Sikorsky Aircraft launched iFly Sikorsky, its first iPad flight calculator application for the company’s commercial S-92 helicopter platform, here at Heli-Expo 2014. The application replicates common performance calculations described in the S-92 Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) and also has a weight-and-balance calculator.
Composite rotor blade manufacturer Van Horn Aviation (VHA; Booth No. 7129) of Tempe, Ariz. is showcasing the company’s Bell 206 main rotor blade development project. This program is aimed at creating a replacement for the metal blades in legacy 206 models, starting with the 206B3 JetRanger. The JetRanger that will serve as the program’s test bed is on display at the company’s booth. “Our goal is to have the 206B3 blade certified by the end of this year,” VHA president James Van Horn told AIN.
Enstrom Helicopters (Booth No. 8842) may not attract the attention of its higher-profile competitors in the civil rotorcraft segment, but the company has proven impressively resilient throughout its long history and many difficult times. Today, the Menominee, Mich.-based manufacturer has found success in overseas markets, a trend that newly named company president Tracy Biegler says began with delivery of the first of 18 turbine-powered 480B helicopters to the Indonesian National Police in 2004.
Bell Helicopter (Booth No. 4536) CEO John Garrison said there was never any doubt what the company really planned to call its new light single.
“There’s so much brand equity in the Jet Ranger. It’s phenomenal. It brings tears to people’s eyes. We knew we wanted Jet Ranger. X is the next generation of Jet Ranger.”
Yesterday was a banner day for French helicopter manufacturer Guimbal as it marked its entry to the U.S. helicopter market, with the delivery of its first Cabri G2 light single to Newberg, Ore.-based operator and training provider Precision Helicopters.
Amid swirling dancers and projected rocky landscapes, AgustaWestland drew a crowd on the exhibit floor yesterday afternoon with the formal unveiling of the latest addition to its lineup, the AW109 Trekker, its first light twin to offer skid landing gear. Expected to receive certification and begin deliveries next year, the helicopter wore the colors of launch customer Dallas-based aeromedical transport provider SevenBar, which has also ordered another AW109 and a pair of AW119s as part of its first foray into rotorcraft operation.
Europe had the highest market share of commercial helicopters in 2013, and more growth is expected this year in offshore oil and gas, EMS and SAR services. HeliTech (Booth No. 4123) has picked up a new and powerful partner to help promote participation in its USA Pavilion during the European Helicopter Association’s Helitech International show, taking place from October 14 to 16 in Amsterdam.
New Zealand-based Spidertracks announced a significant OEM endorsement for its low-cost flight tracking system at Heli-Expo 2014, with Robinson Helicopter now offering the Bluetooth text-enabled Spider S5 as an option on the R22, R44 and R66 models. The agreement marks the first time a rotorcraft manufacturer has offered the portable Spidertracks system from the factory.
“Robinson realized that our system offered significant advantages over competing tracking solutions,” Hannes Geiger, North American communications spokesman for Spidertracks, told AIN.
An expert panel of senior Russian rotorcraft executives pointed to forecast surging demand for small and medium helicopters in their market between now and 2018. During the seventh annual “Russian Hour” here at Heli-Expo, Russia’s Helicopter Industry Association pointed to large structural changes under way in both the number and the make-up of the nation’s helicopter market, one that for the moment that continues to be dominated by heavy helicopters.
Sometimes it’s the personal touch that makes the difference. Sergei Sikorsky, retired vice president of special products for Sikorsky Helicopters (Booth No. 2822) and son of the company’s namesake, Igor Sikorsky, presented an informative history of the search-and-rescue pedigree of vertical lift aircraft during Heli-Expo 2014.
“In December 1938 Igor Sikorsky presented the case to United Aircraft to develop the helicopter,” said Sikorsky. “He told United that, when developed, the helicopter would prove to be a unique instrument for saving human lives,” he continued.