On Monday, Italian helicopter maker AgustaWestland revealed that it has been secretly flying an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing demonstration aircraft powered by twin-electric, direct-drive tiltrotors. The “Project Zero” tiltrotor was designed and built in six months by the company’s advanced concepts group and has been flying since 2011.
More Stories from Heli-Expo 2013
Heli-Expo 2013 ran from March 5 to 7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Here is a selection of photographs from the event.
Photos by Mariano Rivera and Jack Sykes. Copyright AIN Publications.
Aviation employment services company HQ Aero Management (US) recently entered into a partnership with Workforce West Virginia and local aviation companies to create an eight-week Aircraft Structures Training Program at Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont, W.V.
Onboard Systems (Booth No. N4431) is exhibiting its range of external load equipment, including a new Bell 407 hydraulic cargo hook kit, at Heli-Expo ’13.
The new kit, which may be installed for either right- or left-hand pilot operation, uses the company’s proprietary pin load cell technology, which features a single attachment point to replace the conventional two-hole load cell linkage.
An upcoming airshow focusing exclusively on law enforcement and military rotorcraft will carry special meaning for several members of the United States armed forces, and not only due to the swell of emotions that events like these tend to bring about. A special naturalization ceremony for non-citizen members of the military will take place during the American Heroes Air Show, on the first day of the Texas Military Forces Open House at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, scheduled for April 20-21.
East/West Industries took the opportunity at Heli-Expo to feature two of its products that share little in common on the surface, except for innovative design and safety considerations.
“Our energy-attenuating seats are the lightest seats on the market, and accommodate the entire range of potential occupants without any adjustments,” said Joseph Spinosa, vice president for business development. “The occupant merely sits down, buckles in and gets full protection. We provide the same protection level for all occupants, not just the 50th percentile model.”
AviIT’s eMan Solution team is eager to show Heli-Expo ’13 attendees the versatility of its eMan framework, which provides efficient distribution of technical publications for maintenance professionals. The software infrastructure has the ability to cut operating costs for librarians, IT departments and maintenance technicians servicing aircraft.
Vector Aerospace has announced the grand opening of a new Vector Aerospace Engine Services-Atlantic PT6A engine MRO facility in Brisbane, Australia.
“Australia is a sophisticated aviation market and is an extremely important market for us in terms of the tremendous growth opportunities,” said Jeff Poirer, president of Vector Aerospace Engine Services-Atlantic.
Enhanced performance, greater reliability and reduced operator maintenance costs are the primary selling points behind the “Mercury Mod” starter generator upgrade offered by Naasco Northeastern Corporation. In addition to celebrating the 18-year history of the upgrade, Naasco is sharing news about its upcoming “Mercury Mod-Phase Two” variant at Heli-Expo’13 (Booth No. C3924.)
Parker Aerospace (Booth No. C2329) announced at Heli-Expo ’13 that it recently received STC/PMA from EASA on fuel pumps for a variety of Eurocopter models.
The new components–for the AS332L and L1; AS355/Twin Star; SA365 and SA365N/Dauphin 2, SA365N1 and N2; and AS355E, F, F1 and F2–were previously approved by the FAA and are now available for European operators, according to Jeff Kelling, service center manager for Parker’s fluid system division.
Metro Aviation (Booth No. C3511), further advancing its single-pilot IFR STC approval for the Eurocopter EC135 series, has added to it a helicopter terrain awareness and warning system (H-Taws). The company will also add Garmin’s GTN series navcom/GPS to both the EC135 and EC145 single-pilot IFR STCs later this year. The new GTNs offer touchscreen controls and seamless cockpit integration, as well as multifunction display capabilities that include ADS-B traffic and weather.
Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU, Booth No. C2707) announced this week at Heli-Expo ’13 that it recently completed night vision cockpit modifications to a Eurocopter AS350B2 operated by Era Training Center. ASU maintenance director Chris Reber completed the modification on-site at Era’s facility in Lake Charles, La.
“Era Training Center needed its aircraft modified within a short period of time and wanted it done before Heli-Expo,” he said. “Through a collective effort, we streamlined our process and completed the modification in a little more than a month.”
Becker Avionics (Both No. N5801) will supply its DVCS6100 digital audio and intercommunication system for the Brazilian Army Aviation AS550 A2 Fennec and AS350 Squirrel helicopter modernization program.
The selection means Becker Avionics of Miramar, Fla., and Becker do Brazil are the new partners of Helibras, Eurocopter’s Brazilian subsidiary and the Brazilian Army.
Integrated Microwave Technologies introduced a new tool for aerial surveillance Tuesday at Heli-Expo ‘13. The Mobile Viewer-BC Dual-Diversity COFDM Briefcase Receiver/Monitor is intended for law enforcement, public security monitoring and covert surveillance operations.
Honeywell (Booth No. C4304) is announcing a new global network of condition-based maintenance systems (CBMS) distributors, enhancing worldwide coverage with native language and onsite technical support.
Effective January 1, Beijing Andawell Science & Technology in China and Transworld Aviation in the United Arab Emirates joined Honeywell’s CBMS network in the U.S., Europe, South Korea and Japan. New local offices are also planned for Australia and the UK.
Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) announced Wednesday at Heli-Expo ’13 the signing of a 10-year Total Assurance Program (TAP) agreement to support the S-92 fleet operated by Bristow Group. Valued at more than $840 million, the renewal was signed late last year following expiration of a prior seven-year support contract. Sikorsky offers TAP maintenance support to commercial and military operators of the S-76, S-92 and S-70 worldwide, with the program covering up to 98 percent of the cost of parts replacement on the airframe, drive train, gearboxes, avionics and consumable items.
Part of the allure of a helicopter is the incredible visibility from inside the cockpit and cabin. Fort-Worth, Texas based Tech-Tool Plastics (Booth No. C3601) introduced a new version of its Cabin Comfort window for the Eurocopter EC120 and EC130 T2 during Heli-Expo ’13.
“The added visibility and room provided by our windows is ideal for the tourist industry,” said Johnny Wilson, founder and president of the company.
The lingering effects from sequestration have taken a heavy toll on the 2013 military airshow and demonstration season, as multiple public outreach events and at least one high-profile team have seen their entire schedule scrubbed due to budget cuts.
HAI president Matt Zuccaro announced a renewed and enhanced partnership with the Experimental Aircraft Association during his annual press conference at Heli-Expo ’13. Zuccaro introduced EAA’s Jonathan Berger, who detailed the new arrangement.
Heli-One announced the receipt of an estimated $25 million extended support contract from Brazil’s Omni Taxi Aereo at Heli-Expo ’13. Under the agreement, Heli-One will provide power-by-the-hour support for Omni’s Sikorsky S-61s and S-76s, as well as two additional S-76C++ helicopters. Omni’s fleet, which is used to support Brazil’s offshore oil industry, also includes Sikorsky S-92s, Eurocopter EC225s and AgustaWestland AW139s. Company president Larry Alexandre said Heli-One is “honored to be part of this ongoing partnership with Omni.” The new contract also extends Heli-One’s support of the Omni fleet to 2018.