HAI Convention News

Heli-Expo Is a World of Gadgetry

 - February 13, 2012, 10:26 PM


If Harry Potter’s was a world of wizardry, Heli-Expo 2012 is a world of gadgetry. Hundreds of them. Some lesser, some greater. Some serious, and some downright amusing. In the interest of ensuring items both serious and amusing, we use the term “gadget” loosely.

The Trakkabeam A800 from Trakkabeam Tactical Searchlights (Booth No. 3017) offers high performance and reliability in a compact package. The Xenon lamp is half the size of traditional searchlights to deliver a more intense and consistent beam on target, according to the Albuquerque, N.M. company. It weighs just 44.2 pounds and offers dual controls, with pilot priority switching. We’re almost certain that such brilliant, high-tech snoop-ology would never be abused. Almost.

You say you’ve used those old borescopes that, as procedures go, are about as enjoyable as your last endoscopy. Olympus NDT Canada, has something better, or at least lighter and more convenient. It’s the iPlex UltraLite, a palm-sized video-scope that is extremely lightweight, is held in one hand and operated via a thumb-toggle. Perfect for those cramped spaces, eh? Test it today at the Olympus booth (No. 7535).

What the heck is a Hazebuster? You may not know, but hundreds of thousands of pilots can tell you in a heartbeat. Hazebusters are sunglasses, which Bob Hurd, founder and owner of Hazebuster, the Tillamook, Ore.-based manufacturer, emphasizes are the only sunglasses made exclusively for pilots and marketed only to pilots. He also points out that the average age of a general aviation pilot is 52, “So we offer Hazebusters in bifocals.” Gee, thanks a lot for reminding us, Bob.

Hurd also claims that at the AirVenture show in Oshkosh, he sold more than 1,500 pairs. Maybe you’ve got something, there, Bob.

Finally, Aircraft Technologies (Booth No. 6627) has been in business more than 40 years, providing composite ducting, avionics panels and other components for helicopters. All in all, rather pedestrian fare. But this year, for the first time at Heli-Expo, or anywhere else for that matter, the San Antonio, Texas company is showing its “Clean Flush” self-contained helicopter cabin toilet. It went into a Mexican owner’s Eurocopter, as the third seat in a three-place divan.

Aircraft Technologies v-p of sales Jon Riebesehl assures us that a curtain was installed to allow some small degree of privacy. Small, indeed. Abandon all modesty, ye who enter here.


We missed this years Heli-Expo show.
Would you send me the 2012 exhibitor list.
Please include e-mail addresses if possible.
Regards, Gary Waagenaar


AIN is an independent publication and not affiliated in any way with Heli-Expo, which is put on by the Helicopter Association International (HAI). You should go to HAI’s website, www.rotor.com with your request.

AIN writes about what takes place at Heli-Expo and many other events.

Randy Padfield, AIN, Editor-in-Chief



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