Visited annually by 20,000 industry professionals, including 20% from international destinations with 700+ exhibitors, 100+ education courses, seminars, workshops, forums and 60+ aircraft on display in its 1 million+ square feet of meeting and exhibit space HAI HELI-EXPO is the most important event in the rotary wing sector. It is where the global helicopter industry gathers to build professionals, networks, and solutions.
This year's Expo, held in Las Vegas, again featured the cream of the crop of the helicopter industry.
Airbus Helicopters Inc. announced that Metro Aviation Inc. had ordered an unprecedented 25 EC145e helicopters that it will place into service providing air medical transport and other aerial services. It is one of the larger commercial helicopter orders ever booked by the U.S. based company.
Metro was the first customer in the world for the lighter weight and lower cost version of the EC145 when it was launched by Airbus Helicopters in 2015, placing an initial order for six aircraft. The helicopter was launched initially only for Visual Flight Rules (VFR) use and Metro put it to work in air medical transport and utility markets.
To kick start its new era, Bell introduced their newly rebranded rotorcraft and the Urban Air Taxi at HAI Heli Expo 2018. This new brand strengthens their previous objectives to deliver exceptional products, and points them toward a new mission to go above and beyond flight.
After shocking the industry at last year's Heli Expo with their concept helicopter, the Bell FCX - 001, Bell are excited to present their new look at this year's show.
Cobham announced China Rescue and Salvage (CRS) as the launch customer for the new Cobham Helicopter Academy based at Newquay Cornwall Airport, Cornwall. China Rescue and Salvage is China's dedicated national maritime rescue and salvage force. Eleven students from CRS have commenced SAR flying training which will be delivered in Cobham's SAR equipped AW139 helicopter, supported by synthetic training devices.
Cobham Helicopter Services Vice President, Duncan Milne said, "After over 20 years of successfully supporting aircrew flying training at the UK MoD's Defence Helicopter Flying School, the arrival of the China Rescue and Salvage students at our own Helicopter Academy is a great moment that marks a new chapter for the delivery by Cobham of aircrew flying training.
At the 2018 HAI Heli-Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) proudly displayed two of its most beloved single-engine helicopter models, each featuring an advanced all-glass cockpit. The cornerstones of MDHI's booth (N5505) was the Virginia Beach Police Department's new MD 530F alongside one of six (6) MD 530G Attack Helicopters ordered by the Malaysian Ministry of Defence. The glass cockpit solutions featured in these aircraft will be FAA Certified and available to all MD 530 airframe operators.
Robinson Helicopter Company announced that it had produced 305 helicopters in 2017. The R44 led the way with 174, ranking as the world's best-selling helicopter according to GAMA's General Aviation Aircraft Shipment 2017 Year End Report. Seventy-seven R66s came off the line and, according to data supplied by Rolls Royce, the R66 fleet logged approximately 185,000 hours in 2017, bringing its total fleet hours to 735,000. Cadet production was steady at twenty, and the R22 came in at 34. The Company also displayed its new cargo hook installation fitted to a R66.
Safran Helicopter Engines introduced HeliDax as a new customer of its Health Monitoring service. The French company, who was involved in its elaboration, has opted for the Premium level of this service, launched last October at Helitech International.
Health Monitoring allows customers to track engine life parameters and implement predictive maintenance actions to prevent unplanned events. The service is available at an Essential level, where the customer is responsible for data collection and analysis, and a Premium one where maintenance recommendations by Safran experts are tailored to the customer's fleet, mission and usage rates.
HeliDax has been chosen in 2008 by the French government to supply the flight hours required for the basic and advanced training of French Armed Forces, and Belgium Forces military helicopters pilots. HeliDax operates a fleet of 36 H120 helicopters powered by Arrius 2F and modified by HeliDax to fit the specifics requirement of the French MOD. The partnership between HeliDax and the French Ministry of Defence is based upon the flight safety and the operational excellence and up to date totalize 153 000 flight hours.
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, signed to deliver one S-70iô Black Hawk helicopter in a baseline configuration to the city of San Diego during the Expo.
The S-70i variant of the FIREHAWK helicopter is an upgrade from the widely used S-70A, and includes wide chord rotor blades for increased payload and manoeuvrability, enhanced engine power, a stronger airframe, digital cockpit with flight management system for enhanced situational awareness and an Integrated Vehicle Health Management System to monitor the aircraft's operational health. Among improved safety features, the S-70i aircraft includes a terrain and obstacle avoidance system that alerts aircrew to the proximity of potential hazards on the ground.
At the Expo an agreement between Leonardo and Era Group, one of the largest helicopter operators in the world, was announced. This agreement would launch the AW609 into service in the US commercial market, with the objective of demonstrating the tiltrotor's versatility through its use in a wide range of missions.
Moreover, several important contract signing ceremonies took place at the Leonardo stand. Amongst which with Sino-US, the distributor of Leonardo in the Chinese civil and commercial helicopter market, for 26 helicopters; with Sloane Helicopters for two helicopters; and with EagleCopter to announce the opening of a new service centre.
Marenco Swisshelicopter announced the long-term cooperative and sustainable partnership between Knoepfel AG and Marenco Swisshelicopter since the beginning of the development and manufacturing of prototype no. 1. The outstanding collaboration based on the same innovation spirit and the competence in manufacturing excellence as well as the highest quality and delivery reliability.
Knoepfel AG provides Marenco Swisshelicopter with Swiss precision aviation parts (e.g. rotor shaft, gear box, rotor head components, booster and more). Knoepfel AG, a leading supplier in efficient machining of different high-performance aerospace materials (such as nickel-based alloys, titanium, aluminium and composites) for complex mechanical components in the highest precision.