The only rotorcraft on display at Jet Expo 2011 was the Bell 429, of which the first example to be delivered to Russia arrived in June. The helicopter came in crates and was assembled at the Moscow aircraft repair plant with help of Russian rotorcraft maker Kazan.
You couldn’t miss it.
The huge, double-deck Helicopter Association International (HAI) white tent with the signature blue logo near the flightline at this year’s EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is displaying the Canadian Forces CH-148 Cyclone multi-mission helicopter at this year’s Paris Air Show. The aircraft on show (Static Display F210) was built under Sikorsky’s Canadian Maritime Helicopter Project (CMHP) and is one of 28 CH-148s that will be produced for the Canadian Forces to replace CH-124 Sea King helicopters, in service since 1963.
Both the Sikorsky X2 and the Eurocopter X3 have propellers and both are targeting higher cruise speeds; however, their respective designers have not been working to the same principles.
The X2 is effectively a semi-compound helicopter, having contra-rotating main rotors and one aft propeller, while the X3 is a true compound with a single main rotor, wing stubs and two side-mounted propellers.
Eurocopter has delivered what it hopes will prove to be the X-Factor to this year’s Paris Air Show. The daily flying display this week features its new its X3 (“x cubed”) compound helicopter demonstrator, a modified AS 365 Dauphin with a conventional main rotor, two propellers on wingstubs and a conventional empennage.
The pair of “low-observable” Sikorsky Black Hawks used in the raid by U.S. forces against terrorist Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani compound May 2 were kitted with a variety of stealth and radar-defeating features that had been in development since the 1970s, and maybe longer. The helicopters came to light after one had to be left behind and intentionally detonated after apparently clipping a compound wall and making a hard landing.
SkyBook’s electronic maintenance and flight records system is now available for both the Russian Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters.
A pair of Columbia Vertol II tandem-rotor helicopters have been fighting record Texas wildfires at Alpine, Sonora and Brownwood. One aircraft joined the firefighting efforts on March 3 and a second was called in April 22. The Texas wildfires have consumed more than 1.4 million acres since January, with related smoke reaching major metropolitan areas.
One of my assignments here at AIN is compiling and editing the Accidents page for our flagship monthly magazine, Aviation International News. Each month I comb through reports on the NTSB website and others, looking for those accidents that I think will be of value and interest to our readers. Unfortunately, I cannot include them all because of space constraints.
The French helicopter lobby, UFH, and a congressman from the wine-producing Burgundy region have voiced concerns about a recent law banning most crop-dusting activities on environmental grounds. The congressman is saying that, for one hectare (about 2.5 acres) of vineyard, a helicopter uses only 16 gallons of plant-care liquid, thanks to its pinpoint precision.