Orlando Readies for Rotorcraft Roundup

 - March 3, 2011, 9:46 AM

From avionics manufacturers targeting the rotorcraft market to new helicopter programs, this year's Heli-Expo is shaping up to be a busy show. Opening at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando on Sunday, Heli-Expo '11 is expected to draw nearly 600 exhibitors, according to the Helicopter Association International. While traditional manufacturers are expected to announce new models, Marenco Swisshelicopter will display a mockup of its planned turbine-powered five- to eight-seat SH09. Night-vision goggle system installers, maintainers and trainers will also be a big part of the show as regulators and operators around the world come to appreciate NVG safety benefits. Highlighted events during Heli-Expo '11 include a job fair (with free admission) from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, manufacturer technical briefings, safety seminars, committee meetings and the annual meeting of the Twirly Birds. On Monday evening, the helicopter community comes together to honor this year's Salute to Excellence Award winners. The Heli-Expo Web site has the show schedule and other information, and there’s even a smartphone app with the full show schedule. As always, AIN is publishing three daily issues at Heli-Expo, on March 6, 7 and 8, as well as a steady feed of real-time news on AINonline, videos from AINtv and social media posts (follow @AINonline on Twitter).