Heli-Expo 2017 Photo Report

News from HAI Heli-Expo 2017 in Dallas, Texas:

heliexpo dallas

17,788 people attended the show.  A record-setting 322,800 sq feet of floor space was used with 731 exhibitors and 62 aircraft on display.  Turnout was over 25% up on 2016 (though that is only to be expected after the off piste location of Louisville, Kentucky last year), with a good take up of exhibition space which some attendees saw as a sign of developing market optimism.

heliexpo 2017

All photos © Aerossurance unless otherwise stated.

Bell FCX01

The big unveiling on the first morning of the show was the Bell FCX01, revealed by Bell CEO Mitch Snyder.

Bell FCX01

Bell FCX01

Bell FCX01 (Credit: Bell Helicopters)

Bell FCX01 (Credit: Bell Helicopters)

Less a mock-up of a planned helicopter and more a ‘concept helicopter’, that is never intended to fly but which highlights possible future innovations, the FCX01 features proposed technologies that include:

  • Hybrid propulsion, with an electrically powered ‘cross-flow fan‘ anti torque system
  • Single pilot augmented reality cockpit (similar to that originally envisaged for the Airbus Helicopters X4, now the H160) with fly-by-wire as used on the 525
  • Variable geometry blade tips
  • Unconventional landing gear
Bell FCX01 (Credit: Bell Helicopters)

Bell FCX01 (Credit: Bell Helicopters)

Bell FCX01

Bell FCX01

Bell FCX01

Bell FCX01

Bell FCX01 (Credit: Bell Helicopters)

Bell FCX01 (Credit: Bell Helicopters)

MD Helicopters

MD Helicopters also revealed their 8 seat 2.5t MD6xx helicopter with a four bladed tail rotor.  They also described this as a ‘concept’ helicopter, though perhaps more a sign that they are yet to commit to development than a sign of radical innovation.

MDHI MD6xx

MDHI MD6xx

 

Airbus Helicopters

Airbus Stand

Airbus Stand

Airbus Helicopters H125 (nee AS350B3) a US Assembled Helicopter
Airbus Helicopters H125 (nee AS350B3) a US Assembled Helicopter
Airbus Helicopters H145 in Police Configuration

Airbus Helicopters H145 in Police Configuration

Leonardo

Leonardo hinted at a new light twin (an AW209) and discussed a reengined AW009.  They exhibited a HEMS AW119Kx, a winch equipped HEMS AW169 and an AW189 in ERA Helicopters colours, the only oil and gas configured machine at the show.

Leonardo with AW119Kx, AW169 and AW189

Leonardo with AW119Kx, AW169 and AW189

AW189 of ERA, the Only Oil & Gas Configured Helicopter on Show

AW189 of ERA, the Only Oil & Gas Configured Helicopter on Show

ERA is the AW189 launch customer (video).

Hoist Equipped HEMS AW169

Hoist Equipped HEMS AW169

AW169 HEMS Cabin Fit

AW169 HEMS Cabin Fit

Marenco SKYe SH09

Swiss manufacturer Marenco continue with their certification programme of the 2.6t SH09, announcing an order from Alpinlift Helikopter.

Marenco SKYe SH09 Mock-up in Alpinlift Helikopter Colours

Marenco SKYe SH09 Mock-up in Alpinlift Helikopter Colours

Hélicoptères Guimbal Cabri G2

The two seat Guimbal Cabri G2 continue to make headway in the GA sector.

Guimbal Cabri G2

Guimbal Cabri G2

Gear manufacturer ZF exhibited elements of the Cabri G2.

ZF Intermediate Gear Box (IGB) of the Guimbal Cabri G2

ZF Intermediate Gear Box (IGB) of the Guimbal Cabri G2

Cabri G2 Tail and Fenestron

Cabri G2 Tail and Fenestron; and yes their was a handle to satisfy every passing inner-schoolboy

Cabri G2 Fenestron and ZF Tail Gear Box (TGB)

Cabri G2 Fenestron and ZF Tail Gear Box (TGB)

Sikorsky S-92A

Sikorsky exhibited a colourful SAR S-92A destined for the South Korean Coastguard.

ROK SAR S-92A

ROK SAR S-92A

The aircraft on display was the Korean SAR organisation’s second S-92A.

ROK SAR S-92A

ROK SAR S-92A

ROK SAR S-92A

ROK SAR S-92A

Tragically after the show, in which the centenary of the US Coast Guard was marked by both Sikorsky and Airbus, an Irish Coast Guard S-92A was lost during a SAR mission.

At the show Heli-One, part of CHC, announced the availability of an external vision system for the S-92A.  Services Supported Helicopters News & Media Contact Us Heli-One Introduces External Operations Visual Monitoring Upgrade For Sikorsky S-92

The baseline installation has cameras that focus on the engine and cargo ramp operations. The engine view provides live monitoring for smoke or abnormal operation, while the cargo door view offers pilots visual vantage points to aid ground operations. The enhanced solution adds two additional cameras attached to the hoist and cargo hook that can provide video during lifting operations. The cameras function effectively even in low light conditions. A video recorder with audio is also part of the enhanced package. The camera feeds can be shown on any of the five multifunction display units on the cockpit and pilots can easily toggle between views.

This is not the only source of such cameras.  Bristow have an installation on the HM Coastguard helicopters as illustrated in this video from an Inverness SAR S-92A:

These systems would potentially address the external detection requirement in Control 4.2 of the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) Basic Aviation Risk Standard for Offshore Helicopter Operations (BRASOHO). barsoho v3

The contractible BARSOHO Safety Performance Requirements (SPR) are fully aligned with the HeliOffshore Safety Performance Model (SPM), and are now available on the FSF website to download for free, along with the BARSOHO Implementation Guidelines (BIG).

HeliOffshore Safety Performance Model (Credit: HeliOffshore)

HeliOffshore Safety Performance Model (Credit: HeliOffshore)

HeliOffshore explained more about their activities here:

Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawks

For a type whose prototype first flew on 17 October 1974, the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is no stranger to Heli-Expo.  Last year there were three civil UH-60s were on show.  This year, well quiet frankly we lost count!

Civil UH-60 Black Hawk in Orca Colour Scheme

Civil UH-60 Black Hawk in Orca Colour Scheme

Civil UH-60 Black Hawk

Civil UH-60 Black Hawk

Civil UH-60 Black Hawk with Blades Folded

Civil UH-60 Black Hawk with Blades Folded

Civil UH-60 Black Hawk

Civil UH-60 Black Hawk

Due to a quirk in FAR21.25, Sikorsky is not the Type Certificate Holder for any of them.  That’s because this regulation covers the “Issue of type certificate: Restricted category aircraft” for “special purposes”, allowing the use of ex-military aircraft for use in tasks such as fire-fighting, forestry, construction etc.

Arista Aviation, BHI2, Global Aviation Solutions, Rogerson Kratos and Unical Defense are all hoping to sell their overhauled aircraft to the commercial market.

Cabin of a Civil UH-60 Also Fitted with a FLIR Turret

Cabin of a Civil UH-60 Also Fitted with a FLIR Turret

Boeing CH-47D

Columbia Helicopters exhibited a Restricted CofA Boeing CH-47D configured for fire fighting.

See an interview here.

Columbia Helicopters CH-47D

Columbia Helicopters CH-47D

Water is Uplifted via this Suction Pipe on the Columbia Helicopters CH-47D

Water is Uplifted via this Suction Pipe on the Columbia Helicopters CH-47D

Bell 212

But if a Chinook is too big for you, a Bell 212 was up for sale with a fire fighting key.

Bell 212 with Fire Fighting Kit

Bell 212 with Fire Fighting Kit

Executive Cabin Fits

Bell B407 Executive Cabin

Bell B407 Executive Cabin

A Little Bigger: The Bell B429

A Little Bigger: The Bell B429

Even Bigger: The Sikorsky S-76D.  Decent leg room without a third row.  Nice cushions!

Even Bigger: The Sikorsky S-76D. Decent leg room without a third row. Nice cushions!

Sikorsky S-76D

Sikorsky S-76D

Gadgets

Brreze Eastern Illuminated Hoist Hook Bumper (the USB cord only required for charging and 3 days of use on a trade stand!)

Breeze Eastern Illuminated Hoist Hook Bumper (the USB cord only required for charging and 3 days of use on a trade stand!)

Bambi Bucket for Under Slung Fire Fighting

Bambi Bucket for Under Slung Fire Fighting

The Accessory for Mountain Bikers Who Only Want to Go Down Hill

The Accessory for Mountain Bikers Who Only Want to Go Down Hill

ZF Display In-Flight Tuning of RTB using Smart Pitch Links

ZF Display In-Flight Tuning of RTB using Smart Pitch Links

UTC Aerospace Displayed their Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS)

UTC Aerospace Displayed their Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS)

Final Comments

Next year the show returns to Las Vegas (27 February – 1 March 2018 – a few days later than originally billed).  Heli-Expo 2018 will really be the test of helicopter market optimism.

See also our 2015 photo report and our 2016 report.

Aerossurance has extensive helicopter safety, design, acquisition, operations and airworthiness experience.  For practical aviation advice you can trust, contact us at: enquiries@aerossurance.com