The destination is London, England; the dates are Sept. 24-26, 2013, and if you ask the organizers (Reed Exhibitions in conjunction with the European Helicopter Association), they’ll tell you that interest in HeliTech is running 10 percent above last year.
Leasing company Milestone Aviation continued its buying binge here at Heli-Expo yesterday, announcing firm orders for 30 new Sikorsky S-92A and S-76D helicopters and options for 24 more. Both Milestone and Sikorsky declined to place a total value on the order and options. Deliveries run from now through 2017.
Bell Helicopter has tapped Honeywell (Booth No. C4304) to provide the auxiliary power unit (APU) and environmental control system for the new Bell 525 Relentless, which is scheduled to start flying next year. The Honeywell RE100 APU selected for the super-medium twin helicopter is lighter and more fuel efficient than competing systems, according to Honeywell. It allows operators to run critical avionics and electronics systems without turning on the main engine, further reducing total fuel consumption.
Columbia Helicopters (Booth No. C811) is purchasing 10 Vertol 107-II heavy-lift tandem-rotor helicopters from the Swedish Department of Defense. The purchase will bring Columbia’s total Vertol fleet to 27.
Six of the Vertols being purchased were manufactured by Boeing while the other four were made by Kawasaki. Columbia spokesman Dan Sweet said that the company intends to deploy the helicopters worldwide as it obtains contracts for their use.
Bruce’s Custom Covers (Booth No. N3532) is promoting its line of custom-fitted covers for more than 90 helicopter models, as well as for nearly every airplane ever produced, here at Heli-Expo ’13. “A custom-fitted cover for any aircraft or engine will serve to protect it from climate hazards, both in the hangar and on the ramp,” the company said. For helicopters, the covers can also be fitted to air inlets, pitot and static ports and canopies, among other areas. Design variations are limitless, according to the company.
The FAA has issued a policy statement about the installation of non-required safety-enhancing equipment (NORSEE) into rotorcraft and is accepting comments until March 25.
The price of a full-blown safety management system (SMS) represents a considerable expense to any flight operation, but can leave an even bigger hole in the budget of a small one- or two-aircraft department, according to Chris Young, vice president of helicopter aviation services at Prism, an arm of information services provider Argus International (Booth No. C1104).
Safe Flight Instrument (Booth No. C3932), a supplier of safety and performance products since 1946, made it clear yesterday at Heli-Expo that in terms of safety, avoiding powerlines is much to be preferred over existing helicopter modifications designed to cut powerlines on contact.
Speaking at a media conference yesterday, Safe Flight v-p Thomas Grunbeck promoted the White Plains, N.Y. company’s powerline detection and warning system, which emits a pulsing, audible sound as well as a visual alert when it detects powerline hazards.
March 6 will be a big day for helicopter OEMs and could shape the future of the industry for decades to come. Phase One proposals are due into the Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate by tomorrow that likely will lead to the construction of Joint Multi-Role demonstration aircraft (JMR TD) that could fly as early as 2017 and lead to the start of production aircraft between 2025 and 2030.
The Coanda effect, which is central to the performance of the MD Helicopters Notar (no tail rotor) and the tail-boom strakes on many other helicopters, inspired 16-year-old Ethan Chu’s design for a helicopter that won him the Igor Sikorsky Youth Innovator Award in the second annual Helicopter 2050 Challenge (http://www.helicopter2050.com).
“I was fascinated with the Coanda effect,” Chu said, “and I decided to use it to make my helicopter design more efficient.”