Rotorcraft

News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.

February 26, 2014 - 10:45pm
Order signing

AgustaWestland has had a busy several days here at Heli-Expo. The airframer announced several orders, including one to Omni Helicopters International Group for nine helicopters (four AW139 intermediate twins and five AW189 medium twins in offshore configuration), deliveries of which will begin in late 2015 and late 2016, respectively. The order marks the conclusion of an earlier agreement for a total of 13 AW139s, and the arrival of the AW189s will mark the type’s Brazil debut, where Omni will use it to support the oil and gas industry.

February 26, 2014 - 9:35pm

An expert panel of senior Russian rotorcraft executives pointed to forecast surging demand for small and medium helicopters in their market between now and 2018. During the seventh annual “Russian Hour” here at Heli-Expo, Russia’s Helicopter Industry Association pointed to large structural changes under way in both the number and the make-up of the nation’s helicopter market, one that for the moment that continues to be dominated by heavy helicopters.

February 26, 2014 - 9:30pm
Scott's-Bell 47

In a brief ceremony Wednesday afternoon on the Heli-Expo show floor, Rolls-Royce (Booth No. 5222) signed a multi-engine contract to deliver its RR300 light turboshaft powerplant for installation on the Scott’s-Bell 47GT-6 light utility helicopter.

“We have the commitment to ship them their first flight-test engine by June,” Rolls-Royce helicopters senior vice president Greg Fedele told AIN. “We’re really excited about this next step on the path toward production of the Scott’s-Bell 47.”

February 26, 2014 - 9:25pm
AW609

AgustaWestland (AW) performed customer demo flights aboard its prototype tiltrotor AW609 here at Heli-Expo in Anaheim, but with the aircraft still early in the certification process, few potential customers qualified to get on board. The FAA requires such passengers to be appropriately rated rotorcraft pilots, undergo simulator training in the company’s AW609 simulator, conduct a familiarization flight in the aircraft and receive a second-in-command rating. Two lucky attendees went through the process beforehand and took demo flights during the show, staged from Long Beach Airport.

February 26, 2014 - 9:15pm

Sometimes there are convergences in the world. Kismet some call it. For first-time Heli-Expo exhibitor Scheme Designers (Booth No. 3608) Harrison Ford’s decision to fly his own Bell 407 into the Anaheim Convention Center as one of the first helicopters to arrive for Heli-Expo 2014 was in fact a stroke of luck for Scheme Designers, the company that created the paint scheme for the actor.

February 26, 2014 - 9:10pm

Guarded optimism for the year ahead, despite a number of looming concerns on several fronts, was the dominant theme expressed by leaders of the major general aviation (GA) associations in a town hall forum discussion yesterday morning at Heli-Expo.

Helicopter Association International (HAI) president Matt Zuccaro noted that HAI continues to enjoy robust membership and strong financial health, evidence of a surging rotorcraft community. That said, however, he also expressed concern about restrictive policies targeting helicopter operators.

February 26, 2014 - 8:15pm
AgustaWestland’s AW609 tiltrotor

AgustaWestland (AW) performed customer demo flights aboard its prototype tiltrotor AW609 here at Heli-Expo in Anaheim, but with the aircraft still early in the certification process, few potential customers qualified to get on board. The FAA requires such passengers to be appropriately rated rotorcraft pilots, undergo simulator training in the company’s AW609 simulator, conduct a familiarization flight in the aircraft and receive a second-in-command rating. Two lucky attendees went through the process beforehand and took demo flights during the show, staged from Long Beach Airport.

February 26, 2014 - 8:00pm

The Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA, Booth No. 5945) a non-profit educational, individual membership organization supporting those who use aircraft for public safety, held an accreditation ceremony for the Metro Air Support Unit of St. Louis at Heli-Expo 2014. The unit earned accreditation from the Public Safety Accreditation Commission (PSAAC) for showing standards of excellence within its departments, which include the St. Louis Metropolitan Police, the St. Louis County Police and the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department.

February 26, 2014 - 7:30pm
Matt Zuccaro, HAI president

Guarded optimism for the year ahead, despite a number of looming concerns on several fronts, was the dominant theme expressed by leaders of the major general aviation (GA) associations in a town hall forum discussion yesterday morning at Heli-Expo.

Helicopter Association International (HAI) president Matt Zuccaro noted that HAI continues to enjoy robust membership and strong financial health, evidence of a surging rotorcraft community. That said, however, he also expressed concern about restrictive policies targeting helicopter operators.

February 26, 2014 - 7:20pm
Sergei Sikorsky

Sometimes it’s the personal touch that makes the difference. Sergei Sikorsky, retired vice president of special products for Sikorsky Helicopters (Booth No. 2822) and son of the company’s namesake, Igor Sikorsky, presented an informative history of the search-and-rescue pedigree of vertical lift aircraft during Heli-Expo 2014.

“In December 1938 Igor Sikorsky presented the case to United Aircraft to develop the helicopter,” said Sikorsky. “He told United that, when developed, the helicopter would prove to be a unique instrument for saving human lives,” he continued.

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