.

"Wherever our customers fly, they have noticed one thing: helicopter transportation is in greater demand than it has ever been," said Turbomeca Chairman and CEO Emeric d’Arcimoles. "To meet this demand, Turbomeca is growing. For instance, we have expanded our Turbomeca USA facilities in Grand Prairie, Texas."

Breeze-Eastern

Breeze-Eastern Corp. (www.breeze-eastern.com) will be highlighting selections of its rescue hoists and cargo hooks in Booth 900.

Breeze was founded in 1926 and, along with Sikorsky Aircraft, developed the first helicopter rescue hoist. Breeze-Eastern is dedicated to supplying high-performance, high-quality aircraft mission equipment such as personnel rescue hoists, airborne cargo winches, cargo hooks and weapons handling equipment. CEO Robert White said, "The combination of customer orientation and leading edge technology derived from new program starts will keep Breeze-Eastern in a marketplace leadership position for a long time to come."

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