Sikorsky Aircraft yesterday unveiled its X2 technology demonstrator here at Heli-Expo, with hordes of attendees surrounding the black-shrouded helicopter before it was revealed in a cloud of smoke and lights at the company’s booth (No. 1641). What emerged was a sleek-looking, two-pilot ship with a contra-rotating coaxial main rotor and an “aero propeller” in place of the tail rotor.
Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.
It was much ado about something as Eurocopter unveiled its new EC 175 medium twin yesterday at its booth (No. 631) in the main Heli-Expo hall. As the curtain dropped and the spotlights came up, the full-scale mockup was revealed in shades of gray and carrying 16 passengers dressed as offshore oil workers.
Evergreen Helicopters and Sikorsky concluded an agreement for the purchase of four S-76C++ helicopters for use in Evergreen’s offshore oil, utility and EMS missions, with deliveries to begin before the end of this year. Participating in a signing ceremony on Sunday at Sikorsky’s Heli-Expo booth (No.
Robinson Helicopter dealers who attended yesterday’s press conference said they are ready to place orders for the turbine-powered R66 currently under development at the Torrance, Calif. company’s headquarters.
AgustaWestland celebrated the opening of a new AW139 medium-twin helicopter assembly line in Philadelphia last week, just days before the company announced here at Heli-Expo 2008 new orders worth an estimated $163 million. More than half the orders were for AW139s.
At a press conference yesterday here at Heli-Expo, Bell Helicopter executive vice president of customer solutions Mike Blake further explained the Fort Worth, Texas helicopter manufacturer’s recent decision to “streamline” its production line. The rationalization will see the Bell 206B3, 210, 427 and 430 helicopters phased out of production by 2010, though the company promises to continue product support for these models indefinitely.
Sure, you can fly, but you can’t travel. That was the case with Bell Helicopter Textron’s new Model 429, still in the test-flight phase. The speedy light twin intended for display at Heli-Expo 2008 was in Canada and flight-ready, but it had less than the 25 flight hours needed before it could legally be flown across the border into the U.S.
Northern Virginia businessman and helicopter owner-pilot Scott Kasprowicz, along with copilot Steve Sheik, broke the international New York-to-Los Angeles transcontinental rotorcraft speed record on February 16 flying N1US, a factory-standard AgustaWestland A109S Grand. Kasprowicz and Sheik made the 2,139.8-nm trip in 15 hours, 9 minutes and 10 seconds, easily besting the previous record of 19 hours and 16 seconds set in 1985.
Merlin Simulation (Booth No. 3606) is here touting its approval of the only Robinson R22 VFR/IFR flight-training device built in accordance with FAA national simulator program (NSP) criteria. The FAA awarded level-3 certification to the non-motion simulator in August 2006.
And with helicopters as the players, that stage can be just about anywhere big enough to plant a pair of skids and keep the rotors out of trouble. This MD 500 touched down in a parking lot to join the gathering of the best and brightest rotorcraft here in Houston.