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April 1, 2007
TIMES ARE GOOD IN THE HELICOPTER INDUSTRY. IN some ways, they’re too good. Take Schweizer Aircraft, for example. The Horseheads, N.Y.-based manufacturer’s core businesses — commercial and military helicopters, fixed-wing surveillance aircraft, unmanned helicopters, and aerospace subcontracting — are all booming. The same is true for the "new" lines of work added in the...
April 1, 2007
IT MAY SEEM LIKE NO ONE IS HAPPY WITH THE current high demand for new helicopters. Operators don’t like having to wait a year or more for aircraft. Customers of commercial ones want more services than it is possible to get at times, because everything available is flying. Manufacturers complain they could garner more sales if they could build helicopters faster. Smiling among the unhappy crowd...
April 1, 2007
THEY ARE MORE THAN PIECES OF TAUT MATERIAL stretched across rods in an aircraft. Today, the seats in a helicopter can be quite plush and comfortable, making the ride an enjoyable experience even in the bumpiest of weather. Whereas once, safety might have meant a snugly fastened seat belt (if that), the modern-day rotorcraft seat has all the elements of a highly regulated, highly tested piece of machinery...
March 1, 2007
EVERYONE LOVES THEIR AIRCRAFT, and everyone wants everybody else to love them, too. Even a clunker of a bird can endear itself to its pilots, and especially its mechanics. Which, I suspect, is one reason aviators make some of the most avid and innovative photographers. We like to show off our hardware and what we can do with it. Who can blame us? Fliers are an elite group, no matter what they fly. Just...
March 1, 2007
President Bush’s latest proposal for funding the U.S. aviation system in Fiscal 2008 and beyond calls for a new set of user fees to replace airline ticket taxes, a move that has general-aviation interest groups lining up to attack it in Congress. The Bush administration’s $67.4-billion Fiscal 2008 budget request for the U.S. Transportation Dept., which covers the FAA and its regulation and...
March 1, 2007
LYNN TILTON IS NOT AFRAID TO ADMIT A MISTAKE. "I make mistakes all the time," said the head of the New York distressed-debt investment firm, which since mid-2005 has been the owner of MD Helicopters. That is in part the nature of her job, she said: She owns 70 different companies, 50 of them with 100-percent stakes. They’re all in different industries. They’ve all got different...
March 1, 2007
IF THERE’S A DOWNTURN IN THE OFFING, IT’S HARD TO find someone who has a hint of it. As many of us packed our bags and prepared to wade into the hubbub of this year’s Heli-Expo in Orlando, Rotor & Wing surveyed the industry on the promises and pitfalls that 2007 and beyond may hold. Normally a skeptical lot, the helicopter industry veterans with whom we spoke shared nothing but...
March 1, 2007
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...
March 1, 2007
T IS PERHAPS THE MOST PROMISING DEVELOPMENT in airborne navigation and communications: a single system that can track aircraft without the need for radar, let each flier see the traffic nearby, and provide updates and alerts of weather and other important information. For those reasons and its proven success in Alaska (one of the most hostile operating environments for commercial aviators), automatic...
March 1, 2007
EFFORTS TO BOOST THE SAFETY OF HELICOPTER OPERATIONS get the spotlight in the South Pacific this month during a gathering of regional and international industry leaders in Australia. Meanwhile in the United States, a forum to discuss safety challenges and solutions is taking off in Dallas. Among its many activities, that event is providing a stage for firefighting operators to ponder the best way to...
March 1, 2007
PARIS — THE INAUGURAL JAN. 24 press conference of Lutz Bertling, Eurocopter’s new CEO, was a welcome breath of fresh air in an industry better known for its obfuscating and highly selective approach to public relations than for its forthrightness. Clearly, it helped that Bertling was able to announce a historically high revenue and order backlog; that Eurocopter’s products, across the...
February 1, 2007
Feb. 20-22 — International Specialists’ Meeting on Rotorcraft/Technology Infusion, Riverbend Campus, University of Texas at Arlington, Texas. Contact: Mark Dreier, 817-280-4907; E-mail: MDreier@BellHelicopter.Textron.com. March 1-3-Heli — Expo 2007, Orange County Convention Center, West Building, Orlando, Fla. Contact: Phone: 703-683-4646; Web: www.heliexpo.com. March 19-22 — 12th...
February 1, 2007
Is There No End In Sight? No, there isn’t. At least according to Lynn Tilton. The helicopter industry is in the midst of unprecedented demand for its goods and services nearly across the board — just about everybody agrees on that. But as the helicopter industry prepares for its biggest annual gathering, the Helicopter Assn. International’s Heli-Expo (this year in Orlando, Fla. March...
January 1, 2007
"This special report has evolved into a significant reference source for helicopter operators of all types." Welcome to the 2007 edition of the Annual Reports edition of our magazine. During the past few years, this special report has evolved into a significant reference source for helicopter operators of all types. Just a quick glance through the Executive Outlook section that follows below will...
January 1, 2007
Jan. 23-25 — International Specialists’ Meeting on Unmanned Rotorcraft, sponsored by the Arizona Chapter of the American Helicopter Society, Phoenix, Ariz. Phone: Scott Swinsick, 480-891-8429; E-mail: scott.swinsick@boeing.com. Jan. 31-Feb. 1 — Middle East Business Aviation, Airport Expo Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Contact: Phone: 971-4-286-7755; Fax 971-4-286-6166; E-mail...
January 1, 2007
Tilton Names New President at MD Helicopters MD Helicopters owner Lynn Tilton has named industry veteran Charles Vehlow to be president of the Mesa, Ariz. manufacturer. Tilton directly ran MD for most of 2006 after having replaced the previous top management team of Robert Rene and Randy Kesterson. "I have been working quite closely with Chuck and the high-quality MD executive team over the last year...
January 1, 2007
A NEW YEAR IS UPON US, AND IT promises great change. Of course, every new year brings change, in the form of a new birthday candle and more grey strands. But too often one year passes to the next with barely a burble. We strive to embrace the occasion by staying home from work, popping corks, tossing confetti and streamers, and sharing champagne. We trot out icons of a grey-haired, bearded old man and a...
December 1, 2006
Chinook Tops EH101, S-92 in CSAR-X Race In the end, it may have been a matter of who could field the aircraft fastest. In a move that generally shocked the rotorcraft world, at least in North America, U.S. Air Force officials on Nov. 9 chose Boeing’s CH-47 as the basis for their next-generation combat search-and-rescue helicopter. The service awarded Boeing a $712-million Combat Search-and-Rescue-X...
December 1, 2006
Dec. 5-7 — Dubai Helishow,  Dubai Airport Export, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Contact: Julia Cuthbert, +44(0)1293-823779, fax +44(0)1293- 825394; E-mail: cuthbert@mediaccom.com. Jan. 23-25, 2007 — International Specialists’ Meeting on Unmanned Rotorcraft, sponsored by the Arizona Chapter of the American Helicopter Society, Phoenix, Ariz. Phone: Scott, Swinsick, 480-891- 8429)...
December 1, 2006
2006 has been a year of learning the lessons of disasters small and large and laying the groundwork for future success. HOW DO YOU SUMMARIZE A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF THIS INDUSTRY? There is a great deal going at any time, and 2006 has been unusually busy — the sustained pace of combat operations, the growth of offshore support and EMS missions, a number of new aircraft programs, the tempo of...
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