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Fresh air for helicopter pilots, owners and operators

FEBRUARY 2011 ISSUE 12 £2.75


What does it take to be a Chopper Copper? Dennis Kenyon joins the Essex Police for a day


New helis, new uses... a lot has happened since 2000

THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING Russian Helicopters, five years after forming


21/1/11 16:22:46

goodwood aviation exhibiton 30 june - 03 july 2011

the goodwood aviation exhibition at the festival of speed Unique opportunity to showcase your business to a receptive aviation audience

ANOTHER great offer from Goodwood: all Festival of Speed ticket buyers gain free access into the Goodwood Aviation Show. A free shuttle service transfers Festival and Aviation Show visitors the short distance to and from the Aerodrome and Goodwood Park. Visitors are able to visit the stands of manufacturers of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft – plus important aviation service suppliers – and see their latest products on display. They may also have the opportunity to climb aboard an evaluation flight, at the invitation of the manufacturers. Exhibitors in 2010 included Pilatus, Patriot Aviation, Honeywell, Hawker Beechcraft, Nicholas McLaren Aviation, Conciair, Red Box, LOOP and Close Aviation Finance, the majority of whom have confirmed their place for 2011.

In 2010 Goodwood welcomed a recordbreaking 176,000 visitors over the Festival of Speed weekend, more attendees than the British Grand Prix or any other motoring event in Britain. Last year the Festival also saw a record number of aircraft and helicopters flying in, numbering 400 in total. It is known that around a third of those attending the Festival of Speed either have a private pilot’s licence, hire charter aircraft or have a very strong interest in aviation, and the Goodwood Aviation Exhibition offers a superb opportunity for the aviation industry to gain real exposure to a huge high net worth audience. Goodwood had a very positive response to the inaugural Aviation Exhibition from both exhibitors and visitors alike and is excited about this year’s second show!

PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS Promoting your aviation business at the Goodwood Aviation Exhibition has never been easier, but please remember exhibition space is limited so we recommend that you contact us by midFebruary at the latest due to high demand. We look forward to hearing from you and hope to welcome you to the Goodwood Aerodrome this year. n For more information please visit the website at aviationexhibition or contact Mike Husband, Aviation & Exhibition Commercial Manager on 01243 755081. The date for the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed is: • Moving Motor Show: 30 June 2011 • Festival of Speed: 1-3 July 2011

“ We are very pleased with the results and have booked our place for next year’s show. Even though most people attended the Festival to see cars, it took little time for those who use executive aircraft to appreciate the aircraft’s potential to enhance their corporate and private travel.” Bob Berry, Managing Director, Pilatus Centre UK

For general enquiries call 01243 755081 or email

p004.blades goodwood.indd 4

27/1/11 10:48:37


MAIN FEATURE Dennis Kenyon flies with the Essex Police



NEWS Sikorsky and the UAE Air Force. US Navy tests Bio fuels. The Carter PAV testing starts


REPORT How Russian Helicopters plans to take over the world with its ever growing range

P34 FEATURE Review of the Decade. How helicopters have changed, and what's in store for the future

T h e p u b l i c a t i o n f o r h e l i co p t e r p i l o t s , ow n e r s a n d o p e ra t o r s


Fresh air for helicopters


What Wh h td does iitt ttake k tto b be a C Chopper h C Copper? ? Dennis Kenyon joins the Essex Police for a day

#15 February 2011 PRODUCTS Glass cockpit of Bell 205, aviation books for kids., new Lightspeed headset, and new watches

P43 LISTINGS All the new and current helicopters plus specs, prices and comments on each

P50 WHAT'S ON All the helicopter based events, plus a few others that should be of interest

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


New helis, new uses... a lot has happened since 2000

THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING Russian Helicopters, five years after forming


LOOP Publishing (UK) Ltd. 9-11 The Mill Courtyard, Copley Hill Business Park, Cambridge CB22 3GN ISSN 1749-7337 February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

06 All the best stories from the helicopter world


BLACKHAWK UP! Sikorksy signs $300m deal with UAE Airforce for new helicopters


MULTI million dollar deal between the Airforce of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Sikorsky was the highlight of the Dubai Helishow at the beginning of November. It was the fourth time the biannual Dubai Helishow had been staged, but the worldwide credit crunch had taken its toll with several booths left empty. Even so, the deal with Sikorsky was a stunning announcement, worth an estimated $300m for up to 60 Blackhawk UH-60L military helicopters plus support. The UAE Airforce displayed one of its previously delivered aircraft which had been weaponised and fitted with the FLIR Systems Star SAFIRE stabilised, multisensor system. Boeing announced it had completed its work by bringing the United Arab Emirates’ fleet of 30 Apache attack helicopters up to AH-

64D Block II configuration. Boeing director for rotorcraft business development, Mike Burke, said the company had remanufactured all 30 of the aircraft, which now feature the Longbow fire control radar and new fire control system. As well as the Longbow radar, the Apache fleet now incorporates the Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/ PNVS) electro-optical firecontrol system and AGM114L3 Hellfire II laser-guided missile. Burke said the upgrade to the fleet, carried out under a contract with Boeing that was signed in 2006, was made possible by the ‘plug and play’ nature of the Apache. Eurocopter concentrated on its special helicopters for uses such as anti-piracy, counterinsurgency and border patrol missions, corporate and VVIP transportation, emergency medical airlift, search & rescue and servicing of offshore oil/ gas platforms.

✱ Eurocopter was pushing the EC635 at the Dubai Helishow.

BLADES fresh air for helicopters February 2011

✱ Good news for Boeing too, with Apache upgrades. For critical homeland security missions on land and at sea, Eurocopter majored on its EC635, EC645 and AS565 Panther helicopters. It had a scale mock-up of the EC635 light twin with mission equipment representing the Stand Alone Weapon System (SAWS). The helicopter is currently in use in the region by the Royal Jordanian Air Force. The twin-engine EC645, an armed derivative of the EC145, was put forward as a multi-role helicopter with

a large range of mission equipment, while the larger AS565 Panther’s endurance and range made it the right machine for overwater surveillance, tracking and search & rescue. It wasn’t all military uses at the show. The event also explored industry set regulations aimed at implementing higher levels of safety hardware for medical helicopters and training for crews, in a discussion held by MedEvac Foundation International. The debate tackled issues surrounding advancement in the Medical Transport sectors worldwide through and their moves to improve research, education, outreach and other charitable services. Abu Dhabi Aviation also held a one day conference focusing on advancements in Emergency Medical Services utilizing air ambulances within the region and the deployment of their simulation centre in Saudi Arabia. SkyTrac Systems, supplier of SatCom solutions for data, text and voice communications, showcased its next generation of ISAT-200 System with its ‘smart tray’.

07 P8



Carter PAV readies for flight tests with first prototype. Strange but true!

Award for Wales Air Ambulance team after saving man's life in gas explosion

US Navy tests biofuel made from mustard seeds in helicopter. The future?

✱ Sikorsky's BlackHawk popular with UAE states.

✲ ROUND THE WORLD R66 CERTIFICATE USA Three years and eight months after Robinson announced a five-place turbine helicopter, the FAA presented Frank Robinson with a Type Certificate for the R66. The FAA also presented Robinson with an amended Production Certificate. Nearly 60 R66 dealers have been approved and there is a growing backlog of orders. The first production ship was delivered to Helistream, a Californian dealer.

✱ Frank Robinson receives R66 Type Certificate.

EVEREST CRASH NEPAL The pilot who performed the highest helicopter mountain rescue ever has been killed in an accident near Mt Everest. Sabin Basnyat and an engineer were attempting to rescue two climbers from Mt Amadablam, a 6812-metre peak near Everest, when their helicopter crashed. Nepali Congress expressed grief over the death of the Fishtail Air crew members.

CHINESE SUCCESS CHINA State-owned Avicopter made the first flight of its AC311 light utility helicopter on 8 November. It is the first light civilian helicopter developed and manufactured in China. The 2200kg helicopter has seating for six and can be used for flight training, policing, communication command, aerial photography, medical aid, power line patrol, forest fire prevention and pest control. Avicopter plans to certify the helicopter in late 2011, with worldwide sales beginning in 2012.

✱ China's new home-developed helicopter.

BELL 429 FOR THE GULF USA Bell Helicopter has sold two of its latest 429 helicopters to energy company Chevron. The 429s will be servicing Chevron's oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico with deliveries are planned for early 2011. February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

08 NEWS Carter PAV, Round The Worldears first flight ✱ PAV being readied for pit testing. Carter Aerospace completely redesigned its initial rotor for easier transport and more tip weight.


CARTER TESTS START Four-place autogyro 'Personal Air Vehicle' completes ground tests and now heads for first flight


HE strange Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) from Carter Aerospace of Wichita Falls, Texas is about to begin flight testing. The four-seat winged autogyro is Carter’s second generation aircraft prototype and

was unveiled at the 2009 EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh. The FAA has issued Special Airworthiness Certificate enabling Carter to begin flight-testing. Jay Carter, President of Carter Aerospace, said, “We are very excited to have completed

BLADES fresh air for helicopters February 2011

the development and prototyping phase on the PAV. “We’ve automated many systems that were manual on our first test aircraft. Most controls are now computerised and automatic. These needed to be thoroughly tested. The PAV went through

numerous run-up and jump take-off sequences while anchored in our test pit. That way we were able to safely monitor all control systems on the aircraft before we left the shop.” Pit testing of the PAV was completed in earlyOctober and the PAV

has been transported to the test airport. The PAV will first be tested as an autogyro. Once those tests have been completed the wing extensions will be added and the next phase of testing will begin. The PAV has a 45ft diameter rotor and


✲ ROUND THE WORLD RUSSIANS WIN BRAZIL The Russian multi-role Mi-171A1 helicopter has won a contract with Brazilian oil company Petrobras to operate in the Amazon basin, beating Sikorsky. The first batch of two Mi-171A1 helicopters is scheduled for delivery to Brazil in 2011. The Mi-171A1 was certified in Brazil in 2005 and can perform night and day flights in adverse weather conditions. It can transport up to 26 passengers or four tons of load.

✱ Mi-171A1 wins oil field contract in Brazil.

NEWQUAY BOOST UK British International Helicopters has set up an engineering centre at Newquay Airport creating more than 20 highly-skilled jobs. Al Titterington, Airport MD, said, “We are thrilled to see another big name aerospace company starting operations at the Airport.” BIH is expected to commence operations at Newquay by the end of the year.

EYE IN THE TAIL FRANCE AD Aerospace is to supply external cameras to Eurocopter for the new medium twin EC175. The tail-mounted camera system uses FV-0315 aerospace cameras. This will greatly improve the crew’s situational awareness without them needing to move from their standard operational positions, says AD. ✱ The project may seem extraordinary but Carter has flown its previous PAV prototype.

wingspan, i with ith a 300h 300hp Lycoming IO-540 engine. Carter says it will normally operate at 3500lb max gross weight with a 2000lb empty weight, but will be able to operate at heavier weights with a rolling takeoff. Cruise speed with the current engine is up to

S-76D MILESTONE CZECH REPUBLIC Sikorsky’s latest helicopter, the S-76D, has reached a major milestone. Aero Vodochody in the Czech Republic is manufacturing the S-76D fuselages and has delivered the first production fuselage for final assembly. The fully assembled fuselage arrived with all electrical and cockpit systems. “We are a ‘go’ for final assembly and completions,” said Tim Fox, S-76 senior program manager.

an estimated 180mph ti t d 180 h at 7,500 ft. After initial flight-testing, Carter plans to upgrade to the 350hp, twin turbo-charged TIO540 engine which should give an estimated 210mph at full power at 7,500 ft. The lightweight twoseat version will have a

34ft diameter di t rotor t and d wingspan with a 100hp Rotax 914. A 200hp diesel is also planned. Jay Carter told BLADES at the PAV’s 2009 launch that it could employ a method of vertical takeoff by ‘hopping’ because of the energy stored in the huge rotors.

✱ First production fuselage of S-76D delivered.

FIRE-FIGHTING DEMO HONG KONG Simplex and Eurocopter have completed a demonstration of Simplex’s newest High Rise Firefighting system for the EC225. The system uses a fire-fighting tank and Hydra Foam Cannon with a FLIR EVS3 infrared camera to assist firefighters in seeing through smoke. February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

World Class‌ innovation




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NEWS Air Ambulance, New Business


AWARDS 2010 ✱ The commended Welsh Air Ambulance Team.

WELSH WIN Wales Air Ambulance win Team of the Year Award


HE Welsh air ambulance which saved the life of a man whose leg was blown off in a gas explosion has won an award as Air Ambulance Team of the Year. The pilot, Captain Grant Elgar, was commended as one of three crew members selected for the prestigious Air Ambulance Team Award 2010, presented at the Ambulance Service Institute awards ceremony in London. Despite fading light and difficult weather, Capt Elgar, along with air paramedics Phil Thomas

and Gareth Williams, treated and flew the patient direct to Morriston Hospital near Swansea, within 35 mins of the original 999 call. Jeff Morris of Bryncethin ambulance station said: “They arrived on scene in outstanding time and joined the land crew in actively treating the patient. With great skill and professionalism they continued treatment inflight, while negotiating bad weather conditions and communicating with the hospital. “The entire operation was one of speed and impact, which saved this


was there who had an amputation of one leg and the other leg had severe arterial bleeding. He was in a heck of a poor state. “The only place we could take him was Morriston for microsurgery and he was rushed into theatre

and they said the speed of the rescue saved his life. He was losing too much blood, and if it had taken any longer he probably wouldn’t have lived.” The Wales Air Ambulance is provided by Bond Air Services.


ANOTHER DAUPHIN THE Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) has launched the second of two Dauphin Eurocopter AS 365 N2 helicopters bought from operator Multiflight, based at Leeds-Bradford Airport. Both of the Dauphin helicopters will be managed and crewed by Multiflight. The new Dauphin helicopter replaces the old ‘Pride of Cumbria’ and has upgraded engines allowing for greater speed and endurance – reaching speeds of up to

man’s life.” Former Army pilot Captain Elgar, who served in Kosovo and Iraq, said: “We were just about to put the aircraft to bed when we had the call to an industrial estate in Bridgend. This guy

200mph. The GNAAS said, “To put that into perspective it can fly from Whitehaven to Newcastle in 28 minutes and Penrith to Carlisle in five minutes. “The Dauphin has also been kitted out with the latest medical equipment and has been described as a flying A&E unit.”

BRISTOW KEEPS NORTH SEA BRISTOW Helicopters has secured a multimillion pound five-year deal with the Integrated Aviation Consortium (IAC) in the UK North

Sea. The IAC comprises six major oil companies including Shell and BP. Bristow will provide helicopter services from

✱The North Sea will remain busy with Bristow’s. ✱ New Pride of Cumbria.

Scatsta Airport in the Shetland Islands to the East and West Shetland Basins. Mike Imlach, Bristow's Director of European Operations said, “The IAC contract is the largest held by Bristow’s European Business Unit and one of our largest agreements.” As part of the agreement Bristow will fly approximately 6500 hours annually, with 400 helicopter flights per month. The operation will move more than 100,000 passengers per year.

February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

12 NEWS Biofuel tested, Wildcat onwards OPERATORS

CHC ON THE MOVE CHC Scotia, one of the worlds largest helicopter operators, will relocate its Great Yarmouth operations from North Denes to Norwich International Airport. The company currently operates five AgustaWestland 139 helicopters and has 74 staff at North Denes. The unlicensed site, which has been used as a base for offshore operations since the early 1970s, requires extensive refurbishment. CHC said, “This is not a decision we have taken lightly and comes after a year of research

and discussions with our customers, staff and the local business community. CHC has also announced a new nineyear $500m contract with Woodside Energy to service Australia’s north-west offshore oil and gas field. The Woodside Energy contract starts in June this year. CHC will operate four EC225s and two AW139s out of Karratha in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. CHC anticipates some 150 new jobs will be created.


WILDCAT SAFE ✱ US SeaHawk hovers during biofuel tests. NEW FUELS

US NAVY TESTS 50/50 BIOFUEL SeaHawk shows fuel cuts the mustard in move to reduce petroleum dependence


HE US Navy has successfully flown one of its helicopters on a 50/50 blend of Avtur and biofuel in a test programme designed to reduce its reliance on petroleum-based fuels. The helicopter was one of the Navy’s newest, a MH-60S Seahawk, from the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two One based at NAS Patuxent River, in Maryland. The biofuel mixture was made from the Camelina seed, which is in the same family of plants as the mustard seed and rapeseed. Camelina needs little water or nitrogen to flourish and can be grown

on marginal agricultural soil. The Navy Fuel team has been working on the project since 2009 When Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus committed to a goal of decreasing its reliance on fossil fuels. “These biofuels provide the Navy with increased energy security,” said Rear Admiral Philip Cullom, director, Navy Task Force Energy. Earlier this year, the Navy tested the biofuel blend on the F/A-18 Super Hornet. Results from those tests indicated the aircraft performed as expected through its full flight envelope with no degradation of capability.

BLADES fresh air for helicopters February 2011

Testing will continue across additional aircraft models later this year with a target of approving the 50/50 biofuel blend for use in the Navy ships and aircraft by early 2012. “The most significant impact of a dependence on fossil fuels is on our people,” said a Navy spokesman. “Getting gasoline to a Marine at a Forward Operating Base (FOBs) in Afghanistan is not easy. Every single day, sailors, Marines, soldiers and airmen guard vulnerable fuel convoys as they move from the logistics hubs to our FOBs. Gasoline is the single thing we import the most into Afghanistan.”

THE UK government’s latest round of budget cuts will reduce the numbers of Chinooks but the Lynx Wildcat procurement will go ahead as will upgrades to the Puma fleet. The government Defence report says, “We will buy 12 additional heavy lift Chinook helicopters. We will extend the life of the Puma helicopter. The Merlin force will be upgraded to enhance its ability to support amphibious operations. “Taken together with the continued introduction of the Wildcat helicopters for reconnaissance and command and control purposes, this programme will deliver a properly scaled and balanced helicopter force to support our troops into the future.”

Details revealed indicate that 24 Pumas will be upgraded rather than the originally planned 28. The Chinook order is 10 fewer, reducing the eventual fleet to 60. In a separate announcement, AgustaWestland has confirmed that the third and final AW159 Lynx Wildcat test aircraft has successfully completed its maiden flight at Yeovil in the UK. The aircraft, designated TI3, is the third of three test aircraft that will complete a 600 hour integrated flight test programme. This first flight comes just a few weeks after the second AW159, designated TI2, first flew in mid October. All the three aircraft flew together for the first time on the same day.

✱ Third Wildcat test aircraft now flying at Yeovil.

NEWS Sikorsky X2, Hummingbird kit



RAIDER REVEALED S Sikorsky launches plan for military helicopter based on X2 IKORSKY has unveiled initial impressions of a Raider X2 prototype light tactical helicopter based on its X2 technology demonstrator – which shattered the helicopter speed record in September with 250 knots. The Raider will be designed, built and flown for evaluation by the US military. “Having proved the X2 Technology design to ourselves, we have full confidence we can now mature the technology for

the US Army’s light armed reconnaissance helicopter size,” said Sikorsky President Jeffrey Pino. “Self funding the design of a brand new light tactical helicopter – the Sikorsky S-97 – and manufacturing two prototypes we have designated as the Raider X2 helicopter will help military aviation evaluate the viability of a fast and manoeuvrable next generation rotorcraft for a variety of combat missions.” Like the X2 that broke the helicopter speed

record, the X2 Raider prototypes will feature twin coaxial counterrotating main rotors in place of one main rotor and a tail rotor and a pusher propeller. For the armed reconnaissance mission, it will have space aft of the two-pilot cockpit for armament and auxiliary fuel. In an assault configuration, the

cabin affords space to accommodate up to six troops. In addition to flying at nearly twice the speed of a conventional helicopter, the X2 Raider prototype aircraft will incorporate other key performance parameters critical to combat operations – increased manoeuvrability, greater endurance, and the

ability to operate at high altitudes. It is also expected to significantly reduce turning radius and acoustic noise signature, while significantly increasing the aircraft’s payload, flight endurance and hot and high hover capability. First flight of the X2 Raider is projected for 2014/15. ✱ Artist's impression of the X2 Raider in service.

✱ Sikorsky boss Jeffrey Pino announces the X2 Raider. KIT HELICOPTER




A RUSSIAN enthusiast has built his country’s first Hummingbird 260L kit helicopter. Dmitry Shramenko displayed a Hummingbird at HeliRussia last year. The Hummingbird 260L has been around for almost 20 years, and is based on the design of an FAA certified helicopter. “We were able to implement safety, reliability, and

MALAYSIAN operator, Weststar Aviation Services, has taken delivery of the first of nine AW139 medium twins. The helicopters will be used to perform offshore transport missions supporting offshore oil & gas industry operations in the country. The company operates from its home base in Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang,

✱ Hummingbird kit helo now in Russia.

performance from years of proven flight time,” says Vertical Aviation, the company behind the Hummingbird. The Hummingbird cabin seats four people. The cabin is 55 inches wide, 56 inches high from floor to ceiling, and 110 inches in length. “Fly four people comfortably, or two people, 375 miles, with 220lb of load,” says Vertical.

The helicopter is powered by a Lycoming piston engine, and has landing gear with wheels for taxiing, a three-blade rotor system, automatic rotor system clutch, and rotorbrake. The transmission consists of a clutch/freewheel unit between the engine and main gearbox, a main driveshaft extending from the top of the main gearbox to the main rotorhead, and a take-off drive from the main gearbox which drives the tail rotor driveshaft, intermediate gearbox and tail rotor assembly. The average build time is 800 hours, there is no welding or composite work, only minor fabrication, and all major components are pre-assembled.

Selangor, Malaysia. The AW139 has been an incredibly successful helicopter with almost 140 customers from approximately 50 countries ordering nearly 490 helicopters. They perform a range of roles including offshore transport, EMS/SAR, VIP transport, law enforcement, utility and government missions. www.weststar-aviation. com

✱ Weststar's super smart AW139.

February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

COLUMNIST Dennis Den Kenyon


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



ILBERT & Sullivan once wrote ‘a policeman’s lot is not a happy one’, but occasionally that applies to flying instructors, and what better time than at the end of a decade to recount interesting times. I recall an incident with one of my first students. Following purchase negotiations, the great day came when I delivered a new Enstrom 28A to his business, the plan being to leave for Shoreham to start his PPL training. When his wife enquired what time he’d be back, to my surprise he replied, “If I get on with the lesson OK,” – note the singular – “I’ll fly it back later today...” Another time, I delivered an Enstrom to a Mr Ogden at Otley in Yorkshire, and mistakenly greeted him with, “Good morning Mr Otley!” Something to do with the Os I suspect. I won’t repeat the stern Yorkshire response! I’ll always remember the ‘Flying Dutchman’ who rode from Holland on a Harley Davidson for his first lessons – well into his 60s! The flying went well and at a dozen hours I sent him solo, after which he paid up and rode back to Holland. A week later, I made my standard courtesy call to his company where I learned he owned a factory employing several hundred staff. His secretary told me how proud they all were of their boss and what a fantastic pilot he was, having started his lessons “just a couple of days earlier in Amsterdam… and he has already flown solo!”. Such is the price of

vanity I suppose! In the ‘celeb’ department, I enjoyed training quite a few racers, like the enigmatic Barry Sheene MBE, rally champion Ari Vatanen, ditto the very English Tony Pond. Of course my wife Dee, like many ladies, fell totally in love with Barry, but in spite of his success on track, he was a cautious flyer and alert to safety when flying. One Sunday I navigated for him on a flight to Silverstone, where he was racing a truck. On return, passing over Henley he pointed down to a posh mansion… “That’s George Harrison’s place Den, let’s land!” So it was that I met the great Beatle, who showed me around his £1m recording studio. I especially liked the kitchen walls covered with the signature of every ‘name’ you could think of. Sportsmen, rock stars, politicians… there were hundreds. George said in his distinctive accent, “We’ll never be able to decorate this room.”

Nor can I forget Formula One champion Alan Jones. In 1981, I flew him to Booker for lessons, and also gave some basic flying handling to his lovely wife, Beverley. As a thank you, he invited me to see him race at the Las Vegas Grand Prix – held in the car park of Caesars Palace. Another F1 racer was Jonathan Palmer. How well I remember him demonstrating the road-holding abilities of the latest Audi Quattro 4WD going north out of Shoreham – that winding road which passes the cement works, at speeds... well, let’s just say very fast! If you are reading this Jonathan, I can tell you I had my eyes closed most of the time! The irrepressible Mark Thatcher proved a quite competent pilot, who wasn’t afraid to mock himself… one day I asked, “Got your map Mark?” The reply surprised: “There’s a few people who think a map is the most dangerous thing I can carry!” One odd day – an April


In spite of Sheene's success on the track, he was a cautious flyer

1st, no less – saw our Bell 47 crash, happily with no casualties. The new MD, who had opened the new firm for business just an hour earlier, instructed our line pilot to take the Enstrom Shark to the crash site and pick up the FI and student. Just 10 minutes later the phone rang again, to inform us the Enstrom had now crashed alongside the Bell! I flew out, and on approach could see the B47 had landed upright but with wrecked skid

gear, and the Enstrom 20 yards away on its side, back broken and blades mangled. Settling into hover, I thought how it was not a good time to add a third accident to the company books, on the opening day of trading! You can imagine the local rag’s headlines: ‘Riddle of double copter crash.’ One I fear to recall was landing a float-equipped Enstrom alongside the posh yachts at a boat show. Having settled on the water to be towed to my mooring, the handling boat crew began manoeuvring me with the rotors still turning! With no R/T, I was reduced to madly gesticulating, to no avail. With the rotors whizzing just feet from the rigging of a very expensive yacht, I pulled on the cyclic to hold position. The resulting ‘tug of war’ ended when the Enstrom’s floats dislodged and shifted along the skids and the tail rotor smacked violently into the water. For a second time I made the front page! ✱ Dennis in his much-loved Enstrom.

February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

18 Russian Helicopters âœą A Kamov Ka32A1 belonging to the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations.

BLADES fresh air for helicopters February 2011


THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! First the World Cup, now helicopter sales... Russian Helicopters is transforming Western opinion of the former Soviet bloc rotorcraft WORDS Dave Calderwood PHOTOGRAPHY Russian Helicopters


EWS keeps on breaking in the helicopter industry: Bell chasing sales success for its new 429, AgustaWestland launching the AW169 and GrandNew, Sikorsky and Eurocopter locked in battle for both highspeed helicopters and military sales, Robinson certificating its turbine R66... just some of the stories this year. But there’s another huge force in the helicopter industry that’s making headlines, a former slumbering giant that’s now awake and making its presence felt worldwide... the Russians. In 2006, the state-owned helicopter companies in Russia came together under the umbrella of Russian Helicopters, a part of United Industrial Corporation Oboronprom. There are three main helicopter companies, Mil, Kaman and Kazan, but also a number of suppliers of components and

services. The consolidation kicked off a process of re-organisation and renovation of the Russian helicopter companies... once-great companies with a proud history of technical innovation and manufacturing but which had deteriorated during the country’s postCommunist era. The new company says, “Integrated companies allow us to cover the entire life of helicopters of any type and class, from drawing board to disposal. “R&D and experimental engineering are done by the Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant and Kamov, two of the most respected and advanced helicopter companies in the world. Some experimental work is now also done by the Kazan Helicopter Plant. “Aircraft plants have also been brought together,


The Russian Helicopters must compete with Western OEMs

and these are the largest rotorcraft OEMs in the world. All of them are multi-product enterprises with established technical processes, tight industrial bonds, and rich working traditions. The Russian helicopter industry has already produced over 26,000 rotorcraft weighing from one to 56 tons.” Alongside the reorganisation was a change in philosophy. No longer could the Russian helicopter companies depend on its former communist allies to take its products willy-nilly – no, the new Russian Helicopters has to compete with Western manufacturers for sales. That meant not just designing and building reliable modern helicopters, it also meant establishing networks for support, spares and also training. And with Western companies already putting these values at the top of their priorities, the Russians have a lot of catching up to do. One example of the changes being embraced that would have been unthinkable 20 years ago is the ➽

✱ The flight crew for the Mi-38’s first flight test, held late in November 2010. February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

20 Russian Helicopters

✱ Clockwise from main: A Chinese-owned Mi-6TC; a military Mi-17; the flight simulator for the multipurpose Mi-171. joint venture between Russian helicopters and AgustaWestland. Halfway through this year, a production plant started construction in the Moscow suburb of Panki where there will be an assembly line for AW139 helicopters. It’s a big investment – estimated at 40 million euro, including licensing, territory, and equipment. First deliveries are planned for late 2011/ beginning of 2012. The Russian-made AW139s medium twins will be delivered to Russian and CIS customers and buyers from other countries. Break-even is expected no more than seven years after the project kicks off, said Russian Helicopters. HELICOPTERS At the heart of any helicopter business, of course, are the rotorcraft, and Russian Helicopters has a comprehensive range – many in the process of being updated. The big problem for the Russians has been engines, as Alexey Samusenko, Chief Designer at the Mil Moscow Helicopter

Plant admitted in a recent interview in the company’s newsletter. “No Russian engines – that’s the problem,” he said. “We don’t have local 500 to 1000hp engines. The TV2-117 used on the Mi-8 is not in mass production and can only be repaired. The United Engine Building Corporation [part of Russian Helicopters] has a helicopter development program, but this will take time and money.” The solution, at least for now, is to buy engines from Turbomeca and Pratt & Whitney. For its 6-8 ton class Ka-62, the Russians turned to Turbomeca, signing a deal for the turboshaft Ardiden 3G, and for the second of its prototype Mi-38s, it has fitted an experimental Pratt & Whitney Canada XPW127/5 turbine. This aircraft has just had its first flight but it’s by no means certain that the US State Department will approve the use of the PWC engines, even for civil helicopters. According to Russian Helicopters, the Mi-38 test

BLADES fresh air for helicopters February 2011

programme is “proceeding well – the helicopter has already completed 26 ground runups and seven hover and low speed flights over the runway.” It’s an important aircraft for Russian Helicopters, with a worldwide market. They are on to their second prototype, OP2, and its design was modified after tests on the first Mi-38 prototype, OP-1. The hydraulic and fuel systems have been upgraded and some changes have been made to the main rotor blades, says the company. “As a result the helicopter is in maximum compliance with the Russian airworthiness regulations AP-29, a counterpart of FAR-29,” said a spokesman. “Its handling and


The Mi-38 will have a spacious cabin and highly efficient engines

stability have improved. It is equipped with Pratt & Whitney Canada PW 127/TS engines and the modern Tranzas IBKV-38 avionics suite with a glass cockpit. The helicopter can also be equipped with Russian TV7-117V engines. The Mi-38 OP-2 is scheduled to be handed over to Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant for the full flight test cycle. “Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant is planning to demonstrate the Mi-38 OP-2 helicopter in 2011. Mass production at Kazan Helicopters is scheduled for 2013. The third prototype of the Mi-38 is in assembly in Kazan. “The medium multi-role cargo and transport Mi-38 is designed for passenger transportation, carrying loads in the cabin and on an external sling, search and rescue, offshore, and flying hospital operations. According to design specifications, the Mi-38 will have a high payload and top speed. The Mi38 will have a spacious passenger cabin and highly efficient engines. The labour constant for

service and maintenance may be reduced thanks to a built-in automated equipment and engine serviceability control system.” One of the most interesting helicopters for general aviation use will be the Mil Mi-34, also known as the ‘Sapsan’ This is a two/four seater currently powered by a nine-cylinder radial piston engine burning Avgas. However, a deal has been signed to install a Turbomeca Arrius 2F turbine which would raise the max weight to 1450kg (3200lb) which would put it ahead of Robinson’s new R66 Turbine. TRAINING An announcement by Russian Helicopters saw it tie up with the Russian Centre for Scientific and Technical Services Dinamika (CSTS Dinamika). The agreement covers marketing, development, production, and delivery of technical training for flight and engineering personnel operating Russian-made rotorcraft.


“MIL ROTORCRAFT ARE UNRIVALLED WHEN IT COMES TO RELIABILITY, VERSATILITY AND MAINTENANCE” ALEXEY Samusenko is the Chief Designer of the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, and at the heart of what Russian Helicopters is trying to do. He recently gave a very frank interview to Natalia Menkova: Q. How important is the Mil legacy in today’s Moscow Helicopter Plant? A. The achievements and success of the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant have been a direct derivative of the Mil legacy of the 1940s for decades. Mil’s work allowed us to maintain Russia’s defence capabilities and also to keep a share of the global rotorcraft market too. One of our key achievements is in practical application. For instance, the north of Russia would not be accessible without helicopters. Mil rotorcraft are unrivalled when it comes to reliability, versatility, and ease of maintenance. Consider this: 13 countries have space technology, but only six have full helicopter production capabilities.

Under this agreement the parties are planning to jointly create, certify, and run technical training units (TTU) not just locally but also internationally. “Creating and developing a global system for the training of flight personnel are among the top priorities for the Russian Helicopters,” said CEO Dmitry Petrov. “Signing an agreement with CSTS Dinamika is an important stage for the [RH] holding in its strategic transition from selling just the helicopter as a separate product to selling its entire lifecycle, including servicing and modern means for the preparation and training of flight personnel,” he continued. “We have gained a new reliable partner that


In 2006 when the company was formed, it delivered 118 helicopters

together with others will enhance our capabilities in promoting helicopters on the global market. We hope that a partnership with a developer and producer of simulators will allow Russian Helicopters to provide operators the best training for pilots flying Russian-made rotorcraft on the global market.” Dinamika manufactures modern simulators for a wide variety of Mil helicopters: Mi-8MTV, Mi-8(MTV-5), Mi-17-1V, Mi-171, Mi-24P, Mi-24PN, Mi-35M, and Mi-28N that are operated by state aviation services and in civil aviation. GROWTH The recovery by Russian Helicopters has been impressive. In 2006 when the company was formed, it delivered 118 helicopters. This has risen to 183 in 2009, up 8.3% year on year, with exports taking more than half. Of the total, 105 were civil helicopters with nine in VIP configuration. The planned figure for 2010 is between 200 and 220.

Q. What can you say about the problems of the helicopter industry? A. No Russian engines – that’s the problem. We don’t have local 5001000hp engines. The TV2-117 used on the Mi-8 is not in mass production and can only be repaired. The basic TV3-117 in many modifications and the D-136 are made in Ukraine. The United Engine Building Corporation, a part of Oboronprom, has a helicopter development program, but this will take time and money.

personnel and heavy equipment, and evacuate the injured. Q. Is there a lot of potential from other countries to become buyers of the Mi-26T? A. Such a heavy helicopter is required by EU countries and NATO, which is engaged in military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. A Mi-26T operated by a Russian company was recently engaged by NATO forces in Afghanistan to evacuate a Chinook helicopter. The mission was completed successfully, confirming the brilliant performance of the Russian heavy-lifter. NATO appreciated Mi-26T a lot. Two years ago the Mi-26T tackled a series of tasks in oil operations of American and Canadian companies. Canada is currently considering the certification of the Mi-26T. Q. What is the current status of the Mi-34 programme? A. First of all, I would like to remind you that the Mi-34 was initially built with the Russian piston M-14V26. It was intended for initial training in the Army, Aviation and Fleet. Its mass production was based in Arsenyev, but changes in the country’s economy put the program on halt. The Mi-34 is now undergoing modernisation. First, it will get a new more powerful piston M9F engine that will make it more versatile for sports and commercial operations. After that we want to create a modern light turboshaft helicopter. In Russia there is a gaping hole in this class. It’s being filled by foreign helicopters such as the Robinson R44. We intend for the new versions of the Mi-34 to be better than similar foreign models in a number of characteristics, including range, cruising speed, ceiling.

Q. What does the future hold for heavy Russian helicopters? A. At the moment there are 52 of the world’s heaviest-lifting Mi-26T in Russian companies. Roughly the same number is at the service of the Russian Defence Ministry. The global demand for these helicopters is so Q. How is existing Mi-8 high that the Mil Plant has launched the Mi-26T modernisation program modernisation programme going? and our plant is considering bidding A. The modernised Mi-8 was in the Indian heavy helicopter tender. designated Mi-171M. It’s time to India already operates four Mi-26T raise performance to a new level: that are doing their job nicely. The the helicopter must have double the Indian tender foresees modernisation life while its flight hour and service of this helicopter with costs must go down new equipment, a substantially. new control system, Operating limits and and reducing the crew crew fatigue will also be count down to just two brought down because members. many piloting tasks will Two new Mi-26T become automated. helicopters are operated Mass production is set in China. They proved to start in three years. indispensable after the Advanced solutions used Sichuan earthquake – and tested in the Mi-28N only they were capable and the Mi-38 will find of transporting large their way into the Minumbers of rescue 171M. ✱ Alexey Samusenko.

February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

e h th arc 4 5 at s -8 M 52 tu 5 . ee o no M Exp h li- ot He Bo

BLADES fresh air for helicopters February 2011

p022.hems new.indd 22

27/1/11 11:48:45


Where to find all the latest and best heli gear available



EFIS RETRO-FIT FOR BELL 205 Vector Aerospace receives Canadian Supplemental Type Certificate for Sagem glass cockpit conversion


OOD news in the world of avionics options for C-plate owners of older Bell 205s: Vector Aerospace, based in Canada and America has received FAA approval for its Bell 205 series glass cockpit. It has also been given STC (Supplemental Type Certificate) by Transport Canada. The installation is for the Sagem Integrated Cockpit Display System (ICDS) range of glass cockpits. The Visual Flight Rule (VFR) certified Bell 205 ICDS solution is a completely integrated upgrade, replacing all engine instruments, sensors and gyros with digital, solid state equipment. Mark Jensen, avionics manager at Vector said, “The new, light-weight cockpit installation offers a more reliable and cost

effective alternative. This provides operators enhanced flight safety benefits through integration of the latest situational awareness tools, with the ability to adapt or upgrade the system to accommodate practically any mission requirement.” The system also includes a variety of multi-function improvements including moving map displays and enhanced vision when linked to the optional camera. At the time of going to press the STC is only applicable to Canadian Bell 205 operators; however Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) is currently in process and once Vector receives the authorisation, the company will then begin producing complete installation-ready kits to operators for self installation.

FLYING LIGHTSPEED LIGHTSPEED has announced the launch of its new headset, the Sierra. It is cheaper than the flagship Zulu. With a retail price of £489.99 it is close to £200 less expensive but still benefits from some of the features The reason for

the cheaper price is that some materials have not been used. The weight-saving magnesium earcups have been replaced with less expensive plastic but the active noise cancellation still covers a broad range of low frequencies. www.light speed aviation .com

✱ New life for old – Vector's Bell 205 panel retro-fit. Currently there are no plans for EASA certification but should it be necessary due to a commercial operator requirement or individual customer request then Vector say it would certainly entertain the prospect of obtaining EASA approval, not only on the Bell 205 but also for any of its other STCs. The STC applies to the following Bell models: • 205A, 205 A-1, 205A-1 • 205B, 205B (H-104) • 212 H-86 (Eagle Single Engine conversion).


FOR THE KIDS MYRO the Microlight is the star of a new collection of children’s books. The first series follows Myro on his adventures around Australia, where he meets intresting types such as Jimo the jet fighter and Decko the parachute dropping Dakota. The back cover of the book opens into a map of where Myro has been

during his adventures. There are six picture books and a seventh book with lyrics and an audio CD. A great read at £6.99.

✱ Myro meets Noddy, eh?


GOT THE TIME? SWISS watchmaker Fortis has released three new pilot’s watches. The first is the rose gold Stratoliner, a £5885 whopper limited to just 100 pieces. There is a polished steel version as well for a less stretching £3010. We’ve not worn them out on the town, but Fortis claim both have

easy to read faces. We like the look of the clear back case which lets you see inside the workings. They are both available with either an ‘extra padded’ black leather strap or crocodile leather. Fortis has also launched the new B-42 Flieger Black Cockpit GMT. This model incorporates a second time zone. www.fortis-watches. com

✱ Upgrade an old cockpit with a glass conversion. This is the Sagem integrated display. February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

2 TRAINING The principles of ight 24

BLADES S fresh air for helicopters February 2011


MAKING AERODYNAMICS AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE Aerodynamics is a subject that can make some pilots feel the need to go and lie down in a dark room... well be prepared to turn the light on! Flight instructor Captain Geoff Day has written and compiled a new book to help students, instructors and others understand what’s going on


ELF publishing allows individuals to get round the publishing industry and produce books that might be thought too esoteric to be commercially successful – but which fulfil a valuable purpose. And that’s exactly what Captain Geoff Day did with his new book, Helicopter Aerodynamics Made Simple. Geoff has been flying helicopters since 1966 and instructing in them for 36 years – so with 21,000 hours in his log book he’s learnt a thing or two! Faced with explaining helicopter aerodynamics to students, Geoff has tried to simplify things while keeping the essentials right. He came up with the book after years of refining the explanations and he has agreed to this brief excerpt in BLADES. Llewis Ingamells has

recently completed his training to become a CPL(H) and FI(H), and is now a pilot and instructor for Helicentre Aviation, based at Leicester Airport. During his training Lewis used Helicopter Aerodynamics Made Simple, and found it a great help. Here are his thoughts on the book. “As a pilot you’ve probably read various principles of flight books whether studying for your PPL(H), CPL(H)/ ATPL(H) exams or picked up the books again before embarking on a flight instructor course. If you’re anything like me reading through them blends a mass of vectors, graphs and formulas into an absolute blur, to the point where you’re banging your head against the wall wondering how you’re ever going to pass that next exam! Well, what a refreshing change this

✱ Sequence of pages, starting with Flapback...

book was. “Opening the book you’re greeted with simple and colourful diagrams drawn and explained step by step with a few words of explanation – great, my type of book! “For me, during training, the hardest thing to get my head around were vector diagrams, this is where the book starts, and rightly so. Once you can draw and manipulate the vector diagram everything about Principles Of Flight becomes easier. The subject is broken down to absolute basics with great use of colour and simple logic, which Geoff says was his aim for the book. “Take transitions for example, a relatively simple exercise to fly – we do it every time we take off into forward flight. But there is in fact an awful lot going on with the helicopter

✱ Going on to Translational Lift...


The subject is broken down to absolute basics with great use of simple logic during this 'simple' manoeuvre. Ground cushion, flap-back, translational lift then inflow roll and all of this happens in a few seconds but understanding each stage is quite in-depth, this is perhaps my favourite part of the book as over just six pages not only will you understand it, you could teach it to your granny! “What is great about the book is not just the simplicity of the explanations but the ease in which it reads. There is a somewhat comical tone to the writing, yet

it gets the point across accurately and quickly, all the while holding your attention, which is not an easy thing to do – especially with me! “I would highly recommend this book to anyone in the industry. If you’re a PPL(H) get a head start with this manual as it’s more than enough to take you all the way through your career from zero to working pilot. Especially with the PPL(H) written exams and those dreaded CPL(H)/ATPL(H) exams! “If you’re an instructor, this is one manual that will make your job easier. In fact, get your students to read it and save yourself the hassle of trying to explain the principles of flight!” Helicopter Aerodynamics Made Simple, £22.50 (inc P+P) www.milfordhelicopter and

✱ And then on to Inflow Roll. February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

26 FEATURE Flying with the Essex Police

PHOTOGRAPHY David Spurdens

Chopper Coppers:’re nicked! What does it ttake ake to operate th the he Essex Essex Police EC135 and what are the pilots like who y it? Our man Dennis Kenyon spends a day at their Boreham base

BLADES fresh air for helicopters February 2011


February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

28 FEATURE Flying with the Essex Police

BLADES fresh air for helicopters December 2010



HAVE always been something of a nostalgia buff... 1930s motoring, classic cars, the early days of aviation and the country’s historic airfields so it was with more than a touch of nostalgia that last month I found myself approaching the entrance gates of the former Boreham Aerodrome in Essex. As I avoid the pebbles and puddles of the old perimeter track, my thoughts wander. The United States 9th Air Force operated here with Marauders and daylight bombing raids. The derelict wartime buildings enhance the intriguing atmosphere of the passing years. I recall also my teen years clambering aboard a ‘Greenline’ bus from London to watch the racing aces of the late 1940s perform in Cooper F1 500cc cars at the new Boreham racetrack. Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorne and the one-time boss of Connaught Cars, Alan Brown. They were the names of the day. Sixty years, I reckon. Yes, it would be about 19491950 that the Ford Motor Company sponsored the ‘Festival of Motor Sport’ race meetings and as a

youngster enthralled with speed I had to be there. I recall rubbing shoulders with the drivers in the pit lane and talking to the famous Italian, Luigi Villoresi. Now I’m here again. The historic airfield hasn’t heard the sound of flatout racing engines since those days. They’ve been replaced by the constant rumble of mechanical diggers munching into the ground for sand and gravel... or the more exciting whine of a ‘Turbomeca’ engine on start-up, music to the ears of your correspondent. I park the Jag by the standard WW2 control tower building, now the offices of the Essex Air Ambulance and my hosts for the day. The Essex Police ASU (Air Support Unit) is based at Boreham Aerodrome where it operates a Eurocopter 135. I’m scheduled to fly with the Senior Pilot, Captain Rob Mitchell. I know! But some of us have to do the tough jobs! Sadly the weather wasn’t too kind for our flying. Sitting in the operations room with Air Observers PCs Paul Lindup and Mike Goldstone, they showed me the twin TV screens indicating low cloud and

poor visibility. Lee Marshall is the unit’s ‘Ops’ Observer today, combined with his regular role as Observer Training Officer at the Unit. “What are your weather limits?” I enquire of Rob Mitchell. He tells me that all police ASUs operate under a Police Air Operators Certificate (similar to a civilian AOC) which includes a number of weather easements for the pilots, who conduct regular instrument training to offset the requirement for an Instrument Rating. A quick read through the Police Operations Manual indicates that, if anything, police limitations and operating standards may well have marginally higher standards, but as a general guide, a cloud base of 600 feet and a horizontal visibility of 1km is the minimum for departure from base by day.


I look around the Ops Room – computer screens everywhere

ARRIVE EARLY I look around the Ops Room. There are computer screens everywhere with aircraft serviceability status and maintenance schedules of the unit’s helicopters are displayed on the wall charts. The Tech Library is comprehensive and the place has an air of absolute efficiency. ✱ Opposite and left: Chopper attends chopper crash: aftermath of an incident a couple of years ago. The occupants had a lucky escape.

Amusingly, there’s even the infamous, eight-year old ‘Nicola-to-Pilot’ landing advice pinned up on the wall alongside some nice examples of the unit’s photographic expertise. I’ve arrived early so I can listen in to Rob Mitchell’s 09.00 daily briefing. He covers the scheduled tasks for the day plus aircraft status, NOTAM and the weather report (TAFS & METARS) while Police Observer Mike Goldstone runs through the local happenings and significant NOTAM. In addition, the crew runs through a simulated aircraft emergency to help improve everyone’s systems knowledge. I’m then handed over to Paul Lindup, who kits me out for flying and runs through the pre-flight safety briefing. He apologises for having to do so in view of my 14,000 or so flying hours but I tell him I’m not too familiar with the EC135 so please brief me in full. It becomes apparent that the first part of the day is already busy. Engineers are working on the FLIR camera unit so any flying on task won’t be happening just yet. I grab Rob Mitchell for some questions. Rob is a former Royal Navy man and he flew Sea Kings and the Navy Lynx for nearly 3000 flying hours. As a ‘civvy’ he has flown with the Police ASUs for 14 years and logged another 3000 hours. He has been Senior Pilot of the Boreham ASU for ten. I have to start with the impending government cuts. Currently the Police service operates 33 helicopters in 28 ASUs around the country. Rob tells me that changes are already in hand to streamline various units. I raise my concern that the words being bandied about by government are that perhaps 20% of the total police helicopter fleet is to go!

February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

30 FEATURE Flying with the Essex Police

Rob indicates that he sees various areas where costs can be saved, but the Boreham operation is already flying some 1300 hours a year. I’m impressed – that is some mighty efficient utilisation and as I enter the hangar all I see is efficiency and purpose everywhere. It's a neat, spotlessly clean hangar working area, with the unit’s EC135 T2+ parked centre stage. The + on T2 is important giving increased payload – Boreham thinks it is the only EC135 in the UK that’s been upgraded from normal T2 to T2+. Other, newer Police machines have come straight from the factory as P2+ with the same 2910kg MAUM but Pratt & Witney engined instead of Turbomeca. One of the first tasks of the day is to carry out the daily ‘Check A’. Rob Mitchell is specifically authorised to complete this check. I begin my look-see to note a plethora of operational equipment. On G-ESEX, the standard police surveillance equipment is mostly fitted to the belly pod which houses three separate cameras in a gyroscopically stabilised turret. These are controlled


The Spotter Scope can identify the logo on a shirt from 1000ft by the front seat Air Observer. The daylight TV camera is used for surveillance and image recording and can be sent live to the FIR (Force Information Room) via a skid mounted microwave downlink aerial. As the Boreham ASU also conducts night ops, the digitised thermal image camera has a similar capability after dark. The third camera is a ‘Spotter Scope’. This is an incredible piece of kit having an enlargement capacity of x75 and can identify the logo on a man’s shirt from 1000 feet! This level of zoom also allows the air observer to keep a suitable distance from the target enabling the aircraft to remain covert for intelligence gathering. IMPRESSIVE KIT While talking cameras, and for BLADE’s photography

BLADES fresh air for helicopters February 2011

readers, the Boreham ASU has some impressive kit. The main camera is a digital Nikon D200 10 megapixel SLR. Pics are taken in RAW and JPEG and recorded on a compact flash card for downloading to DVD or CD at base. Two Nikon lenses are carried – 24120mm and a 70-200mm lens for close-up work, plus a x2 converter. The camera equipment is operated by the rear Air Observer who is able to open the doors in flight for shooting. The role of Air Observer is a highly desired position within the Police and the selection process is appropriately severe. Vacancies are advertised internally and having completed the formal application, candidates attend an assessment day and flight testing, followed by an interview and presentation. A fitness test follows with a medical examination. The tests include Navigation, Photo Interpretation, Mental Agility, Spatial Awareness and a Vehicle Tracking Exercise. I continue my ‘walkround’ to note a loudspeaker under the rear belly. This is a

700-watt ‘Sky-Shout’ PA system allowing direct voice communication with persons on the ground. Sitting alongside is the spectacular 35 million candlepower Spectrolab ‘Night-Sun’ searchlight. It can be used separately or linked to the TI camera to provide illumination when necessary. Back with Rob Mitchell, I ask him if the unit has a ‘Casevac’ capacity and I’m told Casevac is part of the unit’s remit, and the helicopter carries a lightweight stretcher at all times. It’s just that, due to good roads and effective Air Ambulance cover, it is seldom required. However, shortly after my visit, they were required to transport a number of injured parties to hospital after a vehicle overturned. The work on the FLIR unit is completed and we are ready to fly should the starting gun fire. The Boreham ASU expects to have the helicopter airborne in less than two minutes from the call. Rob has clearance to let me fly with the aircraft on any appropriate ‘call-out’ that comes in. However the weather isn’t improving and our ‘air-to-air’ photex isn’t going to happen.

I ask Rob what I consider a leading question. “What does he feel the prime function of his unit should be?” Rob thinks for a second or two. “Our task is what it says on the tin,” he responds. “That is, to offer sound support to the ground personnel and help them do their job more effectively and more efficiently.” Many tasks are routine, albeit when successful can save very many Police man hours. Rob cites a situation where a young child had followed the family’s pet dog out through a dog flap and became lost in a field of oil seed rape. A ‘missing person’ call was made. Using the airborne thermal imager, the child was located in minutes, a task that would have taken a dozen ground-based officers many hours. The Boreham ASU consists of four full-time pilots (actually 3.5 for normal operations – the added 0.5 being required to infill gaps left by the two shifts per week that the regular three can’t cover due to FTL restrictions), 12 Air Observers and four Reserve AOs. It is part of the Eastern



✱ Incidents vary from the very serious, like these two, to more routine such as taking situation pix. Counties Air Consortium (Operation Forefront) which has three helicopters available: Suffolk operates an EC135 P2+, Cambridge has a Notar MD 902 Explorer while the Kent Police hire around 350 hours of EC135 time for their operations. I ask Rob what special qualifications they like to see for their pilots and is a service background essential? Other than having the required flying experience and type ratings, he tells me there is no special preference. Having said that, in general ex-service pilots are invariably more suitable to the role requirements. Instrument Ratings are not necessary since the ASU operate day VFR only plus night VFR flying ops as the task dictates. IN THE COCKPIT So enough of the organisation and admin, I want to see the EC135 in action. I’ve had the flying and safety brief so can accompany Rob to our aircraft as it sits waiting on the helipad. Pre-flight and fuel checks are completed and I’m loaded aboard for a training and a photo exercise.

I sit quietly in the cockpit to assess the navigation fitment. The aircraft is fitted with twin Garmin 430s into which the unit has inputted some 900 user waypoints for most towns and villages in East Anglia and Kent. Normally used linked to the autopilot, the navigation system automatically accounts for wind and takes the helicopter straight to the target, giving the pilot spare capacity for lookout. “It also gives the opportunity to view the Skyforce map on the front Observer’s screen,” says Rob, “so we have a better idea of exactly which house/street we need to ‘pounce” on within the target village!” Various controls for the Nightsun, PA and TI equipment are prominent and naturally the EC135 has a FADEC control for engine management (Full Automatic Digital Engine Control). Rob fires up the number one engine and with idle speed attained, the FADEC system brings in the second engine. Most cockpit switches are already set for a ‘Police’ start and only need FADECs and Prime pumps to be brought

IN October last year, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) released details of a new National Police Air Service (NPAS). The new plan reduces the total number of helicopters from 33 to 23, and will save about £15m a year in capital and running costs. The proposal is in response to the findings of a comprehensive review commissioned in 2009. ACPO members have approved the central recommendation to replace the current air support system with a service organised nationally but delivered

locally. An ACPO-led project team is developing an implementation plan, which still undergoing discussion and debate. Chief Constable Alex Marshall said, “This is not merely a cost saving exercise. "While the current service is capable of doing its day job, artificial boundaries have meant that helicopters are restricted to operating within their own force area. "A national, borderless service will ensure effective coverage of urban and rural areas.”

✱ Numbers of Police helicopters in the UK will reduce under the plan.

THE PROPOSED BASE SITES. STILL BEING DEBATED SO MAY CHANGE: WESTERN COUNTIES (currently serving Avon, Somerset, Gloucester and Wiltshire): reduce to one aircraft and relocate to RAF Colerne SUSSEX AND SURREY: reduce to one aircraft, relocate to Dunsfold NORFOLK AND SUFFOLK: reduce to one aircraft, relocate to RAF Honington MERSEYSIDE: aircraft withdrawn from service with provision from other bases SOUTH YORKSHIRE: aircraft withdrawn, provision from other bases CAMBRIDGE: aircraft withdrawn, provision from other bases DYFED-POWYS: aircraft

withdrawn, provision continuing from other bases in the area RAF HENLOW based aircraft from Chiltern Air Support Unit (Thames Valley, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire): withdrawn from service, provision from other bases ESSEX: relocate to Southend Airport DORSET: relocate to Bournemouth Airport WEST MIDLANDS: relocate to Wolverhampton Airport creating a two aircraft unit with Central Counties (West Mercia and Staffordshire). Both aircraft currently work under the Central Motorway Police Group banner

February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

32 FEATURE Flying with the Essex Police online before putting both engine start switches into the idle gate. This initiates the start sequence for the second engine as soon as the first has achieved idle and also brings the heavier electrical loads of the Police equipment online as soon as possible, as the starters automatically and immediately take over as generators. With challenge and reply pre-takeoff checks swiftly completed, I feel Rob raising the collective for lift-off. I timed the whole process at a remarkable one minute and 33 seconds! I’d been hoping for a real-time ‘emergency’ call-out but unusually this was proving to be a quiet day so Rob was tasked with a straightforward task to obtain an airborne photo of a road junction where there had been a fatal accident. With the site located, Mike Goldstone, after fitting his dispatcher harness and completing a safety check, called to the pilot, “Am I clear to open the door?” to give him an unrestricted view as he snapped away. With the pictures in the can Mike then demonstrated the Skyforce screen, following the A12 out of Chelmsford and heading north-east. We moved into ‘training’ mode and from a little over 1000 feet, I found myself tracking ‘White Van Man’ in a Ford Transit as he sped along the dual carriageway. Using the ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) system, the rear number plate was very readable. I could even record the company’s business trading title and office telephone number. Powerful stuff indeed. A Police ASU expects to react and position to a task location in 15 minutes, so the 155 knot top speed of the EC135 is an important asset (although they are actually limited to 140kt with the belly pod fitted). I couldn’t fault the view since visibility is another important requirement. I ask Rob about any published limits for confined areas. He tells me in no uncertain terms that a helicopter on Police work is, more often than not, less useful than a car when

EC135 T2+ PERFORMANCE Max speed 155kt Cruise 137kt Ceiling 20,000ft Rate of climb 1500ft/min HIGE 10,000ft HOGE 6600ft Range 342nm SPECIFICATIONS Power 2 x Turbomeca Arrius 2BS, producing 816shp Rotor ø 10.2m, 4 blades Tail rotor ø 1.0m Fuselage length 10.20m Height 3.51m Seats 1 pilot + 5 pax Mtow 2910kg Empty weight 1455kg Useful load 1455kg Fuel capacity 560kg

✱ The special Police equipment fitted to the Essex EC135. Top, three cameras in a stablised gyro. Above, 700-watt 'Sky Shout' loudspeaker system. Above right, 'Night Sun' searchlight. Right, downlink aerial for sending back images.


A helicopter on duty is less useful than a car when on the ground

BLADES fresh air for helicopters February 2011

on the ground, and at its most effective when used in its observation role. So landing sites are not a high priority, albeit all pilots are required to practice the exercise as part of the annual Police AOC ‘Line Check.’ Rob doesn’t like to keep the 135 airborne unless it is working, so we quickly make an RTB (return to base). Summing up, my visit confirmed my view of Police use of helicopters offering important and often life-saving assistance to ground-based personnel. Locating and tracking a stolen car is a child’s play

exercise and the criminals know it. The scheduled cuts in Police funding will, in my view, lead inevitably to an increase in certain areas of crime. Helicopters are an expensive asset but from what I saw today, every pound spent on task is an investment in reducing criminal activities. I’ve visited many Police aerial units around the world and can say our British Police ASUs are flying to the highest standards I have seen anywhere, and that goes in spades for the very professional team I met at Boreham. They have my respect and my thanks.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT Three cameras: video, stills, infra-red, Sky Shout loudspeaker, Night Sun searchlight, Honeywell Sentinel mapping system MANUFACTURER Eurocopter Aeroport International Marseille-Provenced 13725 Marignane France UK DISTRIBUTOR Eurocopter UK London Oxford Airport Oxford

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M ee t Bo 5 us ot -8 at h M He no ar li . 5 ch -Ex 25 po 4


BLADES fresh air for helicopters December 2010



2000 -2010 Ten years is a long time, especially in aviation, and even more so in the world of helicopters. BLADES puts on its rose-tinted glasses and looking back at the first ten years of the 21st century


HE role of the helicopter has never been more vital. All around the world, helicopters are fulfilling vital missions, from taking humanitarian aid to remote regions to air ambulance, sea and mountain rescue, police, pipeline and wind farm inspection, and of course, military uses. They even play a key role in helping flood victims and fighting wildfires - summer in southern Europe, winter in Australia and with other regions filling in between. Technology is racing ahead too. Glass cockpits were just beginning to be talked about ten years ago, now top of the range helicopters are filled with display screens giving unparalled situation awareness and capability.

Analogue gauges in new helicopters are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Speed is a hot issue right now with Eurocopter and Sikorsky going headto-head with high-speed prototypes. The first decade of the 21st century has been a good one for the launch of new helicopters. The world’s militaries are always at the forefront of advancements when it comes to design and technology, but much like Formula One and road cars the technology always filters down. And it’s the same with the helicopter market, we’ll get to the military side of things in a moment, but here are some of the choice launches form the last ten years that are either certified or well on their way to being put into production.

BELL 429 The first new helicopter out of Bell’s stable for 30 years. It was Bell’s attempt at getting back on top and BLADES flight tester Dennis Kenyon got his chance to fly it back in August last year. Dennis picked up on a couple of vital points including how it was designed. “Now this may well be lost on some BLADES readers, but it is a groundbreaking design method hitherto not used for any helicopter anywhere,” said Dennis. “In the world of airliners, when a new type is planned, a major aspect of the certification process is a ‘Maintenance Steering Group’ (MSG) consisting of the manufacturer, the customers’ maintenance facilities and certification personnel. As a steering group, they decide on a suitable maintenance

programme for the type. The MSG system is standard practice for airliners and smaller fixed-wing, but to my knowledge has never been used for a helicopter.” Another new feature is the tail rotor that comes with a ‘scissors’ blade configuration – the first use of multi blades by Bell in a civil helicopter. Dennis summed it up, “The Bell 429 is one of the nicest handling and best performing helicopters I’ve flown.” ROBINSON R66 Robinson’s first turbine helicopter, the R66 Turbine, received its FAA certification late last year and the factory now has to fill the 100-plus orders it has already received. Although the R66 doesn’t look bigger than its older sibling the R44, it has an

extra seat and enough luggage space for golf clubs. The R66 also boasts the new lightweight RR300 Rolls Royce engine. “I was convinced there was a need for the R66 as the JetRanger has filled the market for many years. It’s getting old now and we feel the R66 will be a good replacement,” said Frank Robinson at the launch. The first R66 was due in the UK on 14 January but Sean Brown of Heliair recently flew out to Robinson’s HQ in California to get checked out on it. Sean was only the fifth person to check out the R66 and his initial thoughts were: “My first thought was the amount of room in the cockpit. No more polite body shuffles as I allow my passenger to fit his seat harness; there is plenty of room. Once ➽

February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

36 REVIEW OF THE DECADE Helicopters 2000-2010 ✱ NEW! BELL 429 CERTIFIED 2009 Bell’s first new helicopter for 30 years.

✱ NEW! S-434 FIRST FLIGHT 2008 Sikorsky’s single turbine, to be certified by 2011.

✱ THE AW139 FIRST FLEW IN 2001 Hard to believe the 139 has flown for seven years.

we obtained clearance I pull in 100% power whilst feeding in forward cyclic and off we climb at 2000 feet per minute! “Out into the harbour area we are cruising at 70% torque at 117kt and amazingly no massive pedal movements such as you have on the LongRanger. Turns of 30 degrees bank, climbs and descents are a breeze. Settling with power (vortex ring) was easy to correct, she is hard to get into that state and gives you plenty of warning (she is so smooth that the early judders show very quickly) and the R66 slides out with little height loss. “For the private owner you will never have had such huge safety margins in power, ease of operation, speed and passenger comfort in a helicopter before. In conclusion, what a machine! I have over 15,000 hours flying everything from an R22 to a 747 and this beats them all.” GUIMBAL CABRI G2 New two-seat piston

helicopters come along once in a blue moon, so when Hélicoptéres Guimbal launched the Cabri G2, it made a huge impression – and BLADES & LOOP were given the world exclusive and the first publications to test the aircraft. “The G2 is a helicopter for the 21st century, I was impressed with the solid handling and especially the safety features of this new arrival,” said Dennis Kenyon. “A three-blade rotor system, composite construction and no finitelifed components. Plus a glass cockpit, ‘Plasma’ ignition, Fenstrom tail rotor, and no less than five-hour endurance… and a tough regime of EASA Part CS-27 certification. These highly desirable features are coupled to a sleek aerodynamic airframe, a dedicated luggage compartment and a tried ant trusted Lycoming engine,” Dennis added. This good-looking helicopter is set to knock the R22 off its perch. If it will or not only time will tell.

BLADES fresh air for helicopters February 2011


The Bell 429 is one of the best handling helicopters I have flown AGUSTAWESTLAND AgustaWestland has had a busy decade. Considering the company only came together in 2000, the production line, design room and test pilots have been kept busy ever since. At the start of the decade, the AW139 flew for the first time. Now the helicopter is in full production – and there’s a even a plant being built in Moscow to increase Russian sales. At the end of the decade, the GrandNew was launched and at the Farnborough Airshow last year, AgustaWestland unveiled the AW169. The AW139 was originally designed and developed in conjunction with Bell but the Americans withdrew from project and, as they say,

the rest is history. The 139 is a twin-engined transport helicopter with a 5-blade fully articulated main rotor and a 4-blade tail rotor and a retractable landing gear. It’s powered by two Pratt & Whitney PT6C turboshaft engines. The company has orders for over 430 helicopters of which over 200 had been delivered by January 2009. The big news advancing into the next decade was the announcement of the AW169. The AW169 will be a multi-purpose light twin aimed at the growing 4.5-ton class, and designed to meet current and anticipated stringent requirements of commercial and government operators worldwide. It features an “eco-friendly design” with extensive use of composites, advanced airframe aerodynamics, next generation navigation avionics and state-of-the-art systems. A key part of the AW169’s capabilities will be its avionics, claimed to be the very latest for maximum situational awareness and all-

weather operations. They include a full digital NVG compatible cockpit with three 8in x 10in displays with enhanced graphics. It will have a four-axis digital automatic flight control system with dual Flight Management System to minimise crew workload and allow single or dual pilot VFR/IFR ops, said AgustaWestland. Potential markets are EMS/SAR, law enforcement – the launch mock-up was in UK police colours – passenger and offshore transport and utility markets, and the helicopter can be customised with a wide range of equipment including weather radar, FLIR, rescue hoist, cargo hook, search light and medical interior. The company forecasts a potential market for the AW169 of almost 1000 aircraft over 20 years. Already approved is the GrandNew, the latest to come from the Grand series. This new helicopter laos benefits from a new digital glass-cockpit and a composite material fuselage. AgustaWestland claim that the Chelton

37 ✱ NEW! THE AW169 ANNOUNCED 2010 The AW169 is scheduled to be ready by 2014

FlightLogicTM Synthetic Vision EFIS and a new 4-axis digital duplex autopilot provide the pilots with situational awareness and flight management capabilities never achieved before on the light twin class. EUROCOPTER At the start of 2010 Eurocopter gave its new 7-ton EC175 helicopter its maiden flight after four years of highly paced development with its Chinese partner, China Aeronautics Industries Group Corp (AVIC). At the time Eurocopter boss Lutz Bertling said, “It’s an immense pleasure to see the EC175 soaring through the skies. This is the product everyone’s been waiting for on the civil market.” The new generation EC175 will have a multirole design and can carry out a wide scope of civil missions. It slots into the Eurocopter range between the AS365 Dauphin (4/5 metric tons) and the AS332/EC225 Super Puma (9/11 metric tons) and can carry up to 16 passengers.

Certification of the EC175 by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is slated for 2011, and the first deliveries are scheduled to follow in 2012. A total of 114 EC175s have already been ordered by 14 different customers and Eurocopter expects to sell 800 EC175s over the next 20 years. The EC175 is the result of unprecedented cooperation with the Chinese made possible by the digital mockup computing tools. During the development phase, an average of 50 Chinese employees joined Eurocopter colleagues in France to define the helicopter’s characteristics. Now 30 Eurocopter employees are on assignment in China to assist the teams with design, quality, production and procurement work. Technical highlights include twin Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67E engines with dual-channel new generation Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC), and a five-blade Spheriflex main rotor.


Certification for the EC175 by EASA is slated for 2011 The EC175’s all-new main gearbox has two accessory gearboxes for double redundancy and is capable of 30-min flight after total loss of oil. De-clutch capability gives Auxiliary Power Unit benefits without the cost and weight of an additional APU. SIKORSKY Sikorsky’s most recent launch was the single turbine S-434 based on the Schwezier 333. Sikorsky took over Schweizer in 2008. The biggest change is the use of a fourbladed rotor system, upgraded transmission and increased fuel capacity. The result of these improvements are increased useful load, hover performance, cruise speed and lower vibration,

says the US company. Much has been made of the S-434’s increased ‘crash-worthiness’. It has energy-absorbing ‘high stance’ landing gear which also gives 28in of ground clearance, plus rollover protection for the crew. But Sikorsky has been active on many fronts. As well as the S-434, it has recently launched the latest version of its workhorse S-76, the S-76D with a raft of brand new technologies. Power and performance are enhanced by all composite main rotor blades and optimised Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines with dual FADEC controls. A new design of tail rotor has a ‘reduced external acoustic signature’, ie it’s quieter. That’s important for the S-76D’s role as a corporate or shuttle helicopter in cities. Pilots will appreciate the state-of-the-art integrated Thales cockpit, the aircraft’s increased range and its ability to launch into known icing conditions. It’s easy to forget

that it was in 2002 that deliveries started of Sikorsky’s S-92 heavyship, in use for Search & Rescue as well as an Oil & Gas shuttle. AIR AMBULANCE & POLICE To look at the police air support units and the air ambulance now it seems hard to think that there was a time before them. It seems even stranger that when they were first launched plenty of people were sceptical. The Police started operations in the early 1980s. Devon and Cornwall as well as the Metropolitan Police forces were among the first to get air support in the form of a single engine Squirrel. David Lewis is the Sales Director for Eurocopter UK and as a former policeman has been instrumental in the expansion of helicopters in the Police. “When the Police started using helicopters we could see they were going in a slightly wrong direction in terms of how they were using them. The role should have been to ➽

February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

38 REVIEW OF THE DECADE Helicopters 2000-2010

✱ CABRI G2 CERTIFIED IN 2007 Bruno Guimbal’s design is set to take on the R22. BLADES fresh air for helicopters February 2011


✱ NEW! FIRST FLIGHT 2009 The Lynx Wildcat due to come into service soon.

✱ REBUILDING FOR COUNTRYFILE New uses include laying paths for National Trust. provide assistance to the officers on the ground, rather than what they were doing, which was fly it around trying to look for people and using it as a separate entity. The strength of helicopters is to be part of the system. To help the people on the ground and be of use to the officers back in the control room so they could use technology to make better decisions and become more efficient.” At first the cynics claimed the helicopter was nothing more than a senior officers’ runabout. “We demonstrated that by using a helicopter you could be a lot more efficient in terms of searching a large area for missing people or suspects. It can be valuable in high-speed pursuits by not risking the public. Then people started to see the whole value of air support.” In terms of the Police and Air Ambulance there have been several big advancements that have improved the service in recent years. “One of the biggest advances has been the

✱ NATIONAL GRID CHECK POWER LINES Helicopters with infrared cameras for ‘hot’ spots. communications system. The police in the sky had to be able to contact clearly and continuously with the officers on the ground and back in the control room,” said David, “So it was up to us to make the helicopter work. All the equipment had to be integrated into the helicopter. This had to be done in a certain way not only so the helicopter could fly with the equipment and the crew, but also so the crew could use the equipment, even under pressure to produce positive results,” he added. “But what made the helicopter even more useful was when it went from daytime operations to 24-hour ops. This made the air support so useful, because with the infrared cameras, searching for people is easier,” said David. The Air Ambulance is quite different from the Police in terms of how it spread and grew – mainly because the Air Ambulance is a charity so operators are always stretched for money. The first UK Air


I would like to see the Air Ambulance go from day-only to 24 hour ops Ambulance of note was in Cornwall and started in the early 1980s. David Lewis has also been involved with the Air Ambulance services over the years. “The Cornwall Air Ambulance ran very successfully on charitable donations and now if you look at the whole of the UK there are a lot of very well run charitable trusts set up by professional business people. “The next development that I would like to see is the Air Ambulance go from day-only operations to 24 hour ops, because serious road traffic accidents happen at night as well. And with the change in the NHS structure with trauma centres being built around the country we believe there could be other models being built into

the Air Ambulance, much like the police, with larger helicopters for transfers when people have be stabilised and repatriation, which is currently done by the majority of fixed wing aircraft. “I feel the Police would also benefit from larger helicopters to deploy specialist units throughout the country. I think there will be more of a national look for air support that will be locally or regionally delivered.“ SPOILING FOR A FIGHT The 2001 movie, BlackHawk Down, was a real eye-opener for many in the civilian world as to how helicopters were vital in military campaigns. The film shows a US task force going to battle in Somalia to capture two local warlords but losing two BlackHawk helicopters in – the real story is of the rescue of the crews. Since then helicopters have rarely been out of the news, taking a major role in the invasion of Iraq, and then in Afghanistan. The UK government got itself into a mess, accused of starving the Army

of vital helicopters and putting servicemen at risk, although they appear to be tackling that by bringing in extra Merlins bought from Denmark, and upgrading the Lynx which plays such an important role in frontline operations. Indeed, AgustaWestland has recently announced that the Lynx upgrade, known as the Wildcat, was well underway with the first flying aircraft. NEW USES Apart from exploding in films, helicopters have plenty of uses and they always seem to be the last choice even though they turn out to be the best solution. Helicopters have always been the popular choice for SAR and oil rig work. But in recent years plenty of other uses have come into play. When China was hit by the 2008 Great Sichuan Earthquake, which killed almost 70,000 people, the country was embarrassed by its inability to reach the remote region. It had a couple of the giant Russian Mi-26 helicopters ➽

February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

40 REVIEW OF THE DECADE Helicopters 2000-2010

✱ WIND FARM MAINTENANCE By air will be the only way to get to turbines.

✱ CERTIFICATION SCHEDULED FOR 2011 The BA609 tiltrotor, in the skies this year. and a few others but not on the scale it needed. A subsequent earthquake in Japan, where helicopters taking in humanitarian aid were plentiful, only served to embarrass China further. To its credit, China has responded with a drive to increase its fleet and to start building its own – witness the first flight recently (see News). A myriad of uses have sprung up. In the UK, Network Rail uses a Twin Squirrel to inspect the integrity of the rail infrastructure. The Squirrel is fitted with a thermal and visual camera as well as other equipment. James Benson is a pilot for PDG Helicopters and flies for Network Rail as part of his job: “A lot of the work is thermal imaging, such as checking overhead lines, third rail electrification and point heating. We can predict potential faults or problems that are about to occur from hot spots we see on the thermal camera. The aircraft itself is completely nomadic – it doesn’t have a base and it works its way round the country.

“If we’re doing a vegetation survey we just film it and can cover a few hundred miles in a day easily. Thermally checking overhead lines on major arterial routes is much slower going – maybe only 30 or 40 miles a day. I’ll fly and alongside me will be an observer who is a Network Rail employee. He/she will have a good grounding in all things to do with the railway infrastructure. Everything is recorded, all the images, and all the voices as a matter of course.” With the world looking at renewable energy sources it might seem strange that helicopters are going to play a large role in keeping the electricity flowing. Off-shore wind farms such as Greater Gabbard Farm in the North Sea will need constant maintenance on its 140 wind turbines. A EC135 operated by Bond Air Services will be the first to be used for maintenance work at the wind farm. The EC135 will be used for maintenance operations, including delivery of personnel and

BLADES fresh air for helicopters February 2011

✱ FIRST FLIGHT SEPTEMBER 2010 One of the newest helicopters to be seen.

BellAgusta is claiming a range of 750nm and a cruise of 260kt

in the world, Eurocopter UK is looking forward to playing its part as a long term partner in the growth of eco-efficient energy generation. Once again helicopters are making missions possible that would be next to impossible otherwise.”

complex equipment by winch at Greater Gabbard located approximately 20 miles of the East Anglia Coast. Bond Air Services is one of the largest UK operator of EC135 helicopters, providing support for marine activities, including transport, maintenance and monitoring missions, emergency medical services, police aerial support operations, media and executive charter services. Markus Steinke, Managing Director of Eurocopter UK said, “The reliability and enhanced capabilities of the EC135 helicopter make it the ideal safe and economical solution for operators in this exciting new growth area. As the UK becomes one of the largest offshore wind energy producers

THE FUTURE Bigger, better, faster, that’s the trend. Eurocopter and Sikorsky seem to be leading the way with the X3 (known as the X-Cube) and X2 respectively. Both companies are attempting to break speed barriers whilst carrying more load. Wide ranges of uses are being planned for both of these, including long-distance search and rescue (SAR) missions, border patrol missions, passenger transport and inter-city shuttle services. It also may be well-suited for military missions in special forces operations, troop transport, combat SAR and medical evacuation. While the X3 and X2 are some way off certification and production, that other radical rotorcraft, the BellAgusta BA609


tiltrotor is due to be certified in the later part of this year. The BA609 is a civilian version of the military V22 Osprey. BellAgusta is claiming a 25,000ft service ceiling, and the ability to fly into known icing conditions and extreme climates, from Arctic to desert. It also claims a 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 become the most versatile multimission aircraft. Proposed missions for the BA609 include executive transport, offshore operations, SAR and medical transport, though it’s going to be expensive to buy and operate. As with all aircraft being designed only time will tell if we’re going to see them on the apron. BLADES will try to bring you the first test of each and every one.

The Global Show for General Aviation EDNY: N 47 40.3 E 009 30.7

April 13 – 16, 2011 Friedrichshafen, Germany 10046-AERO-2011-Motiv47-A.indd 1




11.01.2011 16:04:54 Uhr

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February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

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KNOW-IT-ALL T-ALL Sponsored by Hayward Aviation T-

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

Ma in bla rotor des /0m


Ma xp ow er

Eng ine


Sea ts

litr es)


Len gth (m


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


Cei ling (f



HO GE (f

VN E (k

Ma xc rui se (kt ) 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

295 378 301 610 437

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. 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

11.70 11.46 12.92 22.80 13.52

8 8 8 33 17

119 KOALA MK11 AW119 Ke is an eight-seat single turbine helicopter designed to provide high productivity and performance at a competitive price. 2 x PWC PW207C 2 x PWC PW206C PWC PT6B-37A 3 x GE CT-7 2 x PWC PT6C-67C

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.

122 130 140 140 140 tba 150

115 112 122 133 138 142 139

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

12.00 12.90 17.10 12.60 13.00 tbc 15.30

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. 229 375 229

13200 15600 13200

8700 14000 8700

12000 13000 12000

1180 1360 1179

744 816 744

422 544 435

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.

8.90 9.10 8.90

3 5 3

Lycoming HIO-360-F1AD Turbo 225 RR 250-C20W 420 Lycoming HIO-360-F1AD Turbo 225

3/9.75 3/9.75 3/9.75

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



2 x JFTD12A-4A


Specialist heavy-lifter and fire-fighter.

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












2 x 4500

MORE STATS OVER THE PAGE EUROCOPTER – SIKORSKY February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

44 KNOW-IT-ALL Sponsored by Hayward Aviation SPECS


Ma in bla rotor des /0m

) (m

Ma xp ow er

) res (lit

Eng ine

) (kg

Sea ts



Gro ss w eig ht Em pty we igh t Fue l


Cei ling

) (kt


) (nm

Ma xc rui se Ma x ra ng e HIG E


) (kt

Len gth




IFR /VF R Pri ce (ba se)


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

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

AS 350 B3 The ‘Single Squirrel’ is used on a wide range of missions, including aerial work, training, observation, fire fighting and law enforcement. 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

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

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

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

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

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

239 210 232 423 2020

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

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

242 242 242 435 606

9.40 9.80 9.80 10.90 9.80

4 4 4 7 7

MD 600N The MD 600N® is an eight-place, light, single-turbine engine helicopter that provides high performance and increased capacity. Rolls-Royce 250-C20B Rolls-Royce 250-C20R Rolls-Royce 250-C30 Rolls-Royce 250-C47 2 x PWC PW207E

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

180 365 348

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

9400 6400 8950

5200 5100 7500

14000 14000 14000

621 1089 1134

388 654 683

73 116 116

8.80 11.70 11.70

2 4 4

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

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

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

432 270 281 405 362 497 432

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

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

na na na na na na na

8.85 11.18 8.23 13.50 11.30 20.15 33.747

5 6 9 16 15 32 4-5

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

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

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

201 225 310 411 539

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

5800 7000 12300 7050 9000

BLADES fresh air for helicopters February 2011

2750 4800 9200 3300 6500

12000 10000 13000 13750 14000

930 794 1157 5306 12018

499 500 567 3177 7597

147 121 137 1064 2858

1.99 1.99 1.91 3.05 5.26

3 3 4 14 21

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

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

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

We’ve created somewhere special for you to land... LOOPTV is the best place to land for your aviation films, video, product tests, interviews and show reports. Upload your own videos online and whilst you’re there comment or rate on someone else’s! Register online to receive the latest monthly programs and exclusive news - just go to to create your own account!

whilst you’re there let us know your thoughts... Just register, login and comment! February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

Mixed-41.indd 7

27/1/11 16:34:37



lo tria Fo go l r n t of t a o o W his ne -m W fant on W as th .LO tic FR O web EE P. si A te ER ,

MAKE YOUR FLYING EASY! Let skybookGA™, the most integrated on-line pre-flight briefing service for the GApilot, take the pressure off planning your next flight OING flying this weekend? Will you be off to the south coast, working your way down through the busy air corridors of Luton, Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick plus a host of other active airfields? Before you go, you need to know the best route, with the best information at your disposal. So, who do you turn to? It has to be the experts. Turn to skybookGA, the most integrated briefing service available, which ensures the relevant information for your flight is available wherever you are, whenever you want, before you set off. INDUSTRY EXPERTISE The service was created by flight planning experts Bytron, behind commercial flight briefing services used by major airlines, NATS and airport authorities. skybookGA is a spin-off from this professional commercial programme. When Bytron was formed 1984, its objective was to provide electronic briefing systems that would dispense with the uncertainty of fax and paper trails that hindered reliable data provision. Their mission to abolish unwieldy processes brought great benefits to professional pilots – and now GA pilots too. skybookGA benefits from the lengthy development process that went into the professional service. Rightfully known as ‘the

one-stop shop for pre-flight briefing,’ skybookGA offers comprehensive planning aids which allow pilots to easily customise routes, visualise them, and view in both Google Earth and Virtual Earth. At the invitation of Thomas Cook Airlines, which uses Bytron’s eFlight Briefing package, Bytron is working with Rolls-Royce subsidiary DS&S to create its first fully-integrated and connected Electronic Flight Bag (eFB), allowing maintenance data and engine monitoring on a global scale. FANTASTIC FEATURES FOR GA The beauty of skybookGA is the breadth of service it offers, catering well for the shortest low-level flight, all the way to upper level cross-border journeys – always being easy to use. skybookGA features include Personal Location Point information, which allows you to create waypoints and store them for future use. Airfield Brief is another brilliant feature, which allows search of airfields by name or ICAO and IATA codes. The information includes full airfield and runway details, plus all NOTAM/METAR/TAFS/ LTAFS/SNOWTAM affecting that airfield. The Great Circle Route Briefing will route width and upper flight level, and create a route using the shortest course between the airfields. The brief calculates all FIR and airfields within the route’s width and upper limit with NOTAM and MET info.

SIGMET advises on potential weather hazards other than convective activity over a 3000 square mile area, generating data on icing, turbulence, dust and even volcanic ash. AIRMET’s regional weather forecasts cover regions within the UK and is updated regularly throughout the day. Two of skybookGA’s integrated features that pilots particularly praise are the Quick Weather Maps and Danger Area Briefs. Quick Weather Maps allow you to view prevailing weather conditions and trends at a glance. They provide information on windspeed and direction, temperature, dew points, cloud cover and pressure. Danger Area Briefs allow searches for international and domestic NOTAM affecting Danger Areas by FIR, area name or number during specific time periods. It includes easy-to-view charts of UK Danger Areas. International NOTAM contains information about the establishment, condition or change in any facility, service, procedure or hazard. The most recent development is the Pilot Log (Plog), based on departure, destination, flight level and flight corridor, and even fuel burn. Routing data can be exported to GPs devices too. It’s small wonder GA pilots cherish the comprehensive briefing data that skybookGA offers. They feel confident that every eventuality has been covered, before setting off to the airport.

NEW AND IMPROVED! skybook GA™ now has loads of new features, including: GPS ROUTE EXPORTER Easy to use, this feature enables you to convert and download the route plot created on skybookGA into 50 GPS file formats.

NOTAM F & G Has been added to all briefing packs: Plain language display of NOTAM upper and lower heights (F & G fields).

RAINFALL RADAR Met images are updated every 15 min. Shows the previous 3, 6, 9 and 24 hours and forecasts the next three hours’ expected rainfall.

RESTRICTED AREAS (TEMP) MAP This has now been updated so you can see multiple NOTAM that are centred on the same point.

SATELLITE IMAGES The display for satellite images has been updated to a carousel display to aid searching which now can be opened in a separate window.

METAR FEED This loads airfield METAR details onto Google Earth. Wind speed, direction and cloud cover are displayed. You can also seelive weather along your route.


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HJS Helicopters

Cranfield Helicopters

Heli Air

Cranfield Airport PPL(H), Type Ratings, Night Ratings, LPC’s 01234 758101

MFH Helicopters

Cutler Helipad PPL(H), CPL(H), FI(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, LPC’s 01224 739111

Wycombe Air Park & Denham PPL(H), CPL(H), FI(H), IR(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, LPC’s 01494 769976/01895 835899

Conington Airfield PPL(H).CPL(H),FI(H),Type Ratings, Night Rating, LPC’s. 020 7499 2233 or 07779 086911

DURHAM Northumbria Helicopters Newcastle International Airport PPL(H), CPL(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, LPC’s 0191 2866 999

LEICESTERSHIRE East Midlands Helicopters Costock Heliport PPL(H), CPL(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, Robinson Safety Course, LPC’s 01509 856464

SURREY London Helicopters – A Patriot Aerospace Company Redhill Aerodrome PPL(H), CPL(H), FI(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, LPC’s 01737 823514

ESSEX Iris Aviation Southend Airport PPL(H), Night Training, LPC’s 01702 456 330


GLOUCESTERSHIRE Heliflight UK – A Patriot Aerospace Company Gloucestershire Airport PPL(H), CPL(H), FI(H), Night Rating, LPC’s 01452 714555





Polar Helicopters Manston Airport PPL(H), CPL(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, LPC’s 01843 823 067 or 07789 407 389

Blackpool Airport PPL(H), CPL(H), FI(H), Night Rating, FAA Approval, LPC’s 01253 400 423 or 07876 637 572

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE Central Helicopters

Silverstone PPL(H), CPL(H), FI(H), IR(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, LPC’s 01327 857752

Nottingham Airport PPL(H), CPL(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, LPC’s 0115 981 4401

Regional PPL(H), CPL(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, LPC’s 0191 2866 999

Bournemouth International Airport PPL(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, Mountain Course, LPC’s 01202 590800

Shobdon Airfield PPL(H), CPL(H), FI(H), IR(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, LPC’s 01568 708028

Heli Air


Northumbria Helicopters Regional PPL(H), CPL(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, LPC’s 0191 2866 999

Tiger Helicopters

Humberside Airport PPL(H), CPL(H), Type Ratings, Instrument, Night Training, LPC’s 01652 688831 or 07703 260593


DORSET Bournemouth Helicopters



Northumbria Helicopters

CUMBRIA Northumbria Helicopters


SOUTH IRELAND Executive Helicopters Galway Airport PPL(H), CPL(H), FI(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, LPC’s, International Students taken +353 91 783300

STAFFORDSHIRE Staffordshire Helicopters Tatenhill Airfield PPL(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, FAA Approval, LPC’s 01283 575164


Heli Air

Elite Helicopters


Wellesbourne PPL(H), CPL(H), FI(H), IR(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, LPC’s 01789 470476

Goodwood Aerodrome PPL(H), CPL(H), Type Ratings, Night Rating, LPC’s 0800 804 8812 or 01243 530165

Leeds Bradford International Airport PPL(H), CPL(H), Type Ratings, Night Ratings, LPC’s 0113 238 7130

Advertise in Blades 01223 499799

February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

R44Title Raven 1

May 2008, 235 Hours, C of A Due 31.05.11. Jet Black Pearl with Extra Leather Interior. 2 Bose Headsets. Mode S, Skymap3. Always Hangared. Price £198,000 ono VAT Paid Telephone 01977 612258 Email:

1974 BELL 206 B3

9200hrs TT High Skids Sky map Hisl 2 x Radios Dual control Reg - G-JAES ¤290.000 Euro Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135

1996 ENSTROM 480

Aircraft S/N: 5016 Reg - SE-JDA TSN: 2000 hrs TT No damage history Price - £290k Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135


Aircraft S/N: 1174 Reg-F-GJAB TSN: 2430 hours TT High Skids LH Sliding Door Completely rebuilt in 1990. ¤660.000 Euro Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135


1987 Eurocopter AS350 B1

Aircraft S/N: 0214 Registration: SE-JFN TSN: 4642 hours TT Aerolite fabricated EMS equipment. Integral floor. Oxygen system. 2 ea medical seats facing aft. 1 ea passenger seat facing fwd. 24/ 12 volt el power in cabin. ¤2.550.000 Euro Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135

Aircraft S/N: 1983. Reg-SEJFK. TSN: 7557 hrs TT. Cargo hook. Monit’air UMS system. LH Sliding door. The engine has 408,2 hours less than the aircraft. ¤675.000 Euro Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135

1988 EUROCOPTER AS365N1 Offered by PC Aviation

S/N - 6307, G-DPHN, TT Engine & Airframe - 2,350, location - UK, Single & dual pilot IFR, Available immediately or after G inspection. Price - Make Offer Contact: Huxley Cowen +44 (0)1865 768888


VIP Leather Pack Dec 2007 with only 130 hrs TT Contact Ian on 07768 530043 or




Total Time 2373Hrs. 1970/ Overhauled 2008. Complete Avionics refit including Garmin 695 Exterior presented in Black Metallic with complementing Full Black Leather Interior. Price £275K + vat Please see our website for more detail and current stock. Tel 01777 839 216.

Aircraft S/N: 7247 TSN: 4726 hours TSN Lycoming engines, model LTS101-750B-1. Transmission assy, Kawasaki KB03 Two independent oil cooling and lubricant systems ¤2.800.000 Euro Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135

Aircraft S/N: 4441 Registration: SE-HJG TSN:1375 hours TT. Large Cabin Floor Window (right side). Cargo Swing (1400 kg) complete installation. Emergency Flotation Gear, Fixed Parts RH side Electric and De-Iced External Mirror. LH Landing Light Swivelling in Elevation and Azimut ¤1.380.000 Euro Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135

Emergency floats provisions, 5/6 pax conversion kit Weather radar RDR 2000 Bendix/King No damage history 442 TT. Reg - TC-HKB ¤3.900.000 Euro Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135




1973 SA341 GAZELLE

Aircraft S/N: 473 Registration: F-HCDF TSN: 440 hrs TT. Dual or single/dual pilot 1FR package - Avionics Solution 7 consisting of: Avionic solution 7 interconnection wiring. Flight Control Display system MEGHAS 2xSMD45 45H (PFD,ND) 2xIPC/RCU. Flight Control Display system 2nd system MEGHAS 1 x SDM68 (PFD,ND) ¤3.600.000 EUR Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135

Aircraft S/N: 1241/48 Registration: OE-XCM TSN: 5 732 TT Cargo Hook Bubble Window – New Onboard Weighing system ELT Kannad 406 ¤650.000 Euro Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135

Aircraft S/N: 5104 Registration: G-ICSG TSN: 6544 hours TT Engine Fire Detection & Extinguishing System Engine Auto Relight Kit Grey leather trim & carpets £675.000 Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135





Aircraft S/N: 1027 Registration: G-IGPW TSN: 908 Hours TT Dual Controls. Cabin Heating/Demisting. Emergency Floating Equipment. Swivelling Landing Light ¤710.000 EUR Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135

Aircraft S/N: 6315 Registration: EI-DUF TSN: 2 596 TT VIP Leather Interior Air Conditioning 2001 Exterior Paint 3 Axis Autopilot Open to offers Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135

Aircraft S/N: 5550 Registration: EC-FTX TSN: 4800 hrs TT L+R/H Sliding Doors High Landing Gear New paint 2005 Utility interior or VIP Configuration ¤950.000 Euro Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135

Aircraft S/N: 0205 Registration: EI-DMC TSN: 783 hours TT Hobbs Meter-Landing Gear Contact Switch 3 Position landing lights Skymap $270.000 USD Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135

MD500C Title (H369HE)

2008 EUROCOPTER EC135T2+ Offered by PC Aviation S/N – 0635, MANUFACTURED – 2007, FIRST DELIVERED – 2008, G-RWLA, TT Engine & Airframe – 350, Location – UK, Single & dual pilot IFR, Available immediately. Price - Make Offer Contact: Huxley Cowen +44 (0)1865 768888

2007 EUROCOPTER EC155 B1 Offered by PC Aviation

S/N – 6764, G-EURT, TTAF – 412, LOCATION - Northern Ireland, Price - Make Offer, Available Immediately . Price - Make Offer Contact: Huxley Cowen +44 (0)1865 768888

R22 beta 2

2004 perfect machine for private owner 6 plus years 520 hours A/H D/I mode Charlie Skyforce 3 GPS plus more £58.000 no Vat

To advertise here please call Sammi on 01223 499799 BLADES fresh air for helicopters February 2011

Aircraft S/N: 1099 Registration: F-GEHB TSN: 6013, 79 hrs TT King KI-525 HSI Kit Garmin GNS-430 NAV / COMM / GPS King KR-87 ADF Bendix/King KT-73 Transponder. Boses Headset ¤330000 EUR Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135

ROTORWAY kits or ready built – 162F

Runs on Mogas, UK approved, Insurance approx £1k, servicing and spares always available, Brand new, Radio fitted, other options avail. £39,000 + VAT. Southern Helicopters LTD Tel 01279870211,

2000 BELL 206 – B3

Airframe: 2503 TT 250-C20J Engine: 2503 TT. Two Owners Since New, NDH, All AD’s & Bulletins Current, Original and Complete Records. High Skids with FliteSteps. Particle Separator. Wedge Windows (4) Pop-Out Type $950.000 USD Contact +46 (0) 706 365 135

1996 BELL 430 Offered by PC Aviation

S/N 49008, REG - VP-BKQ, TT Engine & Airframe - 2,040, Location - Blackbushe, UK Available Immediately Price - Make Offer Contact: Huxley Cowen +44 (0)1865 768888

ENSTROM F28 G-BONG TT 2975, good component times, engine 530 hrs, Fresh annual NOV 2010. Met silver with red leather. Bargain at only $59,000 Tel 01978 780197 or 07780700418


Same owner for 5 years, TT 1350 Hrs. New tail rotor gear box. Just had new C of A in August. Good Avionics fit including GPS & Slaved Compass. Offers over £180,000No VAT Contact: 01823 461 777

To a d ver t ise here p l e a s e call Sammi on 01223 499799


One 1998 EUROCOPTER EC135 T1

1993 Schweizer 300c (269c)

S/N 5300, Reg: G-LNTY, Location UK, TT ñ 5,000.1. AP SFIM 85 ñ W/ COUPLER, FD & MONITOR. NAV/COMM KX165, ADF KR87, GARMIN GPS 155, RADALT $875,000.00 USD Contact: Bristow US LLC Tel: +1 337 335 2219 or +1 337 335 2445

Police role equipped with FLIR camera and thermal imaging capability, Starshout, Starburst, Lojack tracker, Microwave downlink and Vinten video recording. Equipped with HEMS floor & Femo Washington stretchers. Fully maintained by Eurocopter UK For further information please contact: Mark Wooller, IBA Group Ltd Tel: + 44 (0) 1372 22 44 88

OY-HJW. S/N S1651. TTAF: 5641 New: muffler, M/R Blades, T/R Strap pack, M/R Shaft & hub spline type. Low time M/R Blade dampers elatomeric, oil cooler, light weight starter. Sktforce 111 GPS. USD $159.000,00 European Aircraft Sales – Denmark +45 40165401


1996 SIKORSKY S76C+ Offered by PC Aviation

2000 Eurocopter EC120B Colibri OY-HJN. S/N 1072. TTAF: 3000 Bendix /King KT 76C Trans, PS Engineering PAC24 Audio Panel. Skyforce 111c GPS. 5 Seats, new carpet and seats. ASI, VSI, ALT NR/NF Indicator, AH, Standby compass Perfect condition, Fresh 3,000 Insp, FRESH 12 YEARS Inspection EURO ¤555,000 European Aircraft Sales – Denmark +45 40165401


Price 120,000 no VAT

S/N - 760464, G-BYOM, TTAF - 3,700, LOCATION - Blackbushe Airport-UK, Single & dual pilot IFR, Available immediately. Price - Make Offer Contact: Huxley Cowen +44 (0)1865 768888

February 2011 BLADES fresh air for helicopters

50 WHAT'S ON Events for you and your clients

✱ AERO 2011 – the biggest and best General Aviation show in Europe.

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN BOOSTS HELICOPTER HANGAR Eurocopter to exhibit and R66 Turbine likely to show


HE helicopter presence at this April's AERO show at Friedrichshafen, Germany will be bigger and better than ever, says the organiser. The Helicopter Hangar

will be significantly expanded with bigger helicopters than before – Eurocopter is exhibiting for the first time. Several large turbine helicopters will include the Bundeswehr’s new NH 90 transport

helicopter and a Sikorsky Seaking from the German Navy. The German Federal Police are expected to present an AS 352 Super Puma, and an EC155. There will also be other current turbine helicopters

from Bell, Eurocopter, Sikorsky and PZL. Smaller helicopters will also be represented: Robinson R22, R44, and probably the new R66 Turbine. Other manufacturers include Schweizer, Enstrom

and Guimbal, as well as several ultralight helicopters. Many exhibitors will be offering up-to-date information on pilot training and other jobs in the helicopter industry.

WHAT'S ON AND WHERE TO FIND IT... ✱ FEBRUARY 2011 4-19 March RBS Six Nations, rugby. Opening match Wales v England at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. www.rbs6nations. com 6 American Football Super Bowl, Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas. www. northtexassuperbowl. com 9-13 Aero India, Air Force Station

Yelahanka, Bengaluru, India. 13 Old Sarum, VAC Daffodil Fly-in. www. 16-17 Corporate Jet and Helicopter Finance 2011, The Churchill, Hyatt Regency, London, UK. http://tinyurl. com/32dcopx 18-23 London Fashion Week. www. londonfashionweek.

19 FAA Museum odel Show, Yeovilton. 19-2 April ICC Cricket World Cup, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. www.icc-cricket. ✱ MARCH 2011 1-6 Avalon 2011 Australian International Airshow, Aerospace Exhibition.

BLADES fresh air for helicopters February 2011

5-8 Heli-Expo 2011, Orlando, Florida, USA. Must-see event. 11-13 Gulf Air Bahrain F1 GP, Sakhir. 12-13 Heli-Weekend, Grenchen, Switzerland. www. 15-18 Cheltenham Festival. Cheltenham, Glos, UK. www. 25-27 Australian F1 GP, Melbourne. 25-28 Helicopter Association of Canada Annual Convention and trade show, Vancouver, BC. 29-3 April, Sun 'n Fun, Lakeland Florida, USA. ✱ APRIL 2011 7-9 The Grand National, Aintree Racecourse.

13-14 Search and Rescue 2011, Bournemouth International Centre. 13-16 Aero Friedrichshafen 2011, see above. 12-15 Latin America Aero and Defence Exhibition, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 17 Virgin London Marathon, London.

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Blades February 2011 Issue  
Blades February 2011 Issue  

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