Helicopter

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President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2012

It is always wonderful to move into spring. This year--at least at our headquarters home in Frederick, Maryland--we saw very little winter weather.

Waypoints

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2012

A scorecard seems necessary to keep track of who's who in aviation today as globalization of company ownership continues. And while foreign ownership of traditionally U.S.-owned companies causes consternation among some American pilots, we have no one except ourselves to blame because it is the lack of U.S. investment that is, for the most part, driving the sale of these companies.

Warbirds, King Air, Skyhawk power through to advance

Article | Mar 20, 2012

To nobody's surprise, the Aeronca Champ was no match against the popularity of the P-51 Mustang. The stable Cessna 172 drew out the flight training vote to score the win over the Maule M-5, the King Air beat out the Robinson R22 and R44, and the F4U Corsair sent the Pilatus PC-12 packing.

Man vs. mountain

Article | Mar 15, 2012

You'll know when the avalanche probe lands on a person: That spongy, soft feeling is like nothing else on the mountain, ski guide Kirk Becker explains to four advanced skiers at the Whistler Municipal Heliport. It's a standard briefing at British Columbia's Whistler Heli-Skiing, where remote alpine adventures are contingent on the Pacific coastal weather and the decision of the pilot in command.

GA market flat, but faces change

Article | Feb 23, 2012

A generation ago, the top piston-aircraft producers were as predictable as the top auto manufacturers. Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft, and Mooney were the GM, Ford, Chrysler, and everybody else of the auto world. Today, the world looks quite different.

Bell Helicopter supersizes medium helicopter

Article | Feb 13, 2012

With literally an audience of thousands, Bell Helicopter put its mark on the oil platform helicopter market by unveiling what it calls a "super medium" size Bell 525 Relentless at Heli-Expo in Dallas.

Eurocopter upgrades tour helicopter

Article | Feb 13, 2012

An upgrade of a helicopter used in a variety of roles but best known as popular with tour operators, the Eurocopter EC130 T2, has been unveiled at Heli-Expo in Dallas. Reportedly, passengers particularly on Grand Canyon tours had asked operators for better air conditioning, and Eurocopter officials promise the new model has it.

Garmin releases twin-turbine heli glass cockpit

Article | Feb 13, 2012

The Garmin G5000H glass cockpit for twin-turbine, medium-lift helicopters was announced at Heli-Expo in Dallas Feb. 12. It combines widescreen displays with voice command, 3-D spatial audio that helps a pilot differentiate among several communication sources, and touchscreen technology.

Honeywell forecasts uncertain turbine helicopter market

Article | Feb 13, 2012

There remains uncertainty in near-term sales of turbine helicopters, but recent order momentum is encouraging. That's one of the findings of Honeywell’s latest outlook for the purchase of turbine-powered civilian helicopters. The company, making its fourteenth forecast, expects light-single and twin-engine models will comprise 66 percent of expected purchases.

Restored Bell 47 returns to market

Article | Feb 13, 2012

One of Bell Helicopter's most reliable helicopters ever, the Bell 47, is in the process of returning to the market. Scott's Bell 47, a Le Sueur, Minn., company, plans to offer the helicopter first as a restored model and later hopes to place it in production. Two restored models were shown on the floor of the Heli-Expo in Dallas Feb. 12.

Robinson doubled production in 2011

Article | Feb 13, 2012

Robinson, now focused on production as a top priority in 2012, produced 356 helicopters in 2011, more than double the 2010 production of 162. There is a 400-aircraft backlog of orders for 2012.

Suppliers chosen for speedy Sikorsky Raider

Article | Feb 10, 2012

Sikorsky has invited 35 companies to help it build two scout-attack helicopters for evaluation by the Pentagon. The helicopter, called the Raider, will cruise at 220 knots and have a dash speed of 240 kt. The prototype X2 has already surpassed those speeds.

Analyst: Helicopter sales to require greater justification

Article | Feb 08, 2012

Aerospace analyst Brian Foley says future helicopter sales will receive greater scrutiny by accounting departments, and require a strong business case to be made. Still, there are strong sales to be had.

Cessna shows positive revenue in fourth quarter

Article | Jan 25, 2012

Cessna finally turned a long-awaited corner in the current economic recession, but has firmly identified itself as a small- and medium-sized jet manufacturer for the future. Piston-engine aircraft not only survived in the fourth quarter of 2011, but helped lead the way to higher revenues.

Helicopter group honors members' achievements

Article | Jan 10, 2012

Helicopter Association International has announced the winners of its 2012 Salute to Excellence Awards, honoring those who uphold the helicopter industry's highest traditions.

Letters

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

"Above New York" is the best piece of writing on the vibrant and historic New York City rotorcraft scene I have read (September 2011 AOPA Pilot). Julie Summers Walker captured, in a remarkably brief piece, the range and diversity of helicopter operations in the city: the heliports, the bread-and-butter air tours, and corporate operations that contribute so much to New York financially and culturally, the Eastern Region Helicopter Council that serves so well in relations with residents and politicians, even a nod to the utility and wildlife operations most New Yorkers never see.

What goes around

Article | Nov 01, 2011

Robinson Helicopter's goal is to increase manufacturing from two Rolls-Royce RR300-powered R66s a week to three, and hit a target of 100 for the year, Robinson said.

AOPA Action

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

Aviation group leaders unite, explore troubling issues What affects one segment of the aviation industry ultimately affects everyone involved in aviation, be they business jet owners, helicopter pilots, or airport operators, said leaders of the industry associations in a recent roundtable discussion. “We are, in fact, all part of the general aviation community, and anything that affects one segment affects us all,” said Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association.

Pilot Briefing

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

‘Gucci Girls’ fly Air Force tanker It took lots of arranging, since there is only one female Boeing KC–10 flight engineer in the U.S. Air Force, but for one mission an all-female crew operated an aerial refueling tanker above the Middle East.

Swamp Pirates

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

The Sikorsky X2 team is honored for speeding

Hangar Talk

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

Pilots tend to regard Greenland as a steppingstone to somewhere else—and the gigantic, barren, and seemingly endless expanse of rock and ice is seldom a destination. But Adrian Eichhorn, an airline and former corporate pilot who had overflown the remote region many times at high altitude in jets, thought the towering fjords, massive ice cap, and otherworldly landscape would make the ultimate backdrop for general aviation flying.

Letters

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

I just finished reading the article about Chuck Aaron in the August 2011 issue of AOPA Pilot (“Methodical Risk Taker”). Fascinating stuff! I’m a Blackhawk instructor pilot in the U.S.

AOPA China fly-in postponed after Beijing helo crash

Article | Sep 01, 2011

A fatal crash of a helicopter from the Beijing City Police Department's newly formed airborne unit has led to the postponement of AOPA China's scheduled helicopter fly-in, AOPA China announced.