Matt Zuccaro, president of the Helicopter Association International (HAI), wants attendees of Heli-Expo to understand right up front that he and his association members are team players. “Too often in the past, helicopters were seen as a segment of aviation unto itself,” he explained. To help correct that misconception, Zuccaro invited the leaders of several key aviation associations to an onstage dialogue at 9 a.m., Monday, February 13.
All HAI 2012 News
Highlighting the 20th anniversary of the founding of Eurocopter, Marignane, France-based Eurocopter is introducing the latest evolution in its product line here at Heli-Expo’12. Eurocopter evolved from the 1992 merger of the helicopter divisions of Aerospatiale of France and Daimler-Benz Aerospatiale Aerospace of Germany.
Just down the road from the Dallas Convention Center is the Arlington home of the long-awaited AW609 tiltrotor program. Following AgustaWestland’s move late last year to complete the full takeover of the program from former partner Bell Helicopters, the tiltrotor is a full-blown Italian now. While work on the program will continue in the Lone Star state, all roads lead not so much to Rome, as to Agusta’s headquarters at Cascina Costa, just north of Milan.
With service entry for its new AW189 and AW169 models looming large over the next couple of years, AgustaWestland is scrambling to ensure that operators can get their flight crew type rated in good time. At its main training academy in Sesto Calende, Italy, a major extension is under construction to house no fewer than nine full-flight simulators and six training devices for the new aircraft.
AgustaWestland and Honeywell are introducing a new “Phase 7” version of the Primus Epic avionics suite for the AW139 rotorcraft. The upgrade, which will be available soon for new-build aircraft as well as for retrofit, is about more than modernizing the operating procedures of the avionics, it marks a step-change in the manufacturer’s approach to developing the cockpits of its growing family of aircraft.
A helicopter operating in the North Sea suffers a lightning strike which damages a critical part, forcing the pilots to take refuge on an oil platform, blocking the only landing pad from other movements. Within seconds of the engines shutting down, staff at AgustaWestland’s logistics center at Lonate Pozzolo near Milan are aware of the problem and a response plan is swinging into action. Technicians assess the extent of the damage and dispatch a replacement part within a few hours so that the aircraft can return to base.
AgustaWestland has introduced some impressive new aircraft in recent Heli-Expo shows. But its presence at this year’s event here in Dallas is all about the collective strength of its growing family of products. The company is showcasing its New Generation Helicopter Family, consisting of the existing A109 Grand New and AW139 flagships and the in-development AW169 and AW189 models.
Some 40 helicopters winged their way into the Dallas Convention Center parking in the days just before Heli-Expo 2012 starts. To learn more about this, AIN talked with HAI director of flight ops Harold Summers and v-p of regulations Dave York.
Thirty-nine helicopters arrived at the Dallas Convention Center loading dock on Wednesday and Thursday before the show opened.
What does whale oil have in common with deep-water oil and gas production? If you’re talking about the history of Bristow Group, quite a lot. In 1953, Alan Bristow, a former Royal Navy helicopter pilot, founded a company called Air Whaling, that specialized in spotting whales for company factory ships.