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fresh air for helicopters

The publication for helicopter pilots, owners and operators


A helicopter with two extra props! Eurocopter joins the race for high speed and long range We speak to the people behind the X3's design


Report from Portugal on southern Europe's fire-fighting spectacular


Phil Croucher on the best route to a career 9

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NOVEMBER 2010 ISSUE 11 £2.75

771758 045018

+ ROBINSON R66 CERTIFIED p6 + MONACO YACHT SHOW p12 + DENNIS KENYON p23 p001.bladescoverDC.indd 1

15/10/10 16:38:50


COVER STORY Eurocopter unveils its X3 high-speed hybrid



NEWS R66 certified, EASA and licensing, rescued by a Prince, Monaco Yacht Show

PRODUCTS Beyerdynamic's latest passivbe headset on test, the HS400, plus other product news




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REPORT Helitech Europe report from Portugal where the fires burn brighter, faster and for longer



#14 November2010 DENNIS KENYON Passing on the years of experience... and one or two extra ways of staying safe when flying


TRAINING What's the best route to a career as a helicopter pilot? Phil Croucher gives his view


WHAT'S ON It's a quiet time of year so hop off to the Middle East for the bi-annual Dubai Helishow

EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Dave Calderwood e: â&#x153;ą Deputy Editor Dave Rawlings e: Editor-at-Large Dennis Kenyon â&#x153;ą Creative Director Bill Spurdens e: Art Director Dan Payne e: Chief Photographer Dave Spurdens w: â&#x153;ą New Media Editor Helen Rowlands-Beers e: ADVERTISEMENT SALES Sales manager Dave Impey e: MANAGEMENT Director Sam Spurdens e: Director Dave Foster e: â&#x153;ą Head OfďŹ ce: +44 (0)1223 497060

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CONTACT: LOOP Publishing (UK) Ltd. 9-11 The Mill Courtyard, Copley Hill Business Park, Cambridge CB22 3GNB w: ISSN 1749-7337

November 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

06 All the best stories from the helicopter world


R66 GETS APPROVAL After a long wait the new turbine R66 will receive FAA approval by the end of the month


OBINSON’S new turbine R66 will receive its Type Certificate from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) on 25 October, after having been pushed back several times. Terry Robinson, Frank’s daughter and Head of Marketing, said: “The FAA changed the date four times for the certification, but it’s great to finally be getting approval. We have a backlog of 92 orders and should start delivery by mid November.”

EASA Type Certification is set to take place in March or April of next year. UK buyers are as keen as anyone to get their R66s. Sean Brown, Managing Director of Heli Air, is chomping at the bit to get his first and said: “We've sold five already and I believe that once they arrive sales will continue. Hopefully we should have our first one in the showroom before Christmas!” The price of the R66 is

✱ After paperwork delays, the longawaited first turbine Robinson is poised for certification

BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010

$790,000 – which is only slightly more than half the price of a Bell Jetranger, one of the helicopter’s major competitors. David Cheetham, owner of Heli-4-Charter, and one of the first people in the UK to put a deposit down on a R66, explains his choice. He said: “The 66 is a different ballgame – although it looks the same as

the R44 it has an extra seat and with the extra storage space can take all the golf clubs and luggage needed for five people. “I’ve also looked at other aircraft. The Jetranger is a lovely helicopter, but a new one would cost $1.3m. A new Robinson R66 costs $790,000

so it makes perfect sense.” Another advantage Robinson say the R66 has over rivals is lower maintenance costs. “I’ve owned two Robinsons in the last five years and the best thing about them is the cost to maintain them. Most of the components are ‘sealed for life’ which keeps the running cost down because you don’t

07 P8



EASA brings scorched earth politics to debate over FAA licensing for pilots

No white charger required: Prince William comes to the rescue

All hands on deck! Helicopters at the recent Monaco Yacht Show


✱ RR300 turbine powers R66 need extensive maintenance,” explained Cheetham. Frank Robinson himself was at a recent Heli Air event opening its new RR300 service centre and training school where he made clear that the R66 will be as versatile as the 206 and other helicopters out there. He said: “The R66 will work as well as the R44 is as many

different roles. I think a big advantage is the fact that it will run on Jet-A1.” With it running on Jet A1, the R66 can be used in areas where Avgas is difficult to come by. David Cheetham also believes that owning one of the first R66s in the country could be a bit of a money spinner for him: “The day I take delivery of my R66 I’m going to place an order for another one. I believe that they will be in so much demand that they will sell for a premium. “I think I’d take my second one after two years and then sell the first one after not having any maintenance costs due to the two-year warranty.”

TECH SPEC ROBINSON R66 Cruise speed approx 120kt Max range (no reserve) approx 325nm Hover ceiling IGE over 10,000ft Hover ceiling OGE over 10,000ft Rate of climb over 1000fpm Ceiling 14,000ft Engine Rolls-Royce RR300 turboshaft Gross weight 1225kg Empty weight (incl oil & std avionics) 581kg Max fuel (279 litres) 224kg Payload with max fuel 420kg Price $790,000

JUST DELIVERED FRANCE AgustaWestland has delivered its first two GrandNew light twins for France and Monaco to their respective owners. The two GrandNew helicopters will be flown for passenger transport and have technical support from Sky Maintenance Services, based at Le Castellet. AgustaWestland says the order book for the EFIS-equipped GrandNew stands at 50.

GOLDEN HANDSHAKE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Industry legend – and the man credited with revolutionising heli training – Frank Robinson has finally bought his pipe and slippers and handed the reigns over to his eldest son Kurt... at the tender age of 80! When asked how he was going to fill his days Frank said: “I don’t know really, I’m open to ideas. I’ll probably still go into the office and stand over their shoulders, but I’ve promised I won’t say anything.” Well from everyone here at BLADES, congratulations Frank, enjoy yourself, and good luck with the golf game!


HELI AIR OPENS CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR R66 WITH the arrival of the R66 imminent, the UK and Europe is going to need technicians qualified to work on the Rolls-Royce RR300. Heli Air at High Wycombe has just opened its RollsRoyce 300 Training Facility, the first in Europe and only the second in the world with the capability to train engineers on the new small RR300 turbine used to power the first foray for Robinson into turbine power. The RR300 and its bigger brother, the RR500, are bound for a new Enstrom and Rotorway as well. Frank Robinson, founder of Robinson Helicopters, officially opened the centre alongside a host of local dignitaries including the

Mayor of High Wycombe, Jane White. Heli Air’s Managing Director Sean Brown said at the opening: “We’re very pleased! This process has taken three and a half years and we’ve invested £500,000 in a recession on an engine that, at the time,

hadn’t been certified.” “We anticipate 1000 engines over the next five years – because we feel that the R66 will really perform,” added Sean. Heli Air is expecting the first delivery of an R66 by the end of November.

NORTHERN IRELAND Norman Surplus, the autogyro pilot attempting to be the first to fly one around the world, has had to interrupt his record bid. After a three-month delay for repairs and CAA inspections of his autogyro following a crash, he’s now missed the good weather window to cross the Bering Straits, so will continue the flight in Spring 2011. Back home in Larne, NI, Norman said: “Forward planning continues during the winter season while G-YROX is safely stabled for a well-earned rest ready to take on the milestones of next year!” His autogyro is being stored in the Philippines.

MILESTONES REACHED UK/AUSTRALIA Pilots flying for global Search

✱ The new, clean training centre for Heli Air's RR300 workshop

& Rescue specialists CHC have notched up a pair of landmark missions for the firm, which independently passed the 2000 missions mark in both the UK and Australia within days of each other. The 2000th UK mission under its SAR contract was a medical evacuation carried out by the Stornoway team in an S-92, while ‘down under’ CHC also hit 2000 with a rescue in Perth. Meanwhile, CHC recently signed a 10year contract extension to operate SAR services throughout Ireland.

November 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

08 NEWS Euro licensing row EASA PROPOSALS

PILOT GROUPS ATTACK EASA OVER FAA LICENCE BAN THREAT Unity a rare thing… but this time it’s easy to see why


ET your licence in the States? Perhaps you did an Instrument Rating there? Or notched up additional ratings and hours, taking advantage of cheaper costs and wider heli use? Or you own an N-reg aircraft? Then be very afraid… EASA has revealed plans to make all of that irrelevant. Licensing harmonisation plans unveiled by the European Aviation Safety Agency include a plan to ban the holding of FAA licences and use of N-reg aircraft by EU residents within Europe. Countless pilots across the UK and Europe who trained to fly in the States could now be forced to retrain in Europe to JAA standard under proposals to force them to

hold EASA licences. Also, any who own N-reg machinery could be left with a significantly devalued airframe or forced to transfer the registration and adopt a different maintenance regime. The plans are included within a mass of new legislation put forward by EASA for pilot licensing to the European Commission, prompting outrage amongst pilots groups that such far-reaching and potentially devastating changes are being secreted into relatively harmless broader legislative changes (such as to harmonise differing but similar national licences). The plans were included in a late-issue document outlining the decisions taken

✱ Operating N-reg aircraft in Europe could become a thing of the past if EASA proposals go through by EASA to tidy up numerous sectors of aviation licensing. It gave pilots groups like AOPA barely a week to try and have the proposals struck off the document being

voted on. This happened as BLADES was going to press. The stung reaction prompted one Danish MEP to table a question to the EU Parliament as to why EASA





✱ Bell 206 LongRanger a popular choice for HEMS ops in the USA

✱ Oops! Going for a dip in Lake Tahoe caught on film IF you’re going to practice hovers at over a protected nature reserve, best not do it where it can be seen on YouTube. Especially if it goes wrong… Two US Navy helicopter pilots were stripped of flight privileges after footage of them training over California’s Lake Tahoe – and accidentally dipping into the lake for a moment before flying away – appeared online.

was making aviation more dangerous by over-regulating areas forged through years of ‘best practice’ with diktats devoid of safety-based evidence.

Two MH-60R crews were flying back to their base when they appear to have decided to perform some self-inspired training. At low level, one sagged in hover and immersed temporarily in the drink, before regaining lift and flying out. The incident was filmed by nearby tourists, who put it on YouTube. The pilots were taken off flying duties pending an investigation.

BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010

KERCHING! We don’t know what the commission is, but someone at Bell is a happy camper after Air Medical Group Holdings (AMGH), the world’s largest independent HEMS contractor, bought 16 206 LongRanger IVs this month. AMGH subsidiary Air Evac Lifeteam, based in Missouri, USA, will begin taking deliveries of the new fleet

in 2012 to add to its current roster of over 100 HEMS-ready LongRangers as part of a longterm fleet upgrade. Air Evac, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has flown over 220,000 patients across 14 states since its founding, and boss Seth Myers said: “The purchase will continue our overall fleet upgrade campaign and allow us to continue our mission of providing

increased access to emergency healthcare to even more communities in rural America. The tremendous available up-time of our fleet, is a true testament to the dependability and reliability of the 206 L.” Meanwhile, another deal for 15 407s was also announced as part of an end-of-show announcement at the 2010 Air Medical Transport Conference in Florida, USA.

Tel: + 1 (702) 982-7089 Fax: + 1 (702) 982-6925 web: Las Vegas, Nevada

11 NEWS Royal rescue, new military hardware PHOTOS MoD/Crown Copyright from

✱ Prince William running his preflight checks


SAVED BY A PRINCE Prince William is now a fully operational SAR pilot and has already made his first rescue


ARELY a fortnight after graduation from Search and Rescue training, Prince William took part in his first rescue mission, on a gas rig. Caterer Richard Moran, 52, suffered a heart attack whilst at work on the rig off the coast of Morecambe. The father of three was taken to a nearby hospital by helicopter in which Prince William – or Flight Lieutenant Wales as he is known – was the co-pilot. Thankfully the attack was mild and Moran is now recovering and awaiting bypass surgery. William graduated from his SAR training on 17 September at RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales and is now a member of C Flight in 22 Squadron based at RAF Valley. He co-pilots a Sea King Mk3

as part of a four-person crew. He started his SAR training back in January 2009 after passing Basic and Advanced Flying training on the Squirrel helicopter at RAF Shawbury before embarking on the Multi Engine Advanced Rotary Wing course (MEARW) training on the Griffin and Twin Squirrel. On his graduation the Prince said: “I am really delighted to have completed the training course with my fellow students. "The course has been challenging, but I have enjoyed it immensely. I absolutely love flying, so it will be an honour to serve operationally with the Search and Rescue Force, helping to provide such a vital emergency service." The Group Captain at RAF Valley presented Prince William with a graduation certificate

BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010

and SAR Force badge along with six other fellow students. The Prince also received his Squadron badge from the Officer Commanding 22 Squadron. Their graduation is the culmination of months of training with the Search and Rescue Training Unit and the Sea King Operational Conversion Unit. Prince William completed 70 hours of live flying plus 50 hours of sim training and learnt how to manoeuvre the Sea King helicopter to the very high standards expected of Search and Rescue helicopter pilots. The course ended with a series of assessed exercises designed to test the students’ ability to work as fully integrated members of the Search and Rescue Force.


LATEST COBRA GETS MARINE APPROVAL BELL Helicopters has just announced that its latest attack helicopter, the Cobra AH-1Z, has passed muster with the US Marine Corps. It successfully cleared the vital Operational Evaluation hurdle last month. The US Navy’s Aviation program office (NAVAIR) received official notification from the Navy’s Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force that the AH-1Z was found to be “operationally effective and suitable” and recommended for fleet introduction. The Marines will replace existing two-blade AH-1W with the AH-1Z, which features a new, fourbladed composite rotor system, performancematched transmission, four-bladed tail rotor, upgraded landing gear and a fully integrated glass cockpit. A total of 189 AH-1Z are

anticipated to be delivered over the next 10 years. John Garrison, President of Bell Helicopter, said: “The AH-1Z is a remarkable aircraft that is only made stronger by the Marine aviators that fly them. We are excited that our warfighters will receive the full benefit of this awesome machine.” The new Cobras are part of the Marines’ ongoing H-1 Upgrade Programme. The programme’s goal is to replace AH-1W helicopters with new and remanufactured AH-1Zs which provide greater performance, supportability and growth potential over their predecessors. Ease of maintenance is a major strength, and the new Cobra has 84% commonality of parts between the AH-1Z and UH-1Y utility helicopters. This reduces lifecycle and training costs.

✱ The new four-blade Cobra, with fully integrated glass cockpit

12 NEWS Monaco Yacht Show



The world’s top yacht show, held at Monaco in Septembert


HE annual Monaco Yacht Show has bounced back from the recession if this year’s event is anything to go by. It’s the world’s premier yacht show celebrating its 20th year and more than 100 ‘super-yachts’ in the 25 to 90 metre long category were present in Monaco’s Port Hercules, with another 100 moored in the bay. French aircraft manufacturers Eurocopter and Dassault

were present, with the EC135 Hermes (BLADES, June 2010) attracting attention. Eurocopter had another EC135 in VIP trim aboard the yacht MV Lauren L, available for charter for a mere 695,000 euro per week! Mind you, it can accommodate 48 guests overnight and as well as the deck heliport, it also boasts a spa and beauty salon. The four-day show attracted 28,000 visitors and worldwide attention among both

BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010

‘yachties’ and wealthy clients, leading also to interest from sponsors. These included exclusive watchmakers Ulysse Nardin, who used the show to unveil their new limited edition Monaco YS 2010 Marine Diver watch. Apparently, orders were received for three times more pieces than are available. The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority returned as a leading sponsor, the Business Centre was sponsored by Eurocopter and Transport Malta supported

the Press Centre. During the day, the airconditioned Parvis Piscine was the place to find a spot to relax in, refresh or hold a meeting. The Crystal Lounge created with Baccarat was an oasis of calm and the Champagne Bar, where Lanson poured beverages, “bubbled with activity” according to the organisers. VIP visitors were shuttled to and from the show by chauffeurs driving the latest

in eco friendly luxury courtesy cars, the BMW ActiveHybrid 7. Among the yachts receiving special attention was Exuma, a 50-metre motor vessel awarded the RINA Green Plus Platinum trophy, and Panthalassa, a 56-metre yacht that won the Prix du Design 2010 for innovation in naval architecture and interior design. The UK has a large interest in the show with no fewer than 78 exhibitors. Bill Dixon, MD of Dixon Yacht Design, said, "It is


✱ AS365N3 landing at a helipad

✱ View over Monaco's Port Hercules where the show was staged

✱ Eurocopter's EC130 Stylence on board an American yacht

more positive this year at the show. I have had good news but it would be tempting fate to say anything else right now." Miriam Cain, of brokers Camper & Nicholsons, said, "The Monaco Yacht Show for us was one of the busiest on record and we welcomed a large number of existing and new clients. The feeling is that the market overall continues, albeit slowly, to improve." Patrick Coote of Fraser Yachts was enthusiastic saying,

"Wow, what a change from 2009, a truly upbeat and positive show with plenty of qualified buyers, serious discussions, realistic prices and positive negotiations. "The real outcome will only be determined over the next few weeks but our whole team left the show on a high, enthused by the quality and quantity of enquiries." Next year’s Monaco Yacht Show is 21-24 September.

✱ Traditional style yachts mix with the ultra modern November 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters


NEWS Magni M24 autogyro AUTOGYROS

MAGNI M24 APPROVED BY THE CAA RotorSport Calidus due to be approved soon as well


HE Italian Magni M24 Orion two-seat enclosed autogyro has now been type approved by the UK’s CAA and is now able to fly in the UK. Another enclosed twoseat autogyro, the RotorSport Calidus is also in the final stages of CAA flights tests and it too should shortly be available. Both autogyros have a number of back orders. Steve Boxall of the Magni Gyro UK team said, “This is a truly momentous occasion, not just for Magni Gyro but for gyroplanes in the UK. "The Magni M24 is now the first enclosed two-seat factorybuilt gyroplane to be approved to BCAR Section T, the UK CAA’s approval standard for gyroplanes. "What is even more remarkable is that we have achieved this amazing goal ahead of schedule – which is great news both for us and our customers.

“The approval of the Magni M24 has been a tremendous team effort. As well as full commitment and support from the Magni Gyro factory in Italy, we have had an engineering, technical support and flight test team here in the UK liaising with the CAA. "The CAA has been supportive too – we have met all our commitments to them, and they in turn have hit all of their deadlines in responding to us. I have been involved in technical project management for many, many years and I’ve never before seen a project which has run like this one!” Deliveries of the M24 will start immediately. The Calidus is also a factorybuilt enclosed two-seater but with the seats arranged in tandem rather than side-byside as per the Magni. It had its first flight in the UK on 21 August at the Midland Gliding Club and is undergoing CAA flight tests.

✱ Magni factory celebrating 600th Magni autogyro - one of the new M24 Orion two-seaters Gerry Speich of RotorSport said, “Fitted with full avionics, dual controls and cabin heater, a range of up to 450 miles, cruise up to 120mph, together with the already established short take-off and landing runs, this aircraft can truly claim to be the future of aviation. "The optional addition of a semi-open canopy makes it a real four season machine.” Rotorsport believes the full Permit to Fly release is imminent, together with start of the release to service of 14 aircraft already on order.

✱ RotorSport boss Gerry Speich with the Calidus autogyro



✱ Columbia Helicopters' Chinook in action

ONE of the biggest and most ambitious reconstruction projects has been completed by Columbia Helicopters of Oregon, USA - lifting 1.9 million lb of materials in a week to replace 32 miles of power lines lost in a storm. It all happened in Nebraska, USA when a storm on 17 July which included two tornados, destroyed 32 miles of high voltage transmission lines and 220 transmission towers. The local electricity company called Columbia, which specialises in heavy lift ops. Columbia operates a twin engine, twin rotor Columbia UT 234 Chinook, with a external load lifting capacity of 28,000lb. Over the period 12-19 August, the helicopter transported 213 H-frame

transmission towers from six “fly” yards to the construction sites. The towers are fabricated from wood laminate, weigh 11,000-17,000lb and are 60115ft tall. Each tower included insulators and wire mounts. The electricity company said, “We typically use helicopters when access to sites is very difficult, and the job has to be completed within a short time frame. Our goal was to have the power lines back in service by the end of August, but the helicopter crew completed all the work within seven days even though they lost a half day of flying due to weather.” Columbia Helicopters specialises in helicopters for construction, logging, firefighting and disaster relief.

✱ Power towers being lifted into place

November 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

16 HELTECH 2010 Report

HELITECH 2010 Europe's biggest helicopter show, once again gets all hot under the collar


IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT At Helitech in Portugal the main emphasis of the show was aerial fire-fighting, but as always there was plenty more to see.


ELITECH is Europe’s biggest annual helicopter only trade show. At this year’s event, which was held at Cascais Airport in Estoril, Portugal, there were more than 130 companies exhibiting, 21 of which for the first time, from over 20 different countries. Event organisers decided to concentrate on aerial firefighting once again because large parts of Europe are affected every year. In the last 12 months Russia, Spain and Portugal have suffered some of the worst wildfires. In all cases each country needed to be ready to deploy firefighting teams as soon as the emergency calls came in. During the three-day expo there were daily displays of helicopters extinguishing fires plus lectures and lessons on the best way to deal with forest fires, with such experts as Duncan Trapp,

Communications Sub-Group Leader for the European Helicopter Safety Team, and Carlos Santos, from Empresa de Meios Aéreos (EMA). He spoke about how EMA works for Portugal’s Ministry of Interior to provide fire-fighting capabilities for the nation, plus many others. The air displays were helped out by Helibravo who fielded two Eurocopter AS350s – a B3 and a B2 version while the ANPC (National Authority for Civil Protection) provided a team of ten fully trained firemen to work on board the helicopters demonstrating how they work together to put out dangerous forest fires. Two fire brigade teams were also working on the ground. Aside from the fire-fighting, there were static displays, company announcements and mergers, plus designs of new aircraft and much more. Over the next few pages we’ll bring you some of the highlights.

BLADES BLA DES S fresh air for helicopters November 2010

✱ The daily fire-fighting display was a big hit with crowds and exhibitors alike


PHOTOS Andre Garcez

â&#x17E;˝ November 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters


RUSSIAN HELICOPTERS MAKE A BIG IMPRESSION WITH fire-fighting behind the main thrust of this year’s Helitech, Russian helicopters decided to show of its range of EASA certified aircraft, but centred around its multi-role Ka-32A11BC. The Russians also had on show the light Ansat, Ka-226/226T, the medium Ka-62, Mi-8/17, and the heavy transport Mi-25TS.

There are only twenty Ka-32A11s operating in Europe. They are used in several different forms including fire-fighting, police, medevac and rescue missions, special forces in their operations, and also for patrolling the borders of EU countries. At Helitech Russian Helicopters announced it

was working with Russian electronics and software company Tranzas to offer training solutions for pilots preparing to fly Russianmade rotorcraft.

✱ The Ka-32A11BC in its fire-fighting disguise



NEW CERTIFIED SIM FOR AS350 WITH the cost of training continually on the rise, certified simulators have the ability to save large sums. At Helitech CAE announced it had received FAA approval for its SimfinityTM e-Learning program for the Eurocopter AS350 helicopter. CAE claims this will enable pilots to reduce time at the training centre for both initial and recurrent training. Pilots who complete the AS350 e-Learning program via distance learning will go through a brief pre-simulator review and qualification exam, and then proceed to training sessions in the CAE 3000 Series helicopter mission simulator located at a CAE training location in Phoenix, Arizona. As there will be ‘no classroom’ instructor led training, CAE claims the

e-learning option could save time. For initial training, this option can save AS350 students two days at the training centre, compared with the traditional instructor-led ground school. For recurrent training, pilots can save a full day. It may be possible for some pilots to complete their recurrent requirement in a single day at

✱ 3000 Sim, ready for AS350

the training centre – arriving at the centre near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in the morning, taking the qualification exam and simulator session, and then departing at day’s end. The CAE SimfinityTM e-Learning course for the AS350 is designed to provide pilots with knowledge of the features, systems, operations and limitations of the B, BA, B1 and B2 helicopter models. The program encompasses 20 modules and may be completed in about 15 hours. The course incorporates simulations, animations, video and other elements which will help with student comprehension. The course also offers knowledge checks and online assessments which will be provided at key intervals.

NEW COMPANY NEW IDEA AT any aviation event there are always innovations, ideas and new designs out on display. and this year’s Helitech in Portugal was no different. At the show this year was a new company, Heli Air Design, with French designers and engineers. It launched the HAH 1-T (code name for the company’s prototype) – a lightweight (less than 700kg) turbine helicopter they claim could take over the market. Heli Air Design is readying

✱ Impression of the HAH 1-T

the first prototype of the helicopter for first ground tests in November. The HAH will use a Solar T-62 turbine driving a threeblade main rotor and a twoblade tail rotor. The cabin will seat three and Heli Air Design claims a maximum all up weight of 1540lb (700kg) while empty weight will be close to 660lb (300kg). It also estimates a cruise speed of 60kt with a service ceiling of 15,000ft. Patrick Kuban of Heli Air Design said, “We believe this aircraft will succeed because of the cost, performance and comfort.” Heli Air Design is looking at a cost of ¤200,000 for the aircraft and ¤300 per flying hour. ➽

BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010



SHARING THE LOAD, AND THE PROFITS MUCH like Star Alliance in the fixed-wing world, four helicopter companies, from across the globe, are banding together under the name United Helicopter Services (UHS) in an attempt to compete with bigger companies. HeliBarra of Brazil, HeliPortugal, SAF Helicopters of France and Turkish company Santay Air have joined forces to try and get better global recognition and get the benefit of economies of scale enjoyed by their larger competitors. Pedro Silveira, chairman of the company, said at Helitech, “We have felt for a long time that our expertise was more globally exportable. One of our unique advantages is our range of helicopters. “If you look at some of the larger operators around the world, their fleets mainly consist of large or medium

helicopters. But we have a wide range of helicopters from the EC120 right up to the Kamov Ka-32, so we can provide a global solution to our customers.’ The majority of United Helicopter Services work comes from the EMS sector, with SAF Helicopters operating 16 EC135s across France. Another large section of the company is the work HeliPortugal does in oil and gas operations as well as news gathering for Portuguese national television, seismic surveys and other utility work, while third-party MRO represents roughly 15% of annual turnover. UHS has controlling stakes in all the companies apart from HeliBarra, due to Brazilian laws about foreign ownership of companies. www.unitedhelicopter

✱ The Portuguese Air Force's new refuelling probe

NO NEED TO LAND ANYMORE THE Portuguese Air Force chose Helitech to show off its new refuelling probe for its Mk3 Agusta Westland EH101 Merlin. It was the first public appearance of the new probe for the Portuguese. However the British and US Military have used the probe before. In 2008 the RAF completed a test with an Italian Air Force C-130J tanker over

southern England. It was the first time a British helicopter demonstrated air-to-air refueling capability. RAF test pilots successfully plugged the helicopter’s refueling probe into each of the tanker’s two wing station drogues on the first attempt. The sorties were flown at 4,000 ft with both aircraft travelling at 127 knots. All trial objectives were completed

with multiple in-flight refueling events successfully achieved up to the maximum Merlin Mk3 flying weight of 34,400lb. All Mk3 Merlins have been manufactured for the refueling ability but it has taken time to get operational release. The Portuguese Air Force has yet to test the fueling probe in flight yet.



✱ HeliPortugal's Kamov Ka-32 cockpit, now part of the UHS fleet

DURING Helitech AgustaWestland made several announcements. The company was making its debut at the Portugal show and took time to deliver one of its first GrandNews to Portuguese company Vinair Aeroserviços, who will use it as a VIP corporate aircraft. The company wasn’t done there either, it was also celebrating the Portuguse Air Force’s fleet of twelve AW101s which had just completed 10,000 hours of SAR missions and fishery protection duties. The Portuguese Air Force has the largest area of SAR responsibility of any European country in the Atlantic and has saved 630

lives since the delivery of the AW101s. AgustaWestland also opened a new regional headquarters in Lisbon. The aim of the new subsidiary is to help grow the business in Portugal and

play an important role in supporting the company’s latest initiatives and developments including a six year agreement to involve companies and universities in aerospace related projects.

✱ The AgustaWestland stand was a hive of activity

NEXT YEAR HELITECH 2011 WILL BE HELD AT DUXFORD AIRPORT, UK, SEPTEMBER 27-29 BLADES fresh air for helicopters October 2010


COLUMNIST Den Dennis Kenyon

Den Kenyon former freestyle helicopter aerobatics world Dennis cha champion, display pilot and flying instructor writes for BLADES



HAVE written on more than a few occasions about the mixed blessings of seeing the years fly by as old father time catches up. But there are compensations, which in aviation can be many, simply because more years flying equates to more flying experience. It’s on this aspect where I now feel I have an obligation to my industry... an obligation to offer my flying experiences, handling techniques and the lessons I have learned to allow the newer guys and gals to benefit from that experience. My 58 years and 14,000+ hours as pilot and instructor have taught me more than a few quirks and knacks to pass on. I often say one doesn’t need to be run over by a

tank to know it will hurt; I’ve been close to a few ‘tanks’ over the years and I hope these words will help others to steer clear. New pilots have no shortage of written help available, but no document can cover every tricky situation that can confront a pilot. So, here’s some of my bon homilies! When instructing, I discuss my flying experiences with students, to save them from ‘tank syndrome’. High on my list is engine failure and the often long-winded methods we are urged to use to avoid becoming a casualty. The helicopter has a unique ability to ‘autorotate’, ie to continue to handle normally, albeit in a one-time descent, and land safely after an engine failure. Indeed, I feel that providing the pilot can

✱ Every hour of experience yields wisdom for others to learn from

demonstrate the ‘engine failure’ exercise followed by a good landing, he could be signed off for the pilot's annual LPC (licence proficiency check). But, there are times of low airspeed and/or low height, where it may impossible to achieve the required rotor RPM is necessary to produce a steady-state autorotation and safe landing. For most helicopters the numbers are around 40kt and 400ft. Flight manuals contain a graph, the ‘height velocity’ diagram, which shades in the area less than the desirable speed and height. Some in the industry refer to this graph as the ‘deadman’s curve’ or the ‘avoid’ area. I don’t subscribe to either view. Helicopters possess the unique ability to land and take-off vertically, allowing access to sites unusable by our fixed-wing cousins. However, vertical take-off or landing requires flight within the ‘shaded area’ of the height/velocity diagram, albeit normally for only a few seconds in total. The alternative and recommended take-off technique is to ‘transition’ in forward flight remaining clear of the ‘shaded area’ until the required height. But such techniques deprive a helicopter of its unique vertical climb ability. So what is the answer? In my 14,000 hours I am still awaiting an engine failure, so personally I’ve decided I’m not prepared to adopt an ‘elf n safety’ take-off technique as a way of life and in so doing lose one of the major advantages the helicopter possesses over fixed-wings. My belief is to conduct a risk assessment, determining the likelihood of an engine malfunction during the few seconds operating within the ‘shaded’ area, and then if satisfied take a different view of the ‘deadman’s


I often say that one doesn’t need to be run over by a tank to know that it will hurt...

curve’: to me the shaded area becomes an area of extra caution. I reduce whatever risk is present when flying those few seconds within the ‘shaded’ area, by devoting extra attention to handling during take-off and by doing so maintain the helicopter’s unique ability. Of course, this only applies to private piloting: the CAA say no flying within the ‘shaded’ area for all public transport operations, and I agree. It is not for pilots to assume any risk commercially. There is a second area in which I feel many instructors pass on wrong perceptions to students, Exercise 26’s landing and take-off techniques for confined area operations – another cornerstone of the helicopter's strengths. Other than mentioning the five pre-landing ‘S’ checks – size, surface, shape, slope and surround – I always add a final ‘G’: go-around procedure. I’ve flown with many who run through the five Ss then add, “My escape route is…”. At this point, I stop the checks. Personally I won’t, as standard operating

procedure, commence any sequence of handling which requires ‘an escape’ manoeuvre. The simile I use here is ‘the old Irishman-andthe-bog’ one: I wouldn’t start from that position! We don’t fly to ‘escape’. Like the ‘height/velocity’ chart we simply plan a handling and go-around departure technique for if the approach situation demands it. If there is a possibility of running into an emergency situation, we won’t be making that approach! My final quirk concerns the ‘clearing turn’ and ‘lookout’ prior to take-off, a cautionary procedure that gets my pulse going as I once watched a colleague lift off without looking, resulting in a mid-air with a Tiger Moth. Following a clearing turn, the standard call I usually hear is “Nothing on the approach and we’re clear to go.” That is OK but I feel “Carrying out a clearing turn... to see what is coming!” is better. If you are looking for nothing, that’s usually what you see. I appreciate my words are just that – words – but the essence of the clearing turn is attitude – there must be a positive visual check for conflicting traffic. If you are expecting traffic on the approach and it is there, you are less likely to not spot it. By the way, as I point out to my pilots it is always helpful to listen out for the ATC clearance for approaching traffic. Is it for a full stop landing or a go-around following a touch & go? And as I often say to my pilots... the guy out there may be on a first solo and like you has his hands full and doesn’t have a lot of spare capacity. He could be my ‘tank!’ As ever, fly safe.

November 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

24 SPECIAL FEATURE High speed prototypes

â&#x153;ą Eurocopter's brand new X3 being shown to the world at the French aircraft test centre near Marseilles

BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010


They feel... the need for speed Faster, long range helicopters have a big future. Well that's what the industry thinks, so now Eurocopter has joined the race to produce a high-speed helicopter with its prototype X3. It joins the ranks of Sikosky's X2 and BellAgusta's BA609 – all are looking to produce the fastest civilian helicopter of the future WORDS Dave Calderwood


HE race for a highspeed, long-range helicopter has been joined by Eurocopter with the launch of its X3 - pronounced “X-Cube” prototype. The X3 had its first flight on 6 September this year and was shown to the world at the French aircraft test centre at Istres, near Marseilles, France, on 27 September. The X3 looks quite unlike any of its rivals in the highspeed race. It has two short, stubby wings from the top of a ‘normal’ helicopter fuselage with two forward-facing propellers slung beneath them to provide the forward thrust. At the rear there is no tail rotor or even Eurocopter’s trademark fenestrom - the end of the tail narrows to a stabiliser type wing with vertical fins at each end. Eurocopter plans to continue to test fly the X3 for the next three months with the aim of reaching 180kt, take a period off to upgrade the helicopter, then resume flying from March 2011 - with a target speed of 220kt. That’s about 60 to 70kt more than the fastest civilian helicopters, a worthwhile increase. “The X3 is a proof-of-concept demonstrator of Eurocopter’s

H3 (“H-Cube”) concept,” said Phillippe Roesch, VP of Technology and Product Innovation. “H3 stands for High-speed, long-range Hybrid Helicopter and is an advanced VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) concept. It blends the hover capability of a helicopter with the high-speed cruise efficiency of a turboprop at an affordable price. “This project was launched in January 2008 to validate the H3 technical concept: aircraft control and trim strategies, anti-torque and yaw control, propulsion, rotor speed governor and power management systems.” FLIGHT TESTING Eurocopter says it expects flight testing of the X3 to continue for 15 months, after which it will decide on whether to go ahead with a production aircraft - that is estimated to take another six years of development but the French company could have a helicopter entering service using X3 technology as early as 2018. It would most likely be a 20-seater along the lines of the existing EC225. The idea of “affordable price” comes up again and again in Eurocopter’s explanation of why it has gone down the

hybrid route with the X3. The company is emphatic that while it is pursuing speed, it must not be “at any cost”. “We believe there is a market for high-speed helicopters but we believe the high speed cannot be achieved at any cost,” said Jean-Michel Billig, Executive VP of Eurocopter’s R&D. Billig went on to say that their target is to reduce life cycle costs by up to 10%. A wide range of missions are envisaged for the production H3 helicopter, including long-

✱ Sikorsky's X2 prototype is another look to the future in high speed, long range helicopters


It also may be well suited for military missions in special forces operations

distance search and rescue (SAR) missions, coastguard duties, border patrol missions, passenger transport and intercity shuttle services. It also may be well-suited for military missions in special forces operations, troop transport, combat SAR and medical evacuation - benefitting from the hybrid aircraft’s combination of higher cruise speeds with excellent vertical takeoff/landing performance. Eurocopter made no direct reference to the BellAgusta’s ➽

November 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

26 SPECIAL FEATURE High speed prototypes

expensive and troubled BA609 Tilt Rotor which has swivelling propellers transitioning from vertical lift to horizontal speed, or to Sikorsky’s X2 technology demonstrator, propelled by a rear-mounted prop, but clearly these two aircraft are its rivals. Another aim is to retain all the advantages of a helicopter. Billig again, “The design parameters were aimed at

preserving the capabilities of a helicopter - in hover, in autorotation, and the versatility of the missions of a helicopter. “The X3 design offers a full helicopter performance, meaning it is able to takeoff and land vertically, it can hover and the auto-rotation capability is like any other helicopter. At the same time, it offers the full capability of

a turboprop with the two propellers on either side of the airframe.” Unlike BellAgusta and Sikorsky, Eurocopter has avoided developing a new concept from scratch - indeed, it has raided the parts bin of its nearby factory at Marignane for almost all of the X3’s main components. “In order to minimise the X3

✱ Note the lack of tail rotor – torque control is by side mounted propellers. Ailerons on wings, rudders on fins and even a hint of elevator on the stabilser... this really is a hybrid!

development effort, the cost and schedule, we have re-used a number of components from several Eurocopter helicopters,“ admitted Phillippe Roesch. “For example, the airframe has been taken from the Dauphin 365N3 and the main rotor is from the EC155. The engines come from the NH90 (a military only helicopter)... they are big engines, probably

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF THE GUYS WHO WENT BEFORE... Fairey Rotodyne Once upon a time, the UK had a wonderful, innovative, bold and productive aircraft manufacturing industry and the huge 48-seat Fairey Rotodyne was a perfect example of what we could do. It was a compound gyroplane (meaning it combined wings and rotors to provide lift) designed and built by Fairey Aviation and intended for commercial and military applications. It first flew in 1957. A development of the earlier Gyrodyne which had established a world

helicopter speed record, the Rotodyne featured a tip-jet-powered rotor that burned a mixture of fuel and compressed air bled from two wing-mounted turboprops. The rotor was driven for vertical takeoffs, landings and hovering, and lowspeed translational flight. It was put into autorotation during cruise flight with all engine power applied to two propellers, with lift coming from the wings. When launched, it was promising in concept and

BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010

successful in trials, the Rotodyne program was eventually cancelled when a combination of politics and the lack of commercial orders doomed the project. FAST FACTS Max speed 185kt Cruise speed 150kt Range 450nm Engines 4 x rotor tip jets burning compressed air/ fuel, and 2 x Napier Eland turboprops producing 2800hp each Rotor 27.4m diameter Gross weight 17,000kg

✱ The Rotodyne, looked like it was going to be a promising project until politics caused an early demise


over-sized for this type of aircraft. The trim actuators are from the EC145 and the serial actuators are standard pieces of equipment found on most Eurocopter helicopters.” Even the gearbox is from a standard helicopter, the EC175, although it has been adapted with lateral power outputs towards the propeller gearboxes in a specific

development, said Roesch. By borrowing and adapting bits from other helicopters, Eurocopter managed to build the X3 from scratch in record time, something the company is proud of. “Innovation is at the core of Eurocopter’s strategy to continue its leadership in the global helicopter sector, and the X3 demonstrator

represents a key element of our innovation roadmap,” said Lutz Bertling, Eurocopter’s President & CEO. “The teams at Eurocopter took this hybrid helicopter from concept to first flight in less than three years, which demonstrates their skills, capabilities and dedication to defining the future of rotarywing aircraft.”

“The decision to go ahead with X3 was taken in January 2008 after years of investigating other concepts,” said Billig, “including looking at Tilt Rotor technology. And of course, Eurocopter has set speed records with the Dauphin back in the 1990s. We completed manufacturing the X3 by July 2010 when we started ground testing.”

With ground tests proving positive, the first flight took place on 6 September. It lasted for about 35 minutes. “We were investigating the behaviour of the X-Cube in hovering and at low speed,” said Billig. “We have been flying up to 500ft and to a speed of 50 knots. The results were outstanding - the words from the crew. It behaved

November 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

28 SPECIAL FEATURE High speed prototypes exactly like a helicopter and they did not perceive a different behaviour - precisely what we were aiming for.” In fact, the test pilot, Herve Jammayrac, said, “This flight was something very different in that it’s a totally new concept. However, it was easy to fly and hover, so no big difference. It’s a great achievement for Eurocopter and for all the team involved in the project.” Flight test engineer Daniel Semioli was just as positive, “It’s really something amazing! I’m sure we are opening a new page of the helicopter story.” ADVANCING BLADE So why is it so difficult to make a helicopter go fast? Thomas Lawrence, an engineer with

Sikorsky who has worked on the company’s various highspeed projects including the X2, explains: “When a helicopter flies forward, the rotor blades experience a dramatic variation in airspeed. Imagine being perched on the tip of a helicopter rotor blade. If the helicopter were hovering, you’d feel a constant 500mph wind in your face as the rotor spun around. If the helicopter were to fly forward, you would note that the wind was stronger on what’s called the advancing side, when the rotor was moving in the same direction as the helicopter, but that it would be noticeably weaker when the rotor was on the retreating side.

“By the time the helicopter reached 90mph, you would feel a wind speed of 600mph on the advancing side, versus 400mph on the retreating side. The relative speed of the wind on the retreating side gets lower and lower the faster the aircraft flies. At 190mph, the wind on the advancing side would reach 700mph, while the wind on the opposite side would be 300mph. “Eventually, the helicopter would reach a point at which the difference between the lift on the advancing and retreating sides of the rotor could not be balanced and the vehicle wouldn’t be able to maintain level flight. “To complicate matters further, portions of the tip

✱ The X3 hangared minus rotor and Flight Test Engineer Daniel Semioli (left) and Chief Test Pilot Herve Jammayrac congratulate each other after a successful test flight


This flight was something very different... however it was easy to fly

of a fast-flying helicopter’s advancing blade can exceed the speed of sound, producing shock waves that cause large vibrations and generate considerable noise. For these reasons, most helicopters just don’t like to go fast.” Sikorsky’s method of dealing with this was a design called Advancing Blade Concept. Lawrence again, “It uses two counter-rotating rigid rotors that spin around the same axis, which is why they are known as coaxial rotors. In forward flight, each rotor produces a surfeit of lift on its advancing side, freeing the retreating side from having to do any heavy lifting, all while maintaining good balance. Sikorsky patented the concept in 1964, but considerable engineering was needed to actually get something like this in the air.” Eurocopter has taken a different route with the X3. Phillippe Roesch explains, “The main rotor rpm is reduced at high speed to avoid the drag divergence at the tip of the advancing blade. A small wing then partially unloads the rotor at high speed to avoid the retreating blade’s stall. "Auxiliary propulsion is also necessary to avoid degradation of the rotor to lift ratio at high advanced ratios. The wing mounted propellers provide the propulsive force in forward flight and also the anti-torque [reaction] in the hover.” So the short wings provide lift, just like an everyday fixedwing aircraft, in the cruise allowing the main rotor disc to slow down and not get into the issues of advancing blade high speed, and retreating blade stall. It effectively becomes a turboprop twin - and if you

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF THE GUYS WHO WENT BEFORE... Sikorsky XH-59A Now this uses a bit of the X2 and a bit of the X3 with side-mounted engines. It is a Sikorsky, the XH-59A, dating from 1973, and built to prove the company’s Advancing Blade Concept (ABC) using two, three-bladed, co-axial counter-rotating rotors. The fuselage resembles the X2 in that it looks more like a fixed wing than a helicopter. The first prototype crashed at low speed after the nose suddenly pitched up, forcing the pilot to land heavily on the aircraft’s tail, fortunately no one was hurt.

A second prototype with improved control systems and a centre of gravity further forward was built and it fared better, when it first flew in 1975. Over a five-year test period, it was flown as a pure helicopter and also with two jet engines strapped to the sides, reaching an impressive 240kt in level flight. However, despite it being a joint US Navy, Army and NASA project, they all declined to take up the project and it was killed off in 1980.

BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010

FAST FACTS Max speed 280kt Cruise speed 109kt Ceiling 15,000ft Engines 2 x Pratt & Whitney J60-P-3A turbojet, each producing 3,000lb thrust, and d 1 x Pratt & Whitney PT6T-3 Turbo Twin Pac turboshaft, producing 1825hp Rotor 10.97m diameter Gross weight 4990kg ✱ The Sikorsky XH-59A benefitted from auxiliary turbojets and took its first flight in 1973, and its last in 1980


look at the photos closely you can see what appear to be ailerons on the wings, slim rudders on each of the tail fins and elevators on the rear stabiliser wing. Integrating all those controls with those of the pure helicopter must have been a real challenge - and will undoubtedly be a major part of the flight testing. SIKORSKY X2 Just a few days after the X3’s first flight and before Eurocopter going public with the news, on 15 September Sikorsky’s X2 technology demonstrator successfully

achieved a speed of 250 knots true air speed in level flight at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center, in Palm beach Florida, accomplishing the program’s ultimate speed milestone. The speed, reached during a 1.1-hour flight, is an unofficial speed record for a helicopter. The demonstrator also reached 260 knots in a very shallow dive during the flight. “The aerospace industry today has a new horizon,” said Sikorsky President Jeffrey P. Pino. “The X2 Technology demonstrator continues to prove its potential as a gamechanger, and Sikorsky Aircraft

is proud to be advancing this innovative technology and to continue our company’s pioneering legacy.’ The X2 combines a range of technologies and it was built with the sole purpose to demonstrate that a helicopter can cruise comfortably at 250 knots while retaining low-speed handling, efficient hovering, and a seamless and simple transition to high speed. Sikorsky says it plans to tailor its X2 coaxial rotor design for future light tactical, utility and transport helicopter requirements now that the technology demonstrator’s key speed goal has been achieved.

✱ The X2 has already hit the dizzying speeds of 250 knots in level flight and 260 in a very shallow dive

In addition, the 250kt speed had been achieved “at lowpower workload, low vibration and low noise” according to Jim Kagdis, programme manager at Sikorsky Advanced Programs. Kagdis said the X2 would now undergo four more flight tests to validate its acoustic signature and elements of its rotor system. “We anticipate the aircraft will be in flight tests for the next three months or so. After that we will have the data that we need and we will then re-target our focus. “We have been very aggressive with our messages out in our customer base,” he

February 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

30 SPECIAL FEATURE High speed prototypes


✱ The BA609, flying like a standard twin engine turboprop...

continued. “This technology has significant applications perhaps in the future to replace a Special Ops Little Bird or an OH-58 Kiowa Warrior, where the speed, utility and low acoustics all become very, very attractive features. ‘We will continue our aggressive marketing campaign - up to this point we have received favourable inputs from those customers about the technology but of course, like all of us, they wanted to see the primary KPP [key performance parameter] and we did that with 250 knots.” Kagdis said in addition to the Light Tactical Helicopter that has already been pitched to the US Army, the X2 design could be scaled up to meet future military requirements to replace such platforms as Cobra, Apache and Huey helicopters as well as larger utility and transport rotorcraft. “This aircraft was born a helicopter, it acts like a helicopter with speed - it is manoeuvrable, it is agile, it hovers efficiently but to get to the higher speeds we don’t have to change our configuration, we don’t have to tilt the rotor. So the configuration that you took off with is the same configuration that you go high speed with.” The X2 demonstrator employs a counter-rotating coaxial rotor with an auxiliary

propulsion system, fly-bywire flight controls, active vibration control and hub drag reduction. To reach its speed milestones, the aircraft is designed to keep rotor blade speed at Mach 0.9 and below. Steve Weiner, chief engineer for the X-2 programme, said during the flight tests this was done manually by X2 chief pilot Kevin Bredenbeck in order to explore the rotor speed reduction range and effect on performance, but would be done automatically by the flight control system in a production aircraft. In reaching the 250kt target, the team also had to redesign the tail surface to provide additional yaw control and longitudinal pitch control, helping to reduce pilot workload. Kagdis said the six weeks it took to get this through design, manufacture and ready for flight tests was a key ‘sub-plot’ to the X2 programme. “The sub-plot to this is the process that we are developing, this rapid prototyping process, that can be applied to future product development and prototype programmes as well.” Whether the future is Eurocopter X3/H3, Sikorsky X2 or BellAgusta BA609, one thing is clear, the future for helicopters is on the brink of a new era.

BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010

✱ The futuristic looking X2 coming in to land

BellAgusta joined forces with Boeing back in 1998 to create the military only Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. The BA609 is a civilian version that BellAgusta are working to get certified. BellAgusta says the BA609 Tiltrotor combines the speed, altitude, and comfort of a turboprop with the vertical takeoff and landing capabilities of a helicopter. It is aiming for certification in 2011 with a service ceiling of 25,000ft, and be able to fly into known icing conditions and extreme climates, from Arctic to desert. They also claim a maximum range of 750nm and a cruise speed of 260kt, which would make it a lot quickly over longer distances than any helicopter currently on the market. It will seat up to nine passengers and at twice the speed of typical

helicopters of comparable capacity, the BA609 is designed to be the best multi-mission aircraft available. Proposed missions for the BA609 include Executive Transport, Off-shore operations, Search and Rescue, Medical Transport and Law Enforcement.

FAST FACTS Max speed 275kt Cruise speed 260kt Range 750nm Ceiling 25,000ft Engines 2 x Pratt & Whitney PT6c67A turboshaft Max power 2 x 1940hp Rotors/props 2 x 7.92m diameter Wingspan 11.7m Gross weight 7600kg Payload 2500kg Cost tba but at least $10m

✱ ...and coming into land like a typical helicopter, giving the best of both worlds

32 Where to find all the latest and best heli gear available


LATEST IN THE WORLD OF PASSIVE HEADSETS German company Beyerdynamic has just released its brand new HS400 Signum, for the rotary world. Testing expert Phil O’Donoghue gets his hands on the brand new headset to see how good it is


T SEEMS in the world of aviation, products are talked about for a long time before they hit the shops or showrooms. That's not true when it comes to headsets. There's always something new on the shelves to surprise. Bose recently launched its first new headset in 12 years and Beyerdynamic launched its new passive headset almost at the same time. With so many manufacturers around, it seems hard to know just what the latest and greatest products are. There’s the world of ANR, where headsets are expensive but come with the latest innovations in controlling sound. Then there are passive headsets where the prices are greatly reduced due to the use of less intuitive technology. That’s not to say that

a passive headset can’t combine a smaller price tag with all the extra features of an ANR headset. That’s how Beyerdynamic sees it and the company has tried to combine the best of both with its brand new headset. The new HS400 Signum headset is an update to the company’s previous popular HS300 passive noise reduction model. When we tested the HS300 a couple of years back, we were quite impressed overall, but we did have a grumble about the bulky audio box used to interface a phone or music player. This aspect of the headset has been improved, with the HS400 now featuring a smaller and neater audio box. The audio box also accommodates the two AA batteries that are required to power the auxiliary audio input interface, dual Left/Right

volume control sliders, an LED to indicate when the audio interface is powered on, and a second LED to show the status of the auto mute function. The power-on LED also doubles as a battery capacity indicator by changing from steady to flashing when about 20 hours of battery life remain. Battery power is only required for operation of the auxiliary audio interface, and not for the basic headset function. Sadly, neither the audio box nor the headset lead comes with a clip to secure them out of the way in the cockpit. The HS400 features large circular ear cups that completely enclose the ears. The ear pads are made from viscoelastic material covered with very soft leatherette. We’ve found this design to provide a good seal around the ears, even while wearing ✱ The comfortable and stylish HS400 on test

BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010

TECH SPEC ✱ Price: £289.95 ✱ Ear pads with extra soft leatherette cover ✱ Audio box to connect mobile phones or music players ✱ Automatic volume reduction of phone or music player when signals from the intercom occur (selectable function) ✱ Mono/Stereo selection ✱ Noise-compensated microphone with adjustable gain ✱ Integrated volume control ✱ Ear caps in metallic silver design with metal bezels ✱ Rugged headband design made of spring steel with soft, replaceable headband pad ✱ Five-year warranty ✱ Weight: 325g (without cable)

spectacles. The headband is made from lightweight spring steel and is covered with a removable headband pad. The clamping force is quite low in comparison with many headsets. Coupled with a weight of just 325g, the overall result is a very good level of comfort, even when wearing the headset for extended periods. It’s not a surprise that a light headset with gentle headband clamping should be comfortable, but what is surprising about the HS400 is that notwithstanding the comfort, the passive noise attenuation is excellent - as good as any passive headset we’ve used. The HS400 features an electret mic with adjustable gain, mounted on a flexible boom that’s easy to position and can be rotated to allow the mic to be placed on the left or right side of the mouth. The clarity of speech through the headset is good, but the

HS400 really comes into its own when music is played through the auxiliary input. We used an iPod for music input and found the sound quality to be outstanding. Automatic muting of the auxiliary input is controlled using a switch conveniently located on the front of the audio box. When enabled, the muting feature automatically drops the volume of the external device by 90% when there is an incoming nav, comm, or intercom signal. After a couple of seconds of silence on the intercom or radios, the auxiliary audio gradually returns to 100% of the set volume. The HS400 looks smart, modern and compact, and is very nicely constructed. It comes with a highquality nylon case, cables for connecting a phone or music player, and a five-year warranty. The HS400 is also available on Beyerdynamic’s Manufaktor facility, where the purchaser can customise the headset to the style they want – there is a range of colours, materials and even personalised engraving. WHAT WE THOUGHT





The HS400 looks smart, modern and compact, and is very nicely constructed

NEW UTILITY BASKETS DART’S new quick release Heli-Utility Basket for the AS350/AS355 has just gained a trio of EASA, FAA and Transport Canada approvals. Dart claims that the baskets are lighter weight than standard baskets (saving up to 10-20lb), and can be installed or removed in under a minute by one person while providing increased volume and cargo capacity. The basket is certified to carry up to 232lb (105kg) depending on configuration. The lid is also available

in either stainless steel or a fabric mesh to save even more weight. It's also compartible with Eurocopter Squirrel Cheeks and Dart Spacepods.

✱ The stainless steel lid also doubles as a work platform


WIPE YOUR FEET WITH students constantly jumping in and out of aircraft, it's difficult for schools to keep their helicopters looking their very best. Dart Aerospace however has just received approval for its cabin floor protectors, which fit in the R22 and R44. The kits are available in clear or black non-warping durable plastic and have been designed to protect the interior floor structure and carpet for the world's most popular traines.

The kits are now available on Dart's website and cost $506 for the front protectors or $890 for the complete set of four.

✱ Dart's mats protect the original fitment coverings


DOWN TO THE WIRE WIRE strikes are a major concern during certain helicopter operations, but Apical Industries has launched a cable cutting kit for the Eurocopter EC135. The cutter has been designed to protect a helicopter during a wire strike by cuting the wire before it can cause critial damage to the helicopter. The kit has just received EASA approval and incorporates both upper and lower blades, plus windscreen and skid deflectors.

The cutters have been tested and proven to have the ability to cut a cable with 14,000lb of tensile strength. The kit is $25,000 including everything needed for install.

✱ Cutter can slice cables of up to 14,000lb tensile strength

November 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

34 TRAINING Going professional

â&#x153;ą Being a professional helicopter pilot means joining an elite and highlyqualified club BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010



Plenty of people – in fact most grown men – will at one time or another probably have listed ‘helicopter pilot’ as a dream job. Phil Croucher is one of the UK's most experienced pilots and author of the first ATPL(H) course to be approved by UK CAA under JAR FCL, and he explains ways to help turn the cockpit into a workplace WORDS Phil Croucher PHOTOGRAPHY Dave Spurdens and


o you’re toying with the idea of becoming a helicopter pilot? Or maybe you’ve already decided and are wondering where, or even if, to start? Hopefully, this article will answer a few questions that will help guide you on the way, and provide some material for the lateral thinking that you will definitely require to get qualified. I have taken the helicopter industry as a worldwide entity and looked at how you can break in anywhere within it. Of course, it will cost a lot of money, but so do many other professions. What you have to do is figure out how to spend it in the wisest way. Just throwing money at the problem is simply not going to work. For example, it is not enough just to get the basic licence – you need something extra to make you that little bit more desirable than the other guy with only 200 hours. In North America, this could be a mountain course, or some slinging, or an instrument rating, but the most important is hours, and as many of them as you can afford. We shall be looking at hour building a little later, but right now it’s also worth mentioning that a cheap upgrade for any low hour pilot, particularly with helicopters, is to learn a language! How long do you spend driving listening to the radio? Use it! This immediately brings up the first question – if you have around £80,000 – £100,000 to invest in yourself, why would you want to work as a helicopter pilot? I’m not being cynical, merely practical! The monetary rewards are certainly not as good as many

professions (unless you are a specialist in some area) and job security is almost nonexistent. It will take a long time to break even. However, there’s not a lot that can beat hauling a load out of a forest at the end of a 200ft line on a clear day in Canada, when the leaves are just changing colour, or rescuing someone who has managed to get themselves stuck on the side of a mountain, or even helping to put out fires... the list of possible things you can do with a helicopter is endless, so

ABOUT PHIL WRITER Phil Croucher is Head of Training for Caledonian Advanced Pilot Training (www.capt, currently the only UK company approved to provide distance learning courses for helicopters (ATPL(H), CPL(H) and IR(H). He holds JAA, UK, UAE and Canadian pro licences for aeroplanes and helicopters, over 8500 hours on 37 types, and considerable operational background, and training experience from the computer industry, in which he is equally well qualified. He has at various times been a Chief Pilot, Ops Manager, Training Captain and Type Rating Examiner for several companies, including a CRM Ground Instructor.

if you wake up in the morning and think of nothing but helicopters all day, and fancy running away to join the circus, read on... First of all, where do you want to end up? It may seem a strange question to ask at this stage, since any job would be welcome, right? Not necessarily. As an example, say you manage to get into a North Sea company as a keen young thing, licence hardly dry – you will not be a captain for a considerable time to come, although it is true to say that you will learn a lot from your mentors in the other seat. It is my opinion that any pilot in Europe would benefit from at least one season spent in a large country where you learn to operate a helicopter as well as fly one, such as Canada, Australia, the USA, and many others. It will also build up your captain time. There are three ways you can go within the helicopter industry – bush, or utility flying (otherwise known as aerial work, which officially includes Search and Rescue), corporate, charter, or the more formal stuff that requires an instrument rating, such as offshore. There is a little crossover between them, but not much, as the thought processes required for each one are quite different. For example, corporate flying requires the ability to keep your employer’s customers happy on a wet morning when the engine won’t start while waiting for an engineer to turn up. That’s the sort of talent that makes it more economical to hire the right person, then give them some training, rather than trying to change their character. If you can ➽

November 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

36 TRAINING Going professional focus on the area you want to be in when you start, it will simplify matters. Let’s go back to our mythical £100,000. As the first step, most people would probably turn up at the nearest flight school and invite them to start working their magic, but this might not be the wisest choice. Not because the schools are bad, but all you will have to show for it at the end is a small piece of paper (your licence) and a couple of hundred hours, or even less if you have taken an integrated course. I know many people in the industry who do not like these because the candidates end up with so little experience.

If I waqs lucky enough to have that that sort of money in the bank, I would probably get a PPL(H) first, to see if I really liked helicopters or, more to the point, whether they liked me! I would also get a Class one medical, because all the training in the world is no good without it, as it is a requirement for a commercial pilot’s licence. Then I would look at buying a helicopter! There are plenty of cheap ones around, and it doesn’t have to look pretty, as it sole purpose is to get hours in your log book, and you are going to sell it again afterwards. It just needs to be mechanically sound.

✱ Getting experience in things like sling work opens up your options

MANY ROUTES TO A GOAL Aside from allowing you to dip your toe in the water, the other reason for getting the PPL(H) this early that you can gain advantage of any free flying that comes up. For example, I once spent six weeks in Fort St John, in Canada, during which I flew 76 hours by myself, positioning to more serious jobs. It was stuff that any PPL(H) holder could have done, but not halfway through a CPL(H) course without any paperwork at all to your name. One pilot now flying the S-92 on Search and Rescue duties did just this, although it did mean that he kept getting left in strange places and having to find his


I’d look at buying a helicopter! There’s plenty of cheap ones around... own way home! On the fixed wing side, I know of a hostess with a PPL who flew the company aeroplanes when there were no passengers on board. She ended up as a captain within the same company. Still other pilots I know started off as engineers in order to be around helicopters, obtained their PPL(H), then their CPL(H), and were cleared for ground runs, then air tests, then managed to get on the line. One of those now has over 850 hours, 750 of which are on the Bell 212! In my own case, I managed to join a company on the strength of my ability to write operations manuals – it was cheaper for them to give me a type rating than to hire a technical writer who would need a lot of specialist supervision anyway. Of course, you have to get to know a lot of people to winkle out free hours. This is your introduction to the most essential of skills – networking and salesmanship. After all, the the helicopter industry is very, very small. While you are building the time for your licence, you can start studying for your commercial licence exams, with the idea of doing the flying training as roughly the last step. Bear in mind, though, that the commercial licence requires at least some formal training within the basic hours required. You will have to do the figures yourself, but I am quite sure that, with a little bit of lateral thinking, it is entirely

possible to do. Many people wonder about the choice of helicopter to train on. It is true that many customers use something like the R44, and it might make some sense to use that, but the simple truth is that the cheapest will do. The insurance companies, bless them, don’t look at quality! For the same reason, don’t worry about getting type rated on turbines, unless you can get the hours very cheaply. If you don’t get many, the Chief Pilot will likely want to do it all over again anyway, unless he knows who trained you. In any case, you will have too few hours to be used on the sort of job that requires a turbine, unless it’s a 206. If you are worried about this, it would appear that the consensus is that the Bell 47 is best, followed by the Enstrom or Schweizer series, then the R44. The expression “if you can fly an R22 you can fly anything” is in my opinion not true; I believe if you can fly a Hiller 12e you can fly anything! Depending on where you want to end up, your choice of country for your training might also be important. The ICAO standard for a basic Commercial Pilot’s Licence is around 150 hours, but this varies between countries. Canada, for examples only requires 100 hours, and the better schools will even be able to fit in a little slinging. I know of one that regularly gets pilots through the check ride at 80 hours. The JAA require 155 hours if you do modular training, and let you get away with 135 for integrated training. The FAA/Transport Canada systems are also relatively straightforward, whereas the JAA system seems to like playing mind games. The JAA exams are well known to be tough, whilst the FAA ones are perceived to be very easy. ➽

✱ Have your eye on a career in something like HEMS flights? BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010



✱ The Bell 407, a helicopter you can train in and receive Part-147 maintenance training on at Alan Mann

GET YOUR PPL(H) FOR LESS With several locations across the country, Alan Mann Aviation Group is offering a chance to start your helicopter career with a discount


LAN MANN Aviation Group (AMAG) is currently offering a great deal for anyone wanting to gain their PPL(H) or CPL(H) on a range of different helicopters. An advantage of training with AMAG is that you are not tied down to one airfield. Students can learn at Fairoaks, with Sterling Helicopters at Norwich, Fast Helicopters at Shoreham and Thruxton, where a variety of helicopters are based. The current deal is a 5% discount on any course that is pre-booked and paid for. The company isn’t just offering it on a standard R22 or R44 (although you can train on those if you want to) students can also train



The instructors have extensive experience in converting licenses from many ICAO countries on any of the company’s 11 different types available. They include the Agusta 109, Bell 206, Eurocopter AS355, Schweizer 300 and many others. Aside from the PPL(H) side of things AMAG also offers pilots the opportunity to gain their Night Rating, Commercial Licence CPL(H), Instructor Rating FI(H), Instrument Rating (IR), including simulator

work plus type ratings and licence conversions. If you have an ICAO or military helicopter licence that you wish to convert to a JAA/ EASA licence then AMAG can provide professional CPL(H), ATPL(H) and Flight Instructor conversion courses. The instructors have extensive experience in converting licenses from many ICAO countries such as the USA (FAA), South Africa (SACAA) and others. AMAG is an approved Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Service (ELCAS) providers for the Armed Forces, offering military to civilian bridging courses to achieve CAA/JAA pilot licences. Once you’re qualified the relationship with AMAG doesn’t need to stop there,

it also offers helicopters for sale, maintenance and repairs, charter flights, self fly hire and Part-147 maintenance training. Only a few organisations in the UK offer Part-147 training, and even fewer are able to train engineers on rotary aircraft, but AMAG offers engineers the chance to get a type rating on up to ten different aircraft. The company can offer licensed engineers airframe and engine ratings on Bell 206, 212 and 412s, Agusta 109 (A through to E types) and Sikorsky S76 (A and B). According to the CAA’s latest Part-147 Type Training Organisations Document AMAG is the only company in the UK to offer training on the Aerospatiale AS350B, AS355 and AS355N and

the MBB BK117. AMAG can tailor courses to meet the needs of the self-employed engineer as well as corporate organisations and also offers refresher courses. The courses are prepared by specialist instructors. The courses are all CAA/ EASA Part-147 approved. AMAG also provides off-site engineering training, its instructors are fully qualified in offering training and maintenance programmes, either at the customer's own facilities or at an operational site, including overseas. This allows the customer greater flexibility and convenience. So, for helicopter pilot training, charter, sales, engineering and Part-147 maintenance training Alan Mann Aviation Group really is your one stop shop.

Alan Mann Aviation Group, Fairoaks Airport, Chobham, Woking, Surrey, GU24 8HU W E T +44 (0)1276 857471 / +44(0)1276 857777

November 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

38 TRAINING Going professional ✱ Rail line surveying is a great example of CPL(H) work

This is actually not the case, but the FAA do not consider the exams to be the high point of your training. Their philosophy is that you will get further instruction as you go through your career, whereas the JAA do not assume this – they prefer you to be a seasoned professional from day one. On this basis, there is also

not a lot wrong with the JAA syllabus, although it is fair to say that there is about 10% of the subject matter that you will never use. The real problem is the questions, which are nothing short of abysmal, for which you will need special coaching. You also need a sign off from a school. The FAA attitude is much

DIFFERENT LICENCE TYPES PRIVATE PILOT PPL(H): c.£11,000 The holder of a PPL(H) may be – not for remuneration – the pilot-in-command or co-pilot of any helicopter engaged in non-revenue flights. COMMERCIAL PILOT CPL(H): c.£42,000 A CPL holder may exercise all privileges of a PPL(H), act as pilot-in-command in any helicopter engaged in operations other than commercial air transport; act as pilotin-command in commercial air transport in any helicopter certificated for single pilot operation, and act as co-pilot in commercial air transport in helicopters required to be operated with a co-pilot. AIRLINE TRANSPORT PILOT ATPL(H): c.£50,000+ The holder of an ATPL(H) may exercise all the privileges of the holder of a PPL(H) and CPL(H) and act as pilot-incommand and co-pilot in helicopters in air transport. INSTRUMENT RATING IR: c.£40,000 To start the course, you must hold at least a PPL(H), and have a sufficiently good grasp maths and physics to understand the course content, although much of what you need will be included.

more practical. For example, when you do your check ride, you will likely not get airborne for a good three hours while you are given a good grilling in a small room by your examiner. You might be able to learn the answers to the questions in the exams, but that will do you no good here – you won’t be given multi-choice questions! You will also be in that same room for a couple of hours after the flight. The Canadian system is much the same. For the check ride itself, you will obviously be expected to plan a navigation route, but after you

have worked out the actual groundspeed on your first leg and advised the examiner of the estimate for the first destination, he will stop the navex (assuming you are correct) and ask you to divert somewhere, possibly pulling the map out of your hands (on the first takeoff, there will also be an emergency. In my case it was simply him pretending to be a passenger who had opened the door, which necessitated a landing under control). There will, of course, be the upper air work, but contrast this with the JAA system, where the examiner and you

✱ You will be ble to work with firms with fleets of machines BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010


Anyone who starts helicopter training now has a good sense of timing will only be in contact for a few hours at the most. Speaking of foreign countries, I mentioned using your own helicopter to build hours for your licence. Instead of just burning holes in the sky, why not consider getting another licence as well? You have to get 155 hours for the JAA licence, for example, so why not do another one abroad? This would greatly enhance your mobility, and if you have JAA and FAA licences, you can pretty much go round the world, after taking a law exam here and there. Firefighting, for example, is becoming a year round occupation – you can fight fires in Canada in summer and in Australia during winter, immigration permitting. What licence should you ➽

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November 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

40 TRAINING Going professional take? The CPL(H) or ATPL(H)? The latter requires a lot more hours, but written exams for the ATPL(H) can be held in suspension while you build up experience required (this varies between countries – some do not alow night flying at all, so where do you get the hours for your licence?) Doing the ATPL exams, however is a lot harder, and under JAA/EASA rules, you have to get the instrument rating within three years, which is a big commitment. In addition, you must have a type on the ATPL that requires two pilots, plus multi-crew training or experience which, realistically, you won’t get outside a large company. In many cases, just doing the CPL(H) will be a good start – you can fly quite large helicopters on one!


Much of the industry is going to retire over the next 5 years... or sooner I believe

PROSPECTS Given that the aviation industry is one that requires thinking several months ahead, is it even worth you going for a licence? I think so. I already know of Chief Pilots who cannot get the quality they require for their machines, and this includes the 747. Brazil recently opened its door to non-nationals for the next five years as there are not enough Brazilian heli pilots to go round. Around 30 years ago in the UK, there was such a shortage of pilots that you couldn’t get on a course for four years – all the major schools were fully booked that far ahead. Air Traffic Controllers and North Sea helicopter pilots were being shifted over to jets with great speed – Madrid Centre, for example, was only half staffed. It was only when Air Europe went down and their pilots were released that the situation started to ease. However, that shortage has never really gone away, and a succession of recessions since then has meant relatively few people have trained themselves up. Add in that much of the

✱ Line surveys can take a pilot all over the UK in a single day

BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010

helicopter industry is top heavy with senior captains, because very few companies have been enlightened enough to bring on the less experienced pilots: in many parts, the average age is 55, or even 57. This means that, by definition, much of the industry is going to retire over the next 5 years, since they will be unable to be captains after

the age of 60, unless they have a younger co-pilot on board. I believe this will begin to happen sooner than that. It is my strong belief that anyone who starts their helicopter training now has a good sense of timing. In the same way you can't win the lottery if you don't buy the ticket, if your destiny includes you being

a helicopter pilot then you won’t get there by not being qualified. If a company wants you, they want you NOW, and they won’t wait a few months while you get things sorted out. The best you can do is follow your heart, and get as many ducks as possible lined up in readiness. Good luck!

NO SUCH THING A ROUTINE FRIEND of BLADES James Benson is the perfect example of why a cereer in professional helicopter piloting is the dream of so many. James has flown with PDG Helicopters for nearly four years and like so many pro rotorheads is used to every day being different from the one before. PDG is the biggest onshore heli operator in the UK and its pilots fly for corporate charter, load lifting, film and television, air ambulance, fire fighting, electricity line patrol, thermal imaging, scenic tours, construction and even live fish transfers. Special projects work includes clients such as Network Rail and Qinetiq. Speaking of his varied work James said: “There is no regular day at PDG – that’s the beauty of it. One day you could be fly-lifting over the Scottish Highlands, the next flying at 750ft over central London.

“I have lifted all sorts – deer, oil tanks, mini diggers, trees, cabins, wet concrete. If we can lift it, we will. “I also fly with the Great North Air Ambulance. We usually do four 10-hour day shifts, then have four days off. It’s difficult to do much more than four days as it’s easy to run out of duty hours.”

✱ James has quickly built wide experience

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Cabair College Of Air Training, Cranfield Airport T +44 (0)1234 751243 E November 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

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✱ OSHKOSH 2010


At the Farnborough air show Augusta unveiled its brand new AW169, and DC got a first glimpse at the multi-purpose light twin.

Chuck Aaron, the only man in the USA permitted by the FAA to perform aerobatics in a helicopter, we bring you his show.

Dennis Kenyon gets to fly, and then review the only Hermes special edition Eurocopter EC135 helicopter in Europe.



KNOW-IT-ALL Sponsored by Hayward Aviation

BLADES KNOW-IT-ALL SECTION Essential data and spec on all new civilian helicopters

SIKORSKY S-76D Sikorsky’s next generation in the S-76 range, the D model, is now in production. Upgrades include a composite four-blade main rotor system with optional ice protection, a new ‘quiet’ tail rotor, a ‘glass cockpit’ and autopilot, active vibration control and new engines.

NOTES Price: base price in US$ Performance: manufacturers’ figures Range: on standard fuel load HIGE: Hover In Ground Effect HOGE: Hover Out of Ground Effect Fuel: standard capacity

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Sea ts Eng ine



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HO GE (f


(ft/ m


Ma xc rui se (kt ) Ma xc lim b

VN E (k



Gro ss w eig ht (kg Em ) pty we igh t (k g) Use ful loa d (k g) Fue l

PERFORMANCE in) Ma x ra ng e (n m) HIG E (f


IFR /VF R Pri ce (ba se)


AGUSTA WESTLAND 21017 Cascina Costa di Samarate-Va Italy AGUSTA WESTLAND GRAND Top-of-the-range intermediate helicopter providing high levels of cabin space and payload. Flexible layout and large cabin sliding doors. Grand 109 Power 119 Koala Mk11 101 139



168 168 152 167 167

155 154 139 150 165

AW109 POWER FADEC-controlled twin turbine engines and redundancy in all critical areas, the AW109 Power meets JAR Ops 3 requirements for CAT A ops. 1830 1930 1850 2788 2140

295 378 301 610 437

15600 16600 11000 10800 15360

10000 11800 7300 4800 8130

16200 19600 15000 10000 20000

3175 2850 3150 15600 6400

1660 1585 1455 9200 3685

1520 1265 1695 6000 2715

119 KOALA MK11 AW119 Ke is an eight-seat single turbine helicopter designed to provide high productivity and performance at a competitive price. 575 605 605 4303 1568

3.40 3.50 3.59 6.60 3.70

11.70 11.46 12.92 22.80 13.52

1.60 1.60 na 4.50 2.26

8 8 8 33 17

2 x PWC PW207C 2 x PWC PW206C PWC PT6B-37A 3 x GE CT-7 2 x PWC PT6C-67C

AW139 Medium-twin engine helicopter combining the benefits of proven technology and the latest new-generation system integration. 2 x 735 2 x 640 1002 3 x 2527 2 x 1679

4/10.83 4/11.00 4/10.83 4/18.60 4/13.80

Fast, elegant, smooth. See that blue flashing light... What does ‘Koala’ mean? Cuddly? Heavy-lifter favoured by military. Newest multi-role helicopter from AW.

BELL Fort Worth, Texas, 76101. USA BELL 206B3 Latest version of the JetRanger is a tried and tested light single, with low operating costs and impressive safety record. A legend! 206B3 206L4 412EP 407 427 429 430



BELL 412 Medium twin that’s a workhorse for the industry, capable of coping with extreme climates. Wide-opening doors will accommodate a two-ton forklift.

BELL 429 Advanced light twin that’s just completed Type Certification in both North America and Europe. Seats eight, open cabin and flat floor, single pilot IFR possible.

BELL 430 Beautiful and brawny, that’s how Bell describes “the world’s most captivating light twin.” Has an advanced bearingless composite main rotor design.

122 130 140 140 140 tba 150

115 112 122 133 138 142 139

1280 1320 1780 1940 1600 tbc 1730

tbc tbc tbc tbc tbc 350 tbc

13200 10000 10200 12200 9000 12000 10100

5300 6500 5200 10400 6000 11000 6200

13500 10000 16300 17600 10000 tbc 8300

1519 2018 5398 2268 2880 3175 4218

777 1056 3131 1216 1760 1950 2420

674 962 2267 1052 1120 1225 1798

344 419 1251 484 770 814 935

2.90 3.10 4.50 3.10 3.20 tbc 4.00

12.00 12.90 17.10 12.60 13.00 tbc 15.30

2.00 2.30 2.90 2.50 2.70 tbc 3.60

5 7 15 7 8 8 9

Rolls-Royce 250-C20J Rolls-Royce 250-C30P PWC PT6T-3D Rolls-Royce 250-C47B PWC PW207D

420 726 1800 813 1420

2/10.20 2/11.30 4/14.00 4/10.70 ?/11.30

Rolls-Royce 250-C40B



Latest (and last?) JetRanger. Stretched version of the JetRanger. Tough guy, says Bell. High performer. Uses adapted military technology. Bell’s new big one. Style and substance.
















Lycoming IVO-360-A1A



For enthusiasts only.




ENSTROM Twin County Airport, Menominee, Minnesota. 49858. USA ENSTROM 480B Single-engine turbine finding favour with police worldwide. New version with latest Rolls-Royce RR500 engine being developed. 280FX Shark 480B F-28F


404,900 939,500 404,900

102 125 97

100 115 100

ENSTROM F-28F FALCON Wide cabin seats three. Also a favourite of law enforcement agencies. Has a turbocharged piston engine. More than 600 delivered. 1450 1600 1450

229 375 229

13200 15600 13200

8700 14000 8700

12000 13000 12000

1180 1360 1179

744 816 744

ENSTROM 280FX SHARK 280FX is the latest in the series of Shark piston helicopters. The Shark’s striking and aerodynamic body-styling have won it several design awards. 422 544 435

159 340 159

2.74 2.90 2.74

8.90 9.10 8.90

2.23 2.50 2.23

3 5 3

Lycoming HIO-360-F1AD Turbo RR 250-C20W Lycoming HIO-360-F1AD Turbo






na 2 x JFTD12A-4A

BRANTLY B2B Simple, robust, easy-to-fly two-seater. Fuel-injected piston engine mounted vertically, driving main and tail rotors through gears. 225 420 225

3/9.75 3/9.75 3/9.75

Good-looking and fast. Turbine powered five-seater. Favourite of the law.

ERICKSON AIR CRANE 3100 Willow Springs Road, Central Point, Oregon, 97502, USA S-64E












2 x 4500 5/22.00

Specialist heavy-lifter and fire-fighter.

MORE STATS OVER THE PAGE EUROCOPTER – SIKORSKY November 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

44 KNOW-IT-ALL Sponsored by Hayward Aviation

) (m

) (m


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SPECS ) res (lit

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) (kg

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EUROCOPTER Aeroport International de Marseille, Marignane Cedex, 13725, France. EC120B Smallest in the Eurocopter range, the EC120B, also known as the Colibri (Hummingbird). It’s a 1.6-ton, single-engine multi-mission aircraft. EC 120B AS 350B2 AS 350 B3 EC 130B4 AS 355NP EC 135P2+ EC 135T2+ EC 145 AS 365N3 EC 155B1 AS 332L1 EC 225



150 155 155 155 150 140 140 145 155 175 150 175

120 133 140 130 120 137 137 133 145 143 141 141

AS 350 B3 The ‘Single Squirrel’ is used on a wide range of missions, including aerial work, training, observation, fire fighting and law enforcement. 1150 1675 1979 1770 1296 1500 1500 1600 1321 1154 1618 1062

383 360 359 329 395 342 334 370 427 427 454 448

9250 9850 13285 10165 8450 10000 10000 9600 8596 7050 10663 6350

7600 7550 11200 8325 7080 6600 6600 2530 3773 sea level 7546 2607

17310 15100 16630 15655 13380 10000 10000 17200 15223 15000 9500 13180

1715 2250 2250 2427 2600 2910 2910 3585 4300 4920 8600 11000

EC135 The EC135 is a powerful, lightweight, twin-engine multi-mission helicopter that showcases top-notch technology including an enclosed tail rotor.

EC130 B4 The EC130 B4 is the newest 7/8-seat single-engine helicopter in the Eurocopter range. One outstanding quality is its wide cabin.

990 1224 1241 1376 1490 1455 1455 1792 2409 2618 4510 5281

725 1026 1009 1376 1110 1455 1455 1793 1891 2302 4090 5719

406 540 540 590 730 700 700 867 1135 1257 2020 2553

3.40 3.34 3.34 3.61 3.14 3.62 3.62 4.00 4.06 4.35 4.92 4.97

11.52 12.94 12.94 12.64 12.94 12.16 12.16 13.03 13.73 14.30 18.70 19.50

2.60 2.53 2.53 2.73 3.05 2.65 2.65 3.12 3.25 3.48 3.38 3.96

5 7 7 8 7 7 7 10 12 14 20 26

Turbomecca Arrius 2F Turbomecca Arrius 1D1 Arriel 2B Arriel 2B 2 x Turbomecca Arrius 1A 2 x PWC PW206B2 2 x Turbomecca Arrius 2B2 2 x Arriel IE2 2 x Arriel 2C 2 x Arriel 2C2 2 x Maila 1A1 2 x Makila 2A

504 732 847 847 2 x 456 2 x 621 2 x 633 2 x 738 2 x 851 2 x 935 2 x 1819 2 x 2097

3/10.00 4/10.69 4/10.69 4/10.69 3/10.69 4/10.20 4/10.20 4/11.00 4/11.90 4/12.60 4/15.60 4/16.20

Joint venture with Chinese Latest ‘Single Squirrel’ Landed on top of Mount Everest! Improved version of the AS350 Latest ‘Twin Squirrel’ Best-selling light twin As above, with alternative power Based on Bolkow 117 Distinctive Dauphin styling FADEC engines optimised for hot & high Medium twin in the Super Puma range Immensely capable people carrier








Lycoming o360-J2A



Certified two years ago. R22 beater!

GUIMBAL 1070 Rue de Lieutenant Parayre, Aerodrome d’Aix-en-Provence. Les Milles, 13290. France. Cabri G2











MD 4555 East McDowells Road, Mesa Arizona 85205 USA MD 500E High performer, great shape, latest model has more rear pax room and is being certified with a SAGEM glass cockpit.

500E 520N 530F 600N Explorer 902



152 152 152 152 140

135 123 135 148 134

MD 520N NOTAR (No TAil Rotor) system offers more safety especially in difficult landing/take-off situations.

1770 1546 2061 2100 2020

239 210 232 423

8500 9300 16000 11100 12200

6000 5600 14400 6000 10400

13000 13200 18700 13200 18600

1613 1519 1406 1860 2834

672 719 722 953 1519

MD 600N The MD 600N® is an eight-place, light, single-turbine engine helicopter that provides high performance and increased capacity. 690 801 684 900 1304

242 242 242 435 606

2.90 2.90 2.80 2.70 3.70

9.40 9.80 9.80 10.90 9.80

1.90 1.90 1.90 2.50 2.20

4 4 4 7 7

Rolls-Royce 250-C20B Rolls-Royce 250-C20R Rolls-Royce 250-C30 Rolls-Royce 250-C47 2 x PWC PW207E

MD 902 EXPLORER Currently certified by FAA and JAA for day/night VFR and single pilot IFR with full Category A design standards to JAR-OPS 3 performance Class I. 450 450 650 808 2 x 550

5/8.10 5/8.30 5/8.30 5/8.40 5/10.30

‘Ferrari of helicopters’ Multi role ops Can be converted to cargo ops 8-seat light single Police love it!

ROBINSON 2901 Airport Drive, Torrance California 90505 USA R22 The two-seat helicopter that started Robinson off as a major manufacturer. Used for training, personal flight and even cattle round ups! R22 Beta II R44 Raven I R44 Raven II


243,000 333,000 404,000

102 120 117

96 115 117

R44 RAVEN 1 The first Raven version of the R44 four-seater, seen here as the ‘Clipper’, with floats.

1000 1,000+ 1,000+

180 365 348

9400 6400 8950

5200 5100 7500

14000 14000 14000

621 1089 1134

388 654 683

R44 RAVEN 11 Upgraded version of the Raven 1 with fuel-injected engine and a 100lb increased payload.

233 445 451

73 116 116

2.70 3.30 3.30

8.80 11.70 11.70

1.90 2.20 2.20

2 4 4

Lycoming O-360-J2A Lycoming O-540-F1B5 Lycoming IO-540-AE 1A5

R66 The new RR300 turbine-powered five-seater from Robinson, shown for the first time in February. Certification imminent

131 225 245

2/7.70 2/10.10 2/10.10

Two-seat personal helicopter Good value four-seater Improved R44

RUSSIAN HELICOPTERS Building 2, 2A Sokolnichesky Val, Moscow 107113, Russia MI-34C1/C2 The light Mi-34C is meant for corporate or private operations, training, medevac and surveillance missions. C1 piston engine, C2 turbine Mi-34C2 Ansat Ka-226T Ka-62 Ka-32A11BC Mi-38 Mi-26T



140 148 135 166 140 173 146

119 119 119 157 124 159 138

KA-32A11BC Multi-purpose helicopter with co-axial dual rotors. Received EASA type certification in 2009 and in use for firefighting, construction and SAR missions. na na na na na na na

432 270 281 405 362 497 432

na na na na na na na

na na na na na na na

na na na na na na na

1450 3600 3600 6500 11000 16200 56000

850 2600 2400 4400 7300 11200 36000

KA-226T A load-lifter and specialist role helicopter, with fire-fighting and military credentials.

600 1000 1200 2100 3700 5000 20000

na na na na na na na

2.75 3.50 4.185 3.77 5.40 5.20 8.145

8.85 11.18 8.23 13.50 11.30 20.15 33.747

2.40 2.50 2.56 2.50 3.52 4.50 6.15

5 6 9 16 15 32 4-5

Turbomeca Arrius-2F 2 x PW-207K 2 x Turbomeca Arrius-2G1 2 x Ardiden-3G 2 x TV3-117MA 2 x TB7-117B or PW127T/S 2 x D-136

MI-26T World's heaviest lifting helicopter in production, says the company. Can carry up to 20 tons.

504 2 x 630 2 x 550 2 x 1680 2 x 2200 2 x 2500 2 x 11400

4/10.00 4/11.50 6/13.00 4/13.80 6/15.00 6/21.10 8/32.00

French turbine engine transforms it Spacious cabin for corporate or EMS Turbomeca engines replace RR 250s New medium twin, multi-role Co-axial rotors, multi role New cargo and passenger shuttle Absolutely massive!

SIKORSKY 6900 Main Street, Stratford, Connecticut. 06615-9129 USA SIKORSKY S-300C Used to be the Schweizer 300C, now brought into Sikorsky brand. Popular for training and a favourite of BLADES writer Dennis Kenyon. S-300C S-300CBi S-333 S-76C++ S-92



95 94 120 155 165

83 80 105 155 151

SIKORSKY S-333 Light turbine single used for surveillance, inspections and training.

750 1250 1500 1800 1600

201 225 310 411 539

BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010

5800 7000 12300 7050 9000

2750 4800 9200 3300 6500

12000 10000 13000 13750 14000

930 794 1157 5306 12018

499 500 567 3177 7597

SIKORSKY S-76C++ All-round tough operator, capable of many roles. Now in C++ version, with D on the way with many big upgrades.

431 294 590 2129 4421

147 121 137 1064 2858

2.66 2.65 3.40 4.42 5.47

9.40 9.40 5.18 16.00 20.88

1.99 1.99 1.91 3.05 5.26

3 3 4 14 21

Lycoming HIO-360-D1A Lycoming HIO-360-G1A Rolls-Royce 250-C20W 2 x Turbomeca Arriel 2S2 2 x GE CT7-8A

SIKORSKY S-92 Heavy lifter and the most advanced aircraft in Sikorsky’s civil product line. Shares much with H-92 military version.

190 180 280 2 x 922 2 x 2520

3/8.18 3/8.18 3/8.39 4/13.41 4/17.17

Better trainer than R22? Fuel-injected version Light turbine single The Guv’nor! Rival to Eurocopter’s EC225


BLADES is the most passionate advocate of helicopter ďŹ&#x201A;ight in publishing. With news, show reports, ďŹ&#x201A;ight tests of machinery as varied as Bell's 47 to Eurocopter's EC135, and ďŹ eld reports from operators, military excersises, and record- setting expeditions, BLADES covers every aspect of rotary. T`SaVOW`T]`VSZWQ]^bS`a




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BeneďŹ ts include: â&#x153;ą Delivered straight to your door â&#x153;ą Get your issue before itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s out in the shops â&#x153;ą Save on the cover price â&#x153;ą Within the UK, only ÂŁ25.00 for 6 issues â&#x153;ą Outside the UK, only ÂŁ35.00 for 6 issues FOR AN ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION TO BLADES, CONTACT THE SUBSCRIPTION DESK ON +44(0)1223 499799 OR EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS@LOOP.AERO

November 2010 BLADES fresh air for helicopters


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BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010

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15/10/10 17:05:40

50 WHAT'S ON Dubai, MotoGP, F1

✱ Be safe or we'll set the Apache on you! Dubai Helishow on next month

SAFETY FIRST AT DUBAI'S BI-ANNUAL HELISHOW The big topic at the last heli show of the year is how to make flying safer


his is the fourth time that the bi-annual Dubai Helishow has been staged and it's expected to be even bigger than the 2008 show, which saw an audience of just over 2400 from 38 countries. This year’s show will see more than 100 exhibitors from around the world including companies like Bell, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Eurocopter,

Russian Helicopters, Pratt and Whitney, Sikorsky and more all displaying their latest products, with am emphasis on air rescue, search and rescue and medevac. The main thrust of the show will be highlighting the recent moves in the industry to tackle the increasing number of helicopter accidents. “The helicopter industry is experiencing solid growth

on a global level as more countries continue to develop their aviation infrastructure. A safe, efficient and vibrant aviation system in the region is crucial to our nation’s economic health,” said Mr. Abdulla Abulhoul, CEO of Mediac, the show organisers. “Implementing improved standards is key for the industry and we’re very pleased that the Dubai

Helishow will include the leading players in the field to help boost safety and security for all passengers, flight crews, and medical professional on these flights.” One of the highlights will be a workshop by Ivan Kristoff, founder of EIGER Rope Access Work on the High rise Emergency and Aerial Rescue Team which played an important role

in the development of safer standards for rope access work within high-rise construction and building sites in Ontario, Canada. Kristoff will also showcase how EIGER has helped to create a specialised urban high angle rescue unit. Operators exhibiting include Abu Dhabi Police, Frasca, Abu Dhabi Aviation, Skytrac and Vertical Aviation.

WHAT'S ON AND WHERE TO FIND IT... ✱ OCTOBER 19-21 NBAA, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. ✱ NOVEMBER 1-7 Valencia Tennis Open, Valencia Andy Murray is due to play here. www. 2-4 Dubai Helishow, Airport Expo, Dubai, UAE. See preview above.

7 MotoGP, Valencia Even though the world championship has been decided the final round in Spain is well worth a visit for a great race and some winter sun. 8-11 Libyan Defence Exhibition, Tripoli-Mitiga The Libyan department of Air Defence hosts the most important and strategic military defence

BLADES fresh air for helicopters November 2010

and homeland security event in North Africa. 12-14 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Final round of the Formula One season before everyone packs up for a winter break. 16-21 Eighth China international Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, Zhuhai, Guandong, China

the only international aerospace trade show in China endorsed by the Chinese government. ✱ DECEMBER 7-9 Middle East Business Aviation Show (MEBA), Dubai.

LOOKING AHEAD ✱ FEBRUARY 2011 9-13 Aero India, Air

Force Station Yelahanka, Bengaluru, India. ✱ MARCH 2011 1-6 Avalon 2011 Australian International Airshow, Aerospace and Defence Exhibition. 5-8 Heli-Expo 2011, Orlando, Florida, USA. The BIG show and a must-visit.

✱ APRIL 2011 13-16 AERO 2011, Friedrichshafen, Germany. Europe's big GA show. ✱ MAY 2011 17-19 EBACE, Geneva, Switzerland. ✱ JUNE 2011 20-26 Paris International Airshow, Le Bourget, Paris, France.

Visual flying rules!

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Blades October 2010  

Blades is the most passionate advocate of helicopter flight in publishing. With news, show reports, flight tests of machinery as varied as B...

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