Two helicopters, understood to be a Eurocopter EC155 and a Eurocopter Super Puma, crashed after a midair during windy snowfall today near the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. One pilot was killed and four people were severely injured, according to local news reports. The two helicopters, along with a third that was not involved in the accident, were participating in a crowd-control training exercise. Accident investigators were on scene at press time.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
Russian Helicopters delivered two Mi-171 medium-twin helicopters to Siberian operator Skol Airline. They are fitted with special lifting and transport equipment, including an on-board boom and winch able to lift loads of 330 pounds and an external hoist rated for 8,800 pounds. The new helicopters will “help Skol strengthen its position in the international air-freight market,” it said.
Two gunmen attempted a daring daylight helicopter prison break from a maximum-security prison in Saint-Jerome, Quebec, on Sunday.
The Robinson R44 Raven I, owned by Heli-Tremblant and operated by Quebec Helicopters, was hijacked by two gunmen during a sightseeing flight shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday and directed to fly to the prison. There, a rope line was lowered for the escapees, who were then flown to a getaway car near Mont-Tremblant, where the helicopter and pilot were located by police.
Sikorsky disclosed its 2012 performance last week, and it appears the U.S. helicopter manufacturer has a $2.2 billion backlog for commercial helicopters. The released charts lack precision, but AIN estimates civil sales totaled approximately $800 million last year and are forecast to increase to around $1.3 billion this year. A major geographical shift is under way, as developing markets are seen accounting for approximately half of Sikorsky’s civil helicopter deliveries in 2020.
During a press conference at last week’s Heli-Expo convention in Las Vegas, Kamov general designer Sergei Mikheyev dropped something of a bombshell when he revealed that the Kamov Design Bureau had produced the initial conceptual design for China’s Changhe (CAIC) Z-10 attack helicopter. Having made its public debut at last year’s Zhuhai airshow, the Z-10 is in the early stages of production and has entered service with at least one Chinese army unit.
Less than a week after touting his company’s accomplishments at Heli-Expo 2013, Eurocopter CEO Dr. Lutz Bertling, 50, has resigned effective April 30, parent company EADS announced this morning. He joined Eurocopter in 2003 and became CEO in 2006. During his tenure, Eurocopter’s sales nearly doubled to $8.3 billion.
Bell Helicopter took in orders for 50 helicopters last week at Heli-Expo in Las Vegas. According to the company, American Medical Group Holdings placed an order for 30 helicopters at the show, while orders for 20 more came from international customers in Latin America, Europe and Asia. “We set out aggressive customer interaction and sales goals for Heli-Expo,” Bell Helicopter president and CEO John Garrison said. “It has been an exciting and intense few days spending time with hundreds of our best customers.”
On Monday at Heli-Expo, AgustaWestland revealed that it has been secretly flying an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing demonstration aircraft powered by twin-electric, direct-drive tiltrotors. The “Project Zero” tiltrotor was designed and built in six months by the company’s advanced concepts group and has been flying since 2011. It features elevons for pitch and roll control and in forward flight, a V-tail for longitudinal stability, and a lifting body design with two integrated tiltrotors than can be tilted through 90 degrees.
Heli-Expo closed this afternoon with record numbers of attendees, exhibit space and exhibitors, according to show organizer Helicopter Association International. There were 736 exhibitors, occupying nearly one million square feet at the Las Vegas Convention Center, for the three-day helicopter show. Heli-Expo 2013 also saw 20,105 attendees walk through the doors, marking the sixth consecutive year of growth in attendance.
Robinson Helicopter revealed its intention to obtain approval to operate its R44 and R22 piston-engine helicopters on unleaded fuel this week at Heli-Expo. According to Robinson CEO Kurt Robinson, engine maker Lycoming needs to obtain FAA approval to burn unleaded fuels in its engines while Robinson must perform airframe testing with the fuels on board for each of its relevant helicopter models.