Rotor & Wing Magazine :: Commercial :: Offshore

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November 1, 2005
The international helicopter industry appears to be going into an era of prosperity following decades of flatness. That's the good news. The bad news is what's helping it along. OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS, CIVIL HELICOPTER OEMS have been filling their order books, with both Bell and Sikorsky on track to double their sales and revenue by decades end, Eurocopter reporting equally solid sales and Bell/Agusta...
November 1, 2005
Despite program delays and skepticism about the effects of the BA609's costs on potential markets, those with orders on the books say they're sticking with the civil tilt-rotor. DESPITE YEARS OF BA609 PROGRAM SLIPS, AIR CENTER Helicopters in Fort Worth, Texas, is holding on tight to its two orders for the Bell/Agusta civil tilt-rotor. Air Center President and CEO Rod Tinney wishes he had them today. Tinney...
October 1, 2005
Unprecedented Helicopter Force Takes Field in Katrina's Wake Hurricane Katrina destroyed, and helicopters by the score swept in behind her to save and bring succor. In the wake of that devastating Aug. 29 maelstrom and the flooding that followed it, helicopter owners and operators of every size and stripe flew to the grief-stricken regions of Louisiana and Mississippi to help in any way they could. Nearly...
September 1, 2005
As health and usage monitoring systems prove their worth in the North Sea and elsewhere, more civil and military fliers want the safety and operational benefits they offer. As operational experience proves the scope and value of benefits from health and usage monitoring systems in helicopters, more and more users are pushing for the application of such systems to their fleets. Known as HUMS, such systems...
September 1, 2005
Proven in decades of airline use, flight operations quality assurance is slowly winning over those in the helicopter world. Shell Oil likes to keep its employees out of the water. So when a multi-year U.K.-funded flight operations quality assurance program (FOQA) study in the North Sea ended last year, rather than waiting for the civil aviation authority to potentially mandate the practice, Shell took...
September 1, 2005
In offshore operations, the EMS community and now an international confab, helicopter leaders are pushing for new standards for safety and training. If all goes as planned, a meeting will convene late this month that could transform rotorcraft safety. At the behest of the American Helicopter Society International, leaders in the provision, use and regulation of helicopters will gather in Montreal, the home...
September 1, 2005
Bell Beats Boeing, Aims for ARH Deliveries Next Year Bell Helicopter plans to start delivering Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter to the U.S. Army starting next year. The U.S. Army picked Bell in late July to build its next-generation armed reconnaissance and scout helicopter. Plans call for the company to deliver 368 of the aircraft between next year and Fiscal 2013. The Army awarded Bell an initial...
August 1, 2005
FOR JUST ABOUT A WEEK IN JUNE every two years, the aviation world is focused on the ramps and runways at the heart of Le Bourget. At that famed airport outside Paris where Charles Lindbergh completed the first solo transatlantic crossing nearly 80 years ago, the latest in fighters, airliners, private aircraft, gliders and helicopters swoop and dive twice each afternoon during the biennial Paris Air Show...
August 1, 2005
Good News, and a Probe OFFSHORE OPERATORS, AT LEAST the big ones, seem to be riding high. They are introducing new aircraft like the S-92 and AB139 and expressing their intention to hold on to the older aircraft the new ones originally were intended to replace. The reason: they say they can't afford to release the older aircraft from their fleets, given the crush of business they're expecting. The...
August 1, 2005
AGUSTAWESTLAND IS SET TO PROSPER FROM PAST efforts to develop civil products that split traditional aircraft market niches while it simultaneously refines its technological strengths and works to identify the most fruitful aircraft for future development. Long a subcontractor and licensee to the world's other helicopter makers, the company's Italian component at Agusta made a major move in 1998 when it...
July 1, 2005
Mouth-Watering Recipe Record helicopter sales. New aircraft launches. Ambitious technology development initiatives. Industry campaigns for enhanced safety and more efficient operations. Alone, any one of these would be a great development. Mix them all together and you've got the recipe for exciting times for the rotorcraft industry and thrilling prospects for aspiring helicopter pilots and the outfits...
July 1, 2005
Sikorsky Vows to Break `Pure Helicopter' Sound Barrier Sikorsky is challenging the conventional thinking that a rotorcraft cannot be built to exceed 200-kt. cruise speed without sacrificing the abilities that make a helicopter unique and valuable. "Today's top cruise speeds of 150-170 kt. are only incrementally faster than they were decades ago" due to the limits of conventional rotor systems...
May 1, 2005
Bringing Visuals Down to Earth In place in its new home, Bell's training academy is focused on enhancing customer learning in part by improving the tools they use to prep for specific mission activities. Flight training devices are impressive things. Built to match the aircraft they represent, to a high degree of fidelity, the more advanced of these devices permit a great deal of systems, procedures and...
May 1, 2005
Lifesaving training, new technology and support gear are adding to the safety of offshore operations. The energy industry and its offshore helicopter operators have, over the last few years, quietly enhanced their emergency training programs, as well as retrofitted their helicopters with various safety gear and communications equipment to support their operations worldwide. There are multiple reasons why...
May 1, 2005
July Conference to Target Civil Use of NVGs The Assn. of Air Medical Services is working with operators, federal regulators and safety investigators, aircraft makers and equipment vendors to organize a one-day conference in July on avoiding pitfalls in the operational introduction of night-vision goggles for helicopter emergency medical services. NVGs are growing in popularity among civil operators and...
April 1, 2005
Latin America's helicopter industry is diverse, bureaucratically challenged and expensive. But the region is a growing market for those willing to take advantage of strengthening economies. First off, the good news. The Latin American helicopter industry is growing steadily and is expected to continue to do so for at least the next 20 years. And now the bad news--the Latin American helicopter industry is...
April 1, 2005
Dutch National Police Cancellation Digs Deeper Hole for MD Is the Dutch national police's cancellation of a contract for seven MD902s the final nail in MD Helicopters' coffin? The Netherlands interior minister on March 1 canceled the National Police Services Agency's contract for the helicopters after concluding that the contractor, Helifly N.V., was not in a position to deliver two of the aircraft to the...
March 1, 2005
The Next Step In Safety Helicopter operators in the Gulf of Mexico are assessing how much an ongoing risk-reduction program has improved aviation safety in the region and what additional steps must be taken to reverse a rising trend in accidents there. Operators have taken many actions under the program, launched over a year ago. Under the banner of the Helicopter Safety Advisory Conference, they have...
March 1, 2005
The US101 offered by Lockheed Martin, AgustaWestland and Bell could fulfill requirements for a new U.S. presidential helicopter at lower costs and less risk than the VH-92 proposed by Sikorsky and its partners, top Navy officials decided. VXX Choice: Fielded Faster, With Less Risk It wasn't the flag, it wasn't the systems---it was the aircraft. And at a Jan. 28 Pentagon briefing on selection of the next...
February 1, 2005
By John Croft Toiling for Oil THERE'S A MAXIM THAT THE NUMBER OF HELICOPTER passengers at Scotland's Aberdeen Airport is a telling indicator of the offshore sector's health, since many of them fly to North Sea oil rigs. In mid-2003, the numbers were down, as was offshore business. Last year, however, the numbers sparked cautious optimism. In November 2004, for instance, Aberdeen's helicopter traffic was up...
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