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Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Addition

By Joy Finnegan

You may have seen a new contributor over the past couple of months. I wanted to take a moment to officially introduce Andrew Drwiega, and let you know he has joined Rotor & Wing as military editor. Andrew comes to us with a wealth of experience and background covering the military market, an area in which we’ve needed to have more focus.

Andrew will be writing military features, a monthly column called Military Insider and we are creating a new e-mail newsletter featuring Andrew’s expert commentary, writing and information. Details on how to sign up for this new e-letter, to be called “ Rotor & Wing’ s Military Insider with Andrew Drwiega,” can be found here: rotorandwing.com

As you may have read in our “Meet the Contributors” section, Andrew is a senior defense journalist who has focused on military rotorcraft for much of his career. He was the editor of Defence Helicopter, a UK-based publication, for seven years. Andrew has reported on attachment from Iraq three times (the latest of which was with a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 squadron), and twice with British forces in Afghanistan (Kandahar and Camp Bastion), as well as from numerous NATO and British exercises. We are hoping we can get him to go again soon on behalf of Rotor & Wing.

He has reported on rotary forces across the world, and in doing so has flown in a wide variety of rotorcraft on training missions, exercises and on operations including the Osprey, Apache, etc. Andrew has also been involved in organizing, chairing and attending defense and helicopter conferences around the world. We feel very fortunate to have Andrew with us here at Rotor & Wing and look forward to improving our military coverage with his help.

For his first feature story, Andrew had an exclusive opportunity to meet with Rear Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt, commander of the Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) in the UK. His interview with Johnstone-Burt is a rare look inside the JHC. The JHC was formed in 1999 to bring the battlefield helicopters of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force together under one command. But the force structure is changing. Learn how in this fascinating look at our closest ally’s plan for sustainability and for the future. Welcome aboard, Andrew!

Charlotte Adams takes a quick look at the Army Aviation Association of American Annual Convention, better known to many as Quad-A, that will occur this month. She talked to some exhibitors and the organizers to see what is in store for attendees of that event to be held in Fort Worth, Texas on April 14-17 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Rotor & Wing will be at Quad–A and will be blogging. You can find our Quad-A Blog at www.aviationtoday.com/blog.html

Also in the issue, we have a look at upgrading from analog cockpit instrumentation to glass. James Careless spoke with numerous operators to get their views on the process and the results. He talked to companies that upgraded everything from an R22 to a Sikorsky S-61, to a 1972-vintage Bell OH-58A+ Kiowa. Overwhelmingly, the consensus was positive about the results of these upgrades. See what operators like Day Aviation, Carson Helicopters and the Fairfax County Police have to say about their upgrades. Find that story beginning on page 36.

In addition, we talked to the folks at StandardAero about their recently implemented safety management system (SMS). StandardAero has more than four decades of experience working on the Rolls-Royce Model 250, one of the most successful helicopter engines in the world among many other engines, and has more than 4,000 employees at facilities located in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. The recent merging of various companies into one and these distant locations made SMS implementation a challenge. Hear about the process and what they learned while implementing it.

Last but not least we have a bonus special story. Rotor & Wing contributing editor Richard Whittle has graciously allowed us to include in this issue an excerpt of his new book, “The Dream Machine, The Untold History of the Notorius V-22 Osprey”. The book gives a unique look at how the V-22 was conceived, nurtured, marketed, built, tested and sold. It takes you from the drawing board to the air following one of the most arduous aircraft development programs of all time. James Fallows of Atlantic Monthly and author of “National Defense” had this to say about the book, “The Dream Machine" is a wonderful combination of personal drama, technological detective story, military history, and vivid explanation of major issues affecting America’s military and economic future. This is a valuable and engrossing book that will be read for many years to come.”

The excerpt will give you a taste of this amazing book and the story of the Osprey. It is a history, but reads like a page-turning novel, showcasing the triumphs and tragedies of the development of this unique VTOL aircraft.

See you at Quad–A!

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