Rotorcraft » Rotorcraft Aircraft

News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft.

July 2, 2013 - 2:50am

Eurocopter and French aerospace research center Onera are jointly investigating how augmented reality, for the senses of vision and touch, could benefit helicopter pilots in the future. The two organizations are developing an advanced flight simulator, also known as a “neuro-ergonomic” platform, initially aimed at finding ways to avoid obstacles and terrain.

July 2, 2013 - 1:55am
Offshore operator PHI worked with Sikorsky to design an automated rig approach for the S-92 to reduce pilot workload by eliminating manual flying in the intermediate stages of the approach.

The FAA has certified a new functionality on the Sikorsky S-92: an automated rig approach for offshore operators intended to decrease workload when the crew is in a critical flight phase. Sikorsky intends eventually to bring the same capability to the smaller S-76D.

The S-92’s autopilot already had a search-and-rescue (SAR) mode that could fly the rotorcraft to a point in space. Sikorsky design engineers, collaborating with operator PHI, built on this mode to create the new functionality. In addition, the weather radar ensures the flight path is free from obstacles.

July 2, 2013 - 12:45am
During a demo flight at Istres air force base, the unmanned EC145 performed a hover to release  a sling load.

Eurocopter performed a demonstration flight of an “optionally piloted vehicle” (OPV) version of the EC145 in late April, with the goal of eventually employing any of its models in unmanned operations such as automated surveillance and cargo hauling. Secret flight-testing began two weeks earlier at Istres air force base in France. The project’s coordination team is based at Eurocopter’s research and development center in Donauwörth, Germany, where the first flights, with a monitoring pilot, took place.

July 1, 2013 - 1:35am

AgustaWestland has confirmed reports that certification of the AW609 civil tiltrotor has been pushed out to 2017, a one-year delay. A company spokesman told AIN that the schedule change is the result of numerous upgrades being made to the design in terms of aerodynamics and systems, including new engines, avionics and fly-by-wire flight controls.

June 24, 2013 - 1:20pm
Enstrom 480B

Investment from its new owner, Chongqing (China) Helicopter Investment Corporation (CQHIC), is giving Enstrom Helicopter of Menominee, Michigan (Hall 3 Stand A93) a strong tailwind, which is showing results on several fronts.

June 19, 2013 - 1:40pm
 Kamov Ka-52

Turning heads at Le Bourget whenever it takes to the skies is Kamov’s Ka-52 helicopter. Its co-axial rotor blades and comprehensive weapons suite mark it out from the herd and, amazingly for a helicopter, it even has ejection seats. With the Ka-52 now in Russian army service and being touted for export, the design bureau is busy working on a maritime version for the Russian navy.

June 19, 2013 - 8:10am
Kamov Ka-52

Turning heads at Le Bourget whenever it takes to the skies is Kamov’s Ka-52 helicopter. Its co-axial rotor blades and comprehensive weapons suite mark it out from the herd and, amazingly for a helicopter, it even has ejection seats. With the Ka-52 now in Russian army service and being touted for export, the design bureau is busy working on a maritime version for the Russian navy.

June 18, 2013 - 2:20pm

Bell Helicopter is developing a new “short, light single” (SLS) that will be powered by a Turbomeca Arrius 2R turboshaft engine, John Garrison, president and CEO, announced yesterday morning at the Paris Air Show. The “clean sheet” aircraft, which Garrison expects will fly next year, will be the first Bell helicopter to be powered by a Turbomeca engine. Certification of the new helicopter will take place “as quickly as possible” after the first flight.

June 11, 2013 - 4:20pm

Eurocopter announced today that its X3 compound helicopter demonstrator flew at 255 knots in level flight on Friday near Istres in southeast France. Also part of the unofficial speed record was a descent at 263 knots. These speeds are just a few knots higher than those the Sikorsky X2 semi-compound demonstrator attained in 2010.

June 7, 2013 - 10:50am

The U.S. Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate selected Bell Helicopter Textron, a Boeing-Sikorsky team and AVX Aircraft among contractors invited to participate in the joint multi-role technology demonstrator (JMR-TD) program with new rotorcraft designs, the companies confirmed. They expect the Army will award JMR-TD contracts by September. The first demonstrator flights are planned in 2017.

 
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