Rockwell Collins announced today that it will be launching a series of technologies next week at the Paris Airshow that will provide helicopter pilots with “unprecedented situational awareness to help them meet the challenges of flying in an increasingly congested and hazard-filled airspace.” Details about the new offering will be announced on Monday at the show, it said, and technology demonstrations will be featured in the “Helicopter Situational Awareness” portion of the Rockwell Collins exhibit (Hall 2B, Stand D108).
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
Both Los Angeles County and the L.A. City fire departments took the unusual step of flying night helicopter water drops over the weekend on the fast-spreading “Powerhouse” fire, which so far has consumed more than 32,000 acres. As of this morning, the fire, just north of Los Angeles, was classified as 60-percent contained. L.A. County dropped water on the fire from its two specially modified Sikorsky S-70 Firehawks, while L.A. City flew a Bell 412.
Offshore-energy and medevac operator PHI reported substantially higher earnings for the first quarter, posting a net revenue gain of $40.9 million (to $178.9 million) compared with the same quarter last year. The company credits the gain to more deepwater oil exploration support work and an uptick in its air medical segment. Net earnings quadrupled from the same period in 2012, increasing to $8.8 million from $2.2 million.
For Phoenix Heliparts, this year’s Heli-Expo show resulted in the sale of two helicopters, thanks to the display of the rebuilt MD500 flown for the television show Magnum, P.I. Based in Mesa, Ariz., Phoenix Heliparts celebrated its 10th anniversary at the show, where on March 5, Magnum, P.I. stars Larry Manetti and Roger Mosley signed “The Chopper.” On June 3, The Chopper receives its official Hawaiian blessing as it enters service in the Paradise Helicopters fleet at the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu.
AFHSH, the French Association of doctors who use helicopter EMS, has proposed using trained paramedics to satisfy new European rules that will mandate a second crewmember for HEMS operations beginning in October next year. According to the association, the additional cost of a second pilot would be prohibitive for hospitals. Therefore, it proposes training a paramedic for those missions when a “second pair of eyes” is needed in the front seats, but only in VMC.
Although business has been tough for UK helicopter charter companies in recent times, Capital Air Services is in the process of increasing its managed fleet with the addition of two Sikorsky S-76++ helicopters. This will bring the S-76 fleet to three, to operate alongside a Eurocopter EC155 and a pair of EC135s.
Signature Flight Support (Booth 364) is again handling all helicopter traffic in and out of Gatwick Airport after the helicopter aiming point (HAP) re-opened earlier this month. The development means that business and commercial aviation operators will again be able to land at Gatwick without a formal runway landing slot (they will need only an HAP slot, so ATC has prior notification) and without having to taxi on the runway.
In the first quarter of 2013, revenue at Eurocopter fell by 13 percent, to €1.04 billion ($1.35 billion), with deliveries of 58 helicopters during the three-month period. Parent company EADS attributed the downward performance to the ongoing “technical problems with the Super Puma/EC225 fleet.” Affected have been both deliveries and the service revenue generated by helicopter operations. In the first three months, Eurocopter booked net orders for 51 helicopters, the company said.
Signature Flight Support has resumed handling of all helicopter traffic into London Gatwick Airport, coinciding with the reopening of the helicopter aiming point (HAP) on May 3. The opening of the HAP after a 12-year hiatus allows operators once again to land helicopters at Gatwick without having to taxi on the runway. The new HAP is located at the end of Taxiway Uniform on the airport’s west side. Slots are still required for landing, and the HAP is for daylight use only when visibility is better than 1,500 meters.
Honeywell, which provides SmartView synthetic-vision systems (SVS) for Gulfstream business jets with PlaneView avionics, Falcon jets with EASy II flight decks and Pilatus PC-12 NG turboprops with Apex cockpits, is far along in its development of a combined vision system (CVS), which marries forward-looking infrared to SVS, for helicopters.