Some 40 helicopters winged their way into the Dallas Convention Center parking in the days just before Heli-Expo 2012 starts. To learn more about this, AIN talked with HAI director of flight ops Harold Summers and v-p of regulations Dave York.
HAI Convention News » February 10, 2012
Thirty-nine helicopters arrived at the Dallas Convention Center loading dock on Wednesday and Thursday before the show opened.
The crew of a vintage Bell UH-1D Huey had flown their 1965 helicopter from their base in Concord, Calif., to the 2011 National Championship Air Races at Stead Field in Reno, Nev. There, they were to be part of the National Aviation Heritage Invitational static display and competition, which is held annually at the races. It was a chance for the owners and crew of the meticulously restored “25th Infantry” helicopter to win an award for their work.
Aviation analyst Brian Foley is optimistic about prospects for new helicopter sales in the next few years and expects that “sales will trend upward nicely.” However, that will happen only if buyers realize value in helicopter purchases. “That’s contingent upon the manufacturers’ ability to help customers with all the necessary information and justification needed to make their numbers work,” he said.
What does whale oil have in common with deep-water oil and gas production? If you’re talking about the history of Bristow Group, quite a lot. In 1953, Alan Bristow, a former Royal Navy helicopter pilot, founded a company called Air Whaling, that specialized in spotting whales for company factory ships.
Erickson Air-Crane and Stilwell Baker Inc. (SBI) have jointly developed and certified a modernized automatic flight control system (AFCS) for the Sikorsky S-64F heavy-lift helicopter, using an unusual reversal of the all-digital approach to avionics. Erickson has contracted with SBI for the latter to supply production AFCS hardware to equp the 16 S-64s in the Erickson fleet.
Air Technology Engines (ATE) of Naples, Fla., signed a T53 service center agreement with Honeywell, authorizing ATE to repair and overhaul Honeywell’s T53 series engine, which powers the Bell UH-1H Huey and other helicopters.
EuroAvionics is demonstrating Euronav 7, the latest version of its situational awareness and mission management system, here at Heli-Expo (Booth No. 6020). Targeting professional operators, the Stuttgart, Germany-based equipment manufacturer is offering moving map systems that can superimpose other data onto the map. Approximately 1,700 Euronav systems are installed, according to the company.
Sikorsky has selected GE Aviation (Booth No. 1217) to provide the GE YT706-GE-700R engines and engineering support for Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider program. The Raider is the military version of the experimental X2, a single-engine rotorcraft with coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and a pusher propeller. The Fadec-controlled GE engine offers 2,500 to 3,000 shp and is based on the GE700/CT7 family. GE said it developed the GE3000 for medium-lift applications and this engine could be incorporated into the Raider in the future.
HAI will present its Salute to Excellence Awards tonight in the categories of safety, maintenance, law enforcement, communications, flight instructor, pilot and Lifetime Achievement.