Rotor & Wing Magazine :: Public Service :: Other Government Agencies

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April 1, 2008
LEE BENSON is the retired senior pilot for the Los Angeles County Fire Dept. Before he was named senior pilot, Lee ran the aviation section’s safety and training programs, including organizing the section’s yearly safety meeting with other public agencies and the press. REBECCA CHRISTIE this month contributes the Program Insider page of Rotorcraft Report. Based in Washington, she specializes in...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | AIRFRAMES Interest in Robinson Helicopter’s R66, strong from its launch last year, has grown with Bell Helicopter’s decision to cancel its 206B3 JetRanger line. The light, single, Robinson’s first turbine, has hundreds of dealers and customers ready to place orders based solely on the phenomenal success of the Torrance, Calif. company’s two-seat R22 and four-seat R44...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | AIRFRAMES AgustaWestland plans to beef up its popular AW139 to better compete in offshore markets. At Heli-Expo in Houston, the manufacturer said it is working on certification of an 882-lb. (400-kg) increase in the AW139’s max gross weight of 14,991 lb (6,800 kg). That would enable it to carry six passengers to a max range of more than 500 nm (926 km). The increase is intended to help the...
April 1, 2008
COMMERCIAL | SAFETY The FAA’s top helicopter official told Heli-Expo attendees that all night operations should be flown by pilots wearing night-vision goggles (NVGs). "NVGs should be the norm, not the exception," said David Downey, manager of the FAA’s Rotorcraft Directorate. A problem with that, of course, is that NVG installations in civil aircraft in the United States are done almost...
April 1, 2008
COMMERCIAL | SAFETY The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will hold a three-day forum on the safety of unmanned aircraft systems. The forum will be convened April 29 to May 1 at NTSB Headquarters in Washington. It is intended to help the board and interested parties better understand the safety implications of the growing use of...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS Engine makers Honeywell and Rolls-Royce project a hearty helicopter market worldwide for the next several years. Honeywell is projecting that 4,450 new civil, turbine-powered helicopters will go into service worldwide in the next five years, with corporate, emergency medical services (EMS), and law enforcement customers accounting for more...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | AIRFRAMES Sikorsky Aircraft unveiled its prototype X2 technology demonstrator to attendees at Heli-Expo 2008 Feb. 24 and sought input from potential customers on how they might make use of high-speed helicopters based on that technology. With the X2 program, Sikorsky aims to...
April 1, 2008
April 6-9 — AAAA Annual Convention, Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Md. Contact: AAAA National Office, Phone: 203-268-2450; Fax: 203-268-5870; Web: www.quad-a.org. April 23-26 — Aircraft Electronics Assn 51st Annual International Convention and Trade Show, Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Md. Contact: Phone: 816-373-6565; Fax...
April 1, 2008
President Bush may have nominated FAA Deputy Administrator Robert Sturgell to head the aviation agency, but his man may never take the post. The nomination as FAA chief requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate, and that body has repeatedly put off hearings toward approving Sturgell for the job. A number of reasons have been rumored. Among them is that labor-friendly Democrats in the Senate are miffed at...
April 1, 2008
Igor Sikorsky, the godfather of the modern helicopter, perhaps summed it up best: "Aeronautics was neither an industry nor a science. It was a miracle." When I served as editor-in-chief of Rotor & Wing during the mid-to-late 1990s, I was always struck by the sheer passion of the people in the helicopter market. Their devotion to rotorcraft made editing this magazine a joy and a privilege. I...
April 1, 2008
Developers of the X2 Technology Demonstrator are drawing on components and systems from other aircraft to expedite prototyping of the high-speed aircraft. The Sikorsky Aircraft development team has been striving to achieve a first flight of the coaxial main-rotor helicopter, a milestone delayed (due to a variety of factors) by more than a year from the original target of late 2006. Nonetheless, Sikorsky...
April 1, 2008
Patience is probably not considered a virtue by the helicopter operator who is waiting on some aspect of customer support. A review of Rotor & Wing customer perception surveys spanning a decade, however, shows that operators have seen improvements over that time in most areas of airframe makers’ customer support. Hence, our use of the cliché, "Good things come to those who wait"...
April 1, 2008
Continuing the discussion we began with my last column on helicopter acquisitions, I focus this month on helicopter selection ("Aircraft Life Lessons," February 2008, page xx). We all have favorite helicopter makers and models. Next to hot fudge sundaes with no calories, being allowed to pick my favorite helicopter without regards to cost or justification would be at the top of my Christmas list...
April 1, 2008
May 2008: Air Med on the European Continent — We examine in depth the factors spurring (and limiting) development of air medical operations on the Continent. Offshore Operations — As the offshore industry gathers in Houston for its annual Offshore Technology Conference, we look at what’s driving helicopter operations in the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, and elsewhere. Satellite Tracking...
April 1, 2008
Taking on Needles In Bigger Haystacks Planning on getting lost at sea? Try to wait a few years. The U.S. Coast Guard is in the process of installing new emergency beacon locators on all of its aircraft. The new DF-430-F electronic director finder, made by Rockwell Collins, can pick up emergency signals from 60 mi away, a huge improvement over older systems that required rescue aircraft to be within a few...
April 1, 2008
Armed Dolphins Replace Stingrays The U.S Coast Guard is now flying its own armed helicopters to interdict drug runners, after nearly a decade of using leased aircraft because its own weren’t powerful enough to lift the guns and crews needed for the mission. The Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron in Jacksonville, Fla., dubbed HITRON, switched to Eurocopter HH-65C Dolphins from leased...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | AVIONICS Intelligent Automation Corp. is making headway in persuading helicopter operators of the value of its aircraft monitoring and diagnostics systems. Much of Poway, Calif.-based IAC’s success has come with military operators. Its health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS) are...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | MISSION EQUIPMENT Axsys Technologies has reorganized its operations to offer current and potential customers streamlined, integrated, high-definition surveillance capabilities. The Rocky Hill, Conn. company, which last year acquired the video camera and infrared imager company Cineflex, has divided its operations in two. The Imaging Systems segment...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | AVIONICS The FAA plans to begin testing the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) communications, navigation, and surveillance system this year. The tests are be carried out are on a system of transponders placed on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. If implementation in...
April 1, 2008
PRODUCTS | AIRFRAMES Bell Helicopter is reorganizing its engineering shop and going outside for managers. Among its new hires is long-time tilt-rotor critic Nick Lappos. In a March 19 e-mail to employees, Bell President and CEO Richard Millman said Lappos, a 32-year veteran of Sikorsky Aircraft and most recently a Gulfstream executive, will head Bell’s XworX R&D shop...
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