Rotor & Wing Magazine :: Commercial :: Technology

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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...
March 28, 2013
Robinson Helicopters announced that the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee Aviation Register (IACAR) issued a type certificate for the R66 turbine on March 15, 2013, the culmination of a process that began in November 2010. The welcome news will now allow Robinson to export 22 R66 helicopters to Russia. A further 18 are in production and will now be delivered to Russian later in...
March 26, 2013
Honeywell’s 15th Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook, released earlier this month, forecasts a market for 4,900-5,600 new civil helicopters from 2013 to 2017. The report identifies “very strong” demand over the next three years from all regions of the world, with delivery rates expected to reach 1,000 units per year. For 2016 and 2017, similar delivery rates are possible...
March 26, 2013
UK Department of Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced that Bristow Helicopters is the final winner of the long awaited, and fought for, UK Search & Rescue helicopter contract worth £1.6 billion ($2.4 billion). It will run from April 2015 until 2026, with the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy Sea Kings being retired from service and all military crews standing down after 70 years...
March 22, 2013
Enstrom Helicopter of Menominee, Mich. used Heli-Expo 2013 in Las Vegas as a backdrop for the introduction of a Garmin G1000H flight control option for its 480B light turbine aircraft. The fully integrated system is primarily a flight information source that provides terrain avoidance, collision awareness, weather and engine data on two, panel-mounted displays. “It’s already been flying and...
March 22, 2013
Finmeccanica subsidiary AgustaWestland has uncovered its “Project Zero” effort, which is tiltrotor a technology demonstrator (TD). The electrically powered aircraft has two integrated...
March 21, 2013
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched its vertical takeoff and landing (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...
March 20, 2013
Eurocopter uncovered its EC135 T3 and P3 variants at Heli-Expo show in early March. The helicopters will come equipped with two new engine options—Turbomeca’s Arrius 2B2 “Plus” for the T3 and Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PWC206B3 for the P3...
March 19, 2013
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 providing hands-off flight for pilots across the pitch and roll axis. (Power and yaw...
March 19, 2013
Walking through the long hallways of the Las Vegas Convention Center during HAI’s Heli-Expo in early March, I didn’t have to go far to see some sort of ongoing safety event. Whether it was a class on accident prevention, HFACS or safety management systems (SMS), the show was overwhelmingly conspicuous with safety awareness. I was impressed with the number of members who wanted to learn more...
March 18, 2013
Last year, Fort Worth, Texas-based Bell Helicopter unveiled the mockup of its model 525 “Relentless,” the aircraft its designers call a “super medium” twin. Designed to carry up to 18 people in a dense seating configuration, the 10,000-to-11,000-lb. (empty weight) ship is being developed primarily with the offshore support market in mind. To assist engineers with tweaking the...
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