Mineral Wells, Texas-based Cobham Commercial Systems (Booth No. C715) recently received European and Chinese STC approvals for its HeliSAS, a helicopter stability augmentation system and autopilot. HeliSAS is a two-axis, attitude-hold/attitude-command flight control system that “significantly reduces pilot workload and allows pilots to perform many cockpit functions hands free,” according to Cobham.
HAI Convention News » 2013
The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau and EASA have approved applications of BLR Aerospace’s FastFin system. The Japanese agency approved installation of the FastFin on the Bell 412EP, and EASA on the Bell 205. The FastFin upgrade is also EASA approved on the Bell 212. An EASA certification program is under way for the Bell 412, according to BLR (Booth No. N3724).
The Flight Safety Foundation is highlighting rotorcraft topics at Heli-Expo. “Our mission is to be advocates of the best aviation safety practices in the world,” said president and CEO Kevin Hiatt. “Based on what we’re observing at the foundation, we need to understand more about helicopter operations as a whole and to foster a safety-centric culture.”
Russian-owned outsize cargo specialist Volga-Dnepr has many years experience moving all types of helicopters around the planet, whether in support of contracts or on delivery flights for manufacturers. The company (Booth No. C702) was founded in 1990 and can transport anything from MD 500s up to Mil Mi-8s/17s and Sikorsky CH-53s or S-64s.
The diesel engine demonstrator, which may replace turboshafts in light helicopters, is on track for flight tests on a Eurocopter EC120 in the second half of next year. It will feature a power-to-weight ratio between those of a general aviation diesel and a turboshaft. The engine is part of the Green Rotorcraft integrated technology demonstrator (ITD), itself part of Clean Sky, the European Union’s €1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) joint technology initiative.
Canadian air ambulance operator Ornge, a not-for-profit organization, has introduced a new interior for its AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters that allows paramedics to perform CPR “at any time during flight, reduces the risk of tubes snagging on equipment and gives better access to the patient and medical bags and supplies.”
Most of us have a love/hate relationship with insurance; we hate paying the premiums but if something goes wrong, we love having someone else who was willing to take the risk resolve many of the headaches. Across the U.S. aviation industry, there are so many insurance companies willing to shoulder the risks that the premiums remain at low levels even for the riskier helicopter segment.
Van Horn Aviation (VHA) of Tempe, Ariz., wants to put more life into legacy helicopters by developing products that increase performance and lower direct operating costs by focusing on composite main and tail-rotor blades. At Heli-Expo’13, VHA is showing five examples of its work, all with different stories: tail-rotor blades for the Bell 206, UH-1 and 212/214; and main rotor blades for the MD Helicopters MD530F and Bell 206B.
Night-vision goggles (NVG) are rapidly becoming a mainstream tool in many helicopter operations, to the extent that NVG pilot training is available at many more schools, more avionics and electronic equipment is out-of-the box NVG-compatible and prices of goggles are one of the few aviation items that has dropped in price, below the rate of inflation.
Goggles are made by the two major manufacturers–ITT Exelis and L-3–and still cost at least $10,000, but the likelihood that new pilots entering the rotorcraft profession will be wearing the devices is higher than ever.
Sikorsky Innovations launched its third Entrepreneurial Challenge on Wednesday at Heli-Expo ’13. The competition is designed to identify and accelerate growth for companies in the rotorcraft segment with revenues under $5 million, including newly formed and pre-revenue entities.
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