Crowds Come Out for Busy Houston Heli-Expo

 - February 23, 2010, 9:58 AM

Nearly 15,000 attendees filled the exhibit hall at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston through the second day of Heli-Expo 2010. The three-day show officially comes to a close today. The total number of exhibitors this year was 596, up from 585 last year. Total attendance was expected to be within 1 to 3 percent of last year’s record 17,373. Noteworthy developments at Heli-Expo 2010 included the arrival of Robinson Helicopter vice president Kurt Robinson and chief test pilot Doug Tompkins in the Rolls-Royce RR300-powered R66 and announcement of the new helo’s $770,000 price tag. Eurocopter unveiled its new Bluecopter effort to reduce helicopters’ environmental footprint, including radically shaped rotor blades, as well as the search-and-rescue version of the EC175 medium twin. AgustaWestland celebrated the debut of the AW109 Grand New featuring a Cobham Avionics suite with synthetic vision and HTAWS. Garmin chose Heli-Expo to announce a major push into the helo market with its new G500H avionics system. And Bell Helicopter invited attendees for demo flights in a new 429 that the company brought to the show. Heli-Expo, said HAI president Matt Zuccaro, has been exceeding expectations in the past four or five years, reaching milestones with each successive show. For complete news from the show, go to AIN’s Heli-Expo landing page.