Boeing said on December 13 that it demonstrated an unmanned Little Bird helicopter for the Republic of Korea Army. The MD 500 variant flew for about 25 minutes at the army’s aviation school in Nonsan, South Korea.
Honeywell plans to provide the Zing Test Elite rotor track-and-balance maintenance technology to MD Helicopters to support all current and new MD500 series helicopters. Based on the Zing HUMS 1134 on-board system, Zing Test Elite is a carry-on system that quickly provides the ability to perform helicopter rotor smoothing, engine refining performance checks, component balancing, and vibration surveys to save time, fuel and maintenance costs.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is continuing to expand the capabilities of the Boeing AH-64D Apache Block III attack helicopter with sensor upgrades, a new weapon option and greater networking capabilities. The latter is being achieved through the Longbow unmanned aerial system tactical common data link assembly (UTA), a product of Longbow LLC (a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman).
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is continuing to expand the capabilities of the Boeing AH-64D Apache Block III attack helicopter with sensor upgrades, a new weapon option and greater networking capabilities.
A heavy unmanned helicopter would be invaluable for operations at highly dangerous sites, such as the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, providing another avenue to address the problem with a greater measure of safety. Technology for pilotless rotorcraft is already in place but so far has been applied only to micro drones and relatively light rotorcraft.
Piasecki Aircraft and Carnegie Mellon University have successfully flight tested a new navigation and sensor package on an unmanned Boeing AH-6 Little Bird helicopter that allows it to autonomously avoid dynamic, low-altitude obstacles, select suitable unmapped landing sites, and land using self-generated approach paths.
At the SOFEX special forces exhibition held at Amman in May, Jordan signed a letter of intent (LOI) to purchase the Boeing AH-6i light attack/reconnaissance helicopter, a modernized version of the tried and trusted Little Bird helicopter. Boeing has been showing off its demonstrator throughout the Middle and Far East since the type's first flight on September 16 and airshow debut at Dubai in November last year.
The debut of the Boeing AH-6i light attack/reconnaissance helicopter at the Dubai Airshow this month was just the latest iteration in this aircraft’s long and complicated history. The design first flew in the 1960s as the Hughes Model 300. It was adopted by the U.S. Army as the OH-6A and further developed for civilian customers as the Models 500 and 530.
Northstar Aerospace (Hall 4 Stand C16b) recently won a value engineering achievement award from the U.S. Department of Defense for developing an innovative process to overhaul assembly covers for transmission housings used on the Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter. The process is intended to save money, while also boosting mission capability.
Just two days before submitting its February 7 bid for the U.S. Army’s new armed reconnaissance helicopter (ARH) based on a variant of the MD 500, aerospace giant Boeing signed an agreement to make a multimillion-dollar cash investment in MD Helicopters (MDHI). Although MDHI CEO Henk Schaeken would not disclose the exact value of the investment during an interview at last month’s Heli-Expo, he did indicate that it is not contingent