Rotor & Wing Magazine :: Commercial :: Technology

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April 16, 2013
Bell Helicopter has earned Indonesian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approval to increase the maximum gross weight of the 429 to 7,500 lbs. The 500-lb increase is based on Transport Canada’s certification of the weight boost tracing back to December 2011. Indonesia becomes the 17th country to approve the exception, joining five others in Southeast Asia/Oceania and five nations in South...
April 16, 2013
How do you get high-speed, efficient performance from a hybrid rotorcraft design? The U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking for organizations to help answer that question as part of its vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) X-Plane program, and an Australian company is suggesting one possibility for the 52-month effort that has a budget of around $130 million.   StopRotor Technology...
April 11, 2013
Quad-A, Fort Worth, Texas—John Garrison, Bell Helicopter’s president and CEO, uncovered the Bell V-280 Valor 3rd generation tiltrotor at the start of the annual U.S. Army Aviation symposium, Quad-A. The V-280 is Bell’s offering for the Department of Defense’s Joint Multi-Role/Future Vertical Lift helicopter project, which could result in the production of more than 4,000 aircraft...
April 10, 2013
Editor’s Note: E-volo does not use the words “rotorcraft,” “rotary-wing aircraft” or “helicopter.” Yet, the author believes their concept clearly belongs to the rotorcraft family (according to the definition in Webster’s dictionary). Therefore, the author is using “rotorcraft” to describe E-volo’s concept. E-volo, a Karlsruhe-based company...
April 8, 2013
Malaysia’s Weststar Aviation Services has agreed to purchase eight helicopters from AgustaWestland, consisting of a pair of large-cabin AW189s and a six-pack of AW139s. Tan Sri...
April 3, 2013
I sit here pondering how to relate my recent experience with flying Eurocopter’s newest product, the EC175 medium twin. Let’s face it, for a steam gauge guy transitioning to glass within a span of 40 minutes, it’s easy to get lost in the Technicolor world of huge navigation and systems screens in concert with “many buttons.” The EC175 is currently on a world tour to showcase...
April 2, 2013
The acquisition by Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) of an AS365 N3 "equipped with a high-speed, real-time transmission system using Earth-orbiting satellites" is a world first, according to Eurocopter. The Helicopter Satellite Communication System (HSA) uses satellites to relay real-time video and data to ground receiving stations. The system, developed by Mitsubishi...
April 1, 2013
Eurocopter anticipates that a fix to the main gearbox issues with the EC225 will be available in April. The model was temporarily grounded after two ditching incidents in the UK’s North Sea during 2012. “We have to fix the technical issues which we are currently facing with the 225. No doubt,” said Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling during a March 5 press briefing at Heli-Expo...
April 1, 2013
Turbomeca uncovered its TM800 during an unveiling ceremony at Heli-Expo, giving it the name Arrano.    In an unveiling that featured an almost Cirque de Soleil-style introduction with acrobats fitting for Las Vegas and CEO Olivier Andries perched above a crowd gathered around the company’s booth, Turbomeca took the wraps off its latest engine on March 5...
April 1, 2013
Lockheed Martin/Kaman unmaned cargo K-Max.    Gary Tenison, vice president of business development and marketing for Kaman Aerospace, told Rotor & Wing that the company’s recent restructuring is part of a strategy to focus on operators. “One Kaman is about consolidating the Kaman business,” he said. “Helicopters were once apart and are now within the Aerosystems group...
April 1, 2013
Bell engineers use the 525 Relentless simulator to test the ergonomics and flight characteristics of the “super medium” helicopter design. Note the side-stick configuration of the fly-by-wire controls.   Last year, Fort Worth, Texas-based Bell Helicopter unveiled the mock-up of its model 525 “Relentless,” the aircraft its designers call a “super medium” twin...
April 1, 2013
Cobham HeliSAS is an autopilot system designed for light helicopters.    Cobham, the avionics firm based in Mineral Wells, Texas, arrived at Heli-Expo 2013 with HeliSAS, the company’s sleek autopilot system specifically designed for the light helicopter market. Weighing in at a scant 15 lbs., the system, which was designed for Part 27-catagory helicopters in VFR conditions, is capable of...
April 1, 2013
Bristow EC175 at the Eurocopter booth.   HAI’s Heli-Expo played host to 60 helicopters and 736 exhibitors in Las Vegas while attracting 20,393 visitors during the three-day event in early March. The oil and gas sector was a principle beneficiary of many of the orders signed with the major OEMs during this year’s show. The first official customer for Eurocopter’s new EC175 helicopter...
April 1, 2013
Rotorcraft pilots love to talk shop. We chat about our helicopters and how they handle, regardless of whether they are a pleasure to fly, or are a handful. Sometimes you’ll catch us outstretching a steady clenched fist as we describe the “rock solid” hover tendencies of one model, or rapidly fluttering a hand as we speak of another which gets “squirrely” on approach to a...
April 1, 2013
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched its VTOL X-Plane program to challenge industry engineers to dream up “novel concepts” for the next generation of vertical lift.     During a conference call with reporters, VTOL X-Plane Program Manager Ashish Bagai said that one of the main objectives is to “not just revisit existing methods or approaches...
April 1, 2013
During an exclusive interview with Rotor & Wing on March 6, Bell Helicopter President & CEO John Garrison detailed the manufacturer’s plans for the future of tiltrotor technology. Bell has submitted its own proposal for the U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate’s (AATD) Joint Multi Role (JMR) technology demonstrator (TD). All proposals had to be received in early March. Bell...
April 1, 2013
With helicopter numbers expected to multiply rapidly in India over the next few years, both in the civil sector and the military, there is a corresponding rise for synthetic training, something that is just now coming to the fore. A joint venture organization established in January 2008 between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and CAE, the Canadian simulation and integrated training provider, now seems...
April 1, 2013
With the threat of sequestration in the air, a question mark against the numbers of military that would attend, and a gloomy presence by an industry reluctant to take part in a gathering that has seemingly got progressively smaller both in exhibitors and visitors, the annual winter AUSA ILW Aviation went ahead in January 2013 at National Harbor, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. But speakers there...
March 28, 2013
HAI’s Heli-Expo played host to 60 helicopters and 736 exhibitors in Las Vegas while attracting 20,393 visitors during the three-day event in early March. The oil and gas sector was a principle beneficiary of many of the orders signed with the major OEMs during this year’s show. The first official customer for Eurocopter’s new EC175 helicopter was revealed to be Bristow Group, with an...
March 28, 2013
Shanghai-based Avia-Tek aviation consultancy has forecast the delivery of 65 civil helicopters into the Chinese rotorcraft market during 2013, bringing the total number of airframes in China to 435. Avia-Tek publishes an annual report that in 2011 predicted that the Chinese civil market would have 357...
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