Rotor & Wing Magazine :: Commercial :: Observation/Patrol

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June 1, 2007
With the support of manufacturers, helicopter operators are gaining influence in regulatory debates in Europe. IN EUROPE, CIVIL AND MILITARY SALES OF HELICOPTERS are jumping. New technology and procedures are coming. There’s a pilot shortage (always a good sign). Perhaps most startling though, the authorities are listening to the rotorcraft point of view. The civil market in Europe has great...
June 1, 2007
Commercial helicopter operators in India are bracing for an onslaught of competition as foreign operators enter the market. Triggering their concern is the national government’s stated intention to lift or even eliminate the cap on foreign investment in Indian helicopter operators. India’s civil aviation minister, Praful Patel, revealed those intentions April 23 at the start of a three-day...
June 1, 2007
WIND IS DEFINED BY WEBSTER’S dictionary as a strong current of air. Although simple in definition, the effects of wind on an aircraft can be profound. To a pilot wind can be a friend or a foe, depending on its direction. Yet pilots seem to underestimate the consequences of this natural force fairly often. According to the NTSB, during the last 10 years there were 48 helicopter accidents where the...
June 1, 2007
In Eurocopter’s AS350, operators find an aircraft that can perform a great variety of missions, carry a multitude of equipment for them, and provide significant power in the process, even during hot and high conditions. Like many helicopters today, it holds its value well on the used market. As with all things, the family of aircraft known as the Ecureuil, Squirrel, and, perhaps, most commonly, the...
June 1, 2007
Eurocopter ancestor Aerospatiale undertook development of the AS350 Ecureuil, or Squirrel, as a successor to the Alouette light helicopter built by it and its own predecessor, Sud Aviation. The emphasis of the design effort was on an aircraft with low operating and maintenance costs, low noise emissions, and low vibration. That effort got under way in the early 1970s, and the AS350 prototype first flew on...
June 1, 2007
If you want to start an argument among helicopter pilots, you could do worse than to bring up the AS350’s hydraulics. People can get passionate about the aircraft’s hydraulically assisted flight controls, or, more to the point, its controllability when the hydraulics fail. The critics’ complaints are typified in a 1997 Royal Australian Air Force evaluation of the AS350BA when hydraulics...
June 1, 2007
»Bringing the LTS101 Back to the AStar Exasperation among AS350 operators with Turbomeca’s support of the aircraft’s powerplants drove Honeywell Aerospace and Soloy LLC to partner in bringing the LTS101 back to the AStar. Soloy got into the AS350 power business in 1990, when it bought the AS350 AllStar supplemental type certificate developed by Rocky Mountain Helicopters to retrofit the...
June 1, 2007
Turbomeca’s customer support of AS350 engines is the stuff that legends are made of. Unfortunately for everyone involved, the legends are often attached to customers going to extraordinary lengths to get the parts and other help they need to keep their aircraft flying. A top official of an operator of more than 10 AS350s has such a legendary tale. After his organization began operating the AStars...
May 1, 2007
COMMERCIAL MD Helicopters has made it official. It has new management — again. Just weeks after saying she was "very, very happy with the management team I have in place," the Mesa, Ariz. manufacturer’s CEO, Lynn Tilton, has replaced top members of that team. Out as president is Chuck Vehlow, the Boeing rotorcraft veteran appointed to that post less than four months ago. (He’s...
April 1, 2007
THINGS ARE REALLY COOKING FOR a good portion of the world’s helicopter industry. Of course, if you are among the fortunate, you may already know this. But then, maybe you’ve been too busy working to realize it. Institutionally, Rotor & Wing has covered the world’s helicopter industry a long time. This is our 40th year. I’m a comparative babe at it, with just four years on the...
April 1, 2007
Frank Robinson still isn’t showing all his cards. The creator of what are the best-selling civilian helicopters in the world today revealed plans for the next aircraft in his product line at Heli-Expo 2007, after years of teasing. But he didn’t reveal much. If those displaying at Heli-Expo felt the exhibit hall crowd got a bit light around 2 pm on March 1, the show’s first day...
April 1, 2007
PRODUCTS/AIRFRAMES Eurocopter is developing a low-cost cockpit video and audio recording system for its aircraft that are not required to have crash-survivable cockpit voice recorders. The move is in response to requests by the U.S. FAA for manufacturers and operators to adopt several initiatives to...
April 1, 2007
HELI-EXPO 2007 Chelton Flight Systems expects to gain a supplemental type certificate for a new stability augmentation system on the Bell Helicopter 206 and 407 by the end of this year. In a briefing at Heli-Expo, Chelton President Gordon Pratt said the company is jointly developing the STC for the HeliSAS system with Bell subsidiary Edwards & Associates. They plan to make it available for new...
April 1, 2007
OBITUARY Former Helicopter Assn. International president Roy Resavage died Feb. 19 after a long illness. He was 62. Resavage spent seven years at the helm of HAI, where he led the association through difficult financial times. He...
April 1, 2007
HELI-EXPO 2007 After he finally was able to spend some time at Heli-Expo 2007, new Bell Helicopter President and CEO Richard Millman said he felt like Santa Claus. He had a big sack of gifts in his hands. Millman missed Bell’s press conference on the eve of the show in Orlando, Fla. and the show’s opening to attend a board meeting of Bell parent Textron. Textron chief Lewis...
April 1, 2007
HELI-EXPO 2007 Saying they couldn’t deliver the aircraft at a price customers wanted, Bell Helicopter officials canceled its long-awaited Model 407 follow-on just a year after the company launched it. The 417 "was not going to be a big differentiator in the marketplace," said Bob Fitzpatrick, Bell’s senior vice president of business development, at the annual trade...
April 1, 2007
HELI-EXPO 2007 Bell Helicopter managed to fly the prototype of its 429 light single IFR aircraft two days before Heli-Expo. But the manufacturer’s news at the show was that it has stretched out development of the aircraft to better manage risk in the program. Bell originally had planned to fly the 429 by the end of 2006 and gain certification and start deliveries by...
April 1, 2007
HELI-EXPO 2007 Rolls-Royce is developing a new turboshaft engine to power Robinson Helicopter’s first turbine helicopter and is discussing the application of the powerplant to the products of Enstrom Helicopter, MD Helicopters, and Schweizer Aircraft. Unveiled at Heli-Expo, the RR300 is "a major step forward in the helicopter industry," said Scott Crislip, Rolls’ president of...
April 1, 2007
HELI-EXPO 2007 Helicopter manufacturers will be busy in the coming year filling orders received at the Heli-Expo 2007. Eurocopter received a total of 112 orders from providers of emergency medical, oil and gas exploration and tourism services, as well as private operators. In the oil and gas market, Eurocopter took 47 orders including 27 for the...
April 1, 2007
HELI-EXPO 2007 With a backlog of $14.5 billion and a 50-percent jump in sales, Eurocopter faces the challenge of meeting delivery schedules without overheating its supply and production systems. That was the message new Eurocopter President and CEO Lutz Bertling brought to Heli-Expo. He...
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