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Saturday, September 1, 2007

Rotorcraft Report: Helitech to Highlight SAR, Medium Birds, and UAVs

AIR SHOWS

Search-and-rescue operations, medium-lift helicopter requirements, and the market potential of vertical-lift unmanned systems will be focuses of discussions at Helitech 2007, the all-rotorcraft trade show and exhibition to be held in England next month.

This year’s show is scheduled for Oct. 2-4 at the Imperial War Museum Duxford in Cambridge, United Kingdom. The biennial event gives visitors the chance to network with key personnel focused on rotary-wing operations under one roof, test and learn about the latest innovative solutions and industry developments, and see live flight demonstrations.

In addition to the host of rotorcraft-related exhibitors and hundreds of displayed, performing, and visiting aircraft (more than 300 visiting craft flew into the last show), Helitech 2007 will include three daylong forums. They each have their own registration fees, which must be paid in advance of the events. The forums will be held in the new AirSpace hangar at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

The first session is the One-Day Helicopter Search and Rescue (SAR) Forum on Tues., Oct. 2. Its keynote address is to be on the harmonization of aeronautical and maritime SAR. Presentations will cover the Norwegian SAR Helicopter program and Europe’s Project Marius (Mobile Autonomous Reactive Information System for Urgency Situations). Other sessions include "Katrina Rescue: A View from the Cockpit," "Safety in SAR, Australian Search and Rescue (AUS SAR)," and "Project Cobalt, Joining up Civil and Military Communications."

The second, "Medium-Lift Helicopter Forum" will be held Wed., Oct. 3. It is sponsored principally by Sikorsky Aircraft and additionally by AgustaWestland and is to include a keynote address on the United Kingdom’s Joint Helicopter Command. Presentations are to be made on the U.K. Defence Ministry’s Medium-Lift Helicopter Strategy, the timescales and requirements of the U.K.’s Future Medium-Lift Helicopter program, "An Operational Perspective from the Front Line," partnering models and innovative procurement, and "An Industry Perspective of Future Medium-Lift Helicopters." It also will include an update on the U.K. Interim Medium-Lift Helicopter program.

The third forum, Thurs., Oct. 4, will focus on vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle technology. Its keynote speaker is scheduled to be an aviation adviser to the U.K. Home Office. Presentations are to address the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority’s publication CAP 722, "Unmanned Aerial Systems Operations in U.K. Airspace-Guidance), UAV collision-avoidance solutions and the £32 million ($65 million) Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation and Assessment (ASTRAEA) program to open up opportunities for the civil use of UAVs. They also are to address VTOL and micro VTOL UAVs in U.K. law enforcement operations, VTOL operational evaluation, monitoring, control and surveillance and the future within fisheries, and UAVs in TV and film industry applications.

Fly-in to Helitech is free of charge during show hours. Show registration includes free admission to the museum. For updates and to register, visit www.helitech.co.uk.

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