Jan 032017
 
BK117 in the air

Bad Tölz is home of the winch training center for the german rescue teams. Located close to the Alps in the Southern Bavaria, Germany, the ZSA (Zentrum für Sicherheit und Ausbildung) provides indoor facilities to the mountain recue teams and helicopter crews.

Inside a room of approximately 1500 sqm and a height of 20 meters, two cranes simulate helicopter flights.

The first helicopter is a lucky BK117 that, instead of being scrapped, was shipped from the US back to Germany. It was then dismantled, the structure was kept, with the windows, the doors, and the landing skids. An electric winch was installed on a side. Fans create the downwash, and strobe lights simulate the shadow of the rotor blades hiding the sunlight.

The other aircraft was built by the Austrian company AMST. The BK117 was not sufficient to simulate bigger helicopters such as the Super Puma or NH90. The equipment is similar to the BK117, with small improvements. The winch can be positioned differently, closer to the fuselage, or farther out. The doors can slide to the front or to the back. All this will depend on which type of aircraft you are suppose to be flying.

The aircraft are piloted from the cockpit like real helicopters. Even though the behaviour is not meant to be realistic to the pilot, the platform provide the 6 axes of movement: translation forward and backward, to the sides, up and down, pitch, roll, and yaw.

The simulators are not meant to train the pilots, but the cabin crews: winch operator, rescuer under the hook, or any other personnel who has to be lifted or dropped from a helicopter. The benefits are obvious: training costs drop to a fraction of the flight costs, the flight can be paused at any moment, and even the wind and noise can be silenced in order to practice quietly.

the two aircraft in the hall

The two aircraft in the hall

BK117 in the air

BK117 in the air

the former BK117 was transformed and now flies indoor

The former BK117 was transformed and now flies indoor

BK117 cockpit: the pilots flies with the sticks and operates the crane

BK117 cockpit: the pilots flies with the sticks and operates the crane

the BK117 under its crane

The BK117 under its crane

close view of the BK117 winch

Close view of the BK117 winch

rescue in a gondola

Rescue in a gondola

the big helicopter under its crane. After the success encountered by the BK117, this second fuselage was designed and built for the sole purpose of crew training in the ZSA-Bergwacht hall.

The big helicopter under its crane. After the success encountered by the BK117, this second fuselage was designed and built by the Austrian company AMST for the sole purpose of crew training in the ZSA-Bergwacht hall.

the big fuselage from above

The big fuselage seen from above. The house can be flooded and the rescue is made on the roof.

side view of the big fuselage

Side view of the big fuselage

cockpit

Cockpit

another view of the cockpit

Another view of the cockpit

inside the cabin

Inside the cabin

view from the front

View from the front

the cockpit in flight

The cockpit in flight

going down from the big helicopter

Going down from the big helicopter. The winch can be positioned closer to the fuselage, or further out.

rescueing a climber stuck on the wall. In order to make the situation more realistic, the climber was left hanging for 15 min.

Rescueing a climber stuck on the wall. In order to make the situation more realistic, the climber was left hanging for 15 min.

the climber was rescued

The climber was rescued

prepared to rescue

Prepared to rescue

because discussions and theory courses have to be made, conference rooms are available

Because discussions and theory courses have to be made, conference rooms are available

the swimming pool can be filled with (cold) water, turbines create current, and an ice sheet can be simulated with plastic boards

The swimming pool can be filled with (cold) water, turbines create current, and an ice sheet can be simulated with plastic boards

below the climbing wall, a soft mattress

Below the climbing wall, a soft mattress

wide view of the hall

Wide view of the hall

the cold room can go up to -20°C (-4°F)

The cold room can go down to -20°C (-4°F)

thick and heavy doors for the cold room

Thick and heavy doors for the cold room

the rescue of injured people can be simulated from the start to the end with the hospital room

The rescue of injured people can be simulated from the start to the end with the hospital room

Jan 022017
 
LCITS SuperCobra AH-1W

The video illustrates a typical HMI struggle: to which switch can we allocate a secondary function?

In this case, the Bell AH-1W Super Cobra is equipped with prototype Hydra 70 2,75 inches rockets fitting an infrared seeker. Currently, most of the guided rocket are Laser-guided.

For this airborne test, the integration of the guided-rocket (with inrared seeker, not Laser) did not foresee the installation of a new switch-ON button, but rather allocated the function to an already existing search light command (see the video at 4:36). Therefore you cannot have both the guided rocket and the search light installed at the same time. It would be bad to forget it while you’re flying.

switch to power-on the LCITS fire control system

switch to power-on the LCITS fire control system

Dear pilot, if you want to light up your target, don’t blaze it!

canard fins deploying after the rocket exits the launcher tube

canard fins deploying after the rocket exits the launcher tube

simple wiring connection in the helicopter

simple wiring connection in the helicopter

flight and guidance phases

flight and guidance phases

LCITS rocket configuration

LCITS rocket configuration

LCITS rocket integration schematics

via alert5.com

Jan 012017
 

Helicopters have always be designed and built for a mission. Bell Helicopters made it their motto (“One Bell. On a Mission”). The reason is obvious: their cost to buy and maintain have always limited purchases for recreational use. However, new designs such as the Ehang 184 or the Volocopter start changing the market into a more affordable pricing.

The most important change, though, might be one of the least noticed these days: Airbus Helicopters is being rebranded and will be called Airbus, just Airbus. Airbus Helicopters, formerly Eurocopter, is famous and acknowledged as the first civilian helicopter manufacturer in the world, designing and manufacturing reliable aircraft. Why, then, take the risk of losing the benefit of the history?

With the gigantic new market of autonomous drones, the technologies are becoming mature for new aircraft.

Airbus is taking the path of new airborne vehicles with rotary wings, and helicopters as we know them will only be a small part of it. It is all a matter of definition: while a helicopter has one main rotor and a tail rotor, or several main rotors, the use of push propellers or tilt rotors draws the designs closer to the limits of the definition. Furthermore, the use of fixed pitch propellers, in order to produce lift instead of propulsive thrust, confuses the difference between airplanes and helicopters.

Super Frelon rotor head

Super Frelon rotor head, variable pitch

DJI Phantom 2

DJI Phantom 2, fixed pitch rotors. Is it an airplane without wings and flying upward?

The diversity of missions that can be fulfilled by aircraft is overwhelming. Many companies around the entire world come with new ideas and answer problems that are not even existing yet: E-Volo, Zee.Aero, Joby Aviation, Ehang, Airbus Vahana, City Airbus…

All these new design will make the word “helicopter” obsolete. While the current “Sikorsky” configuration (main rotor and a tail rotor) will still be the best design for many missions, alternative solutions will emerge. Separable fuselage to load the cargo, modular engine pods, optionally piloted vehicles, variable number of engines, all these designs will only be limited by the imagination of engineers, for a safer, cleaner, and efficient future.

Urban mobility seen by Airbus (C) Airbus

Urban mobility seen by Airbus (C) Airbus

Sep 242016
 

Aiirsource published a video disclosing the ammunition loading by ground crews of the Apache AH64D helicopter.

Apache maintainers use dummy rounds to test the weapons systems on a Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopter. An ammunition handling check is done periodically to check the onboard weapons systems to include the 30mm M230 E1 chain gun, the AGM-114 Hellfire missile and the Hydra 70 rocket.

Apache AH-64D take-off

Apache AH-64D take-off

Apache AH-64D take-off

Apache AH-64D take-off

Apache AH-64D ready take-off

Apache AH-64D ready take-off

Apache AH-64D ready take-off

Apache AH-64D ready take-off

Apache AH-64D ready take-off

Apache AH-64D ready take-off

Apache AH-64D nose

Apache AH-64D nose

Apache AH-64D Target Acquisition and Designation Sights

Apache AH-64D Target Acquisition and Designation Sights

Apache AH-64D Target Acquisition and Designation Sights

Apache AH-64D Target Acquisition and Designation Sights

daylight TV camera

daylight TV camera

Apache AH-64D

Apache AH-64D

Apache AH-64D ammunition loading

Apache AH-64D ammunition loading

Apache AH-64D 30mm

Apache AH-64D 30mm

Apache AH-64D 30mm ammo feeder

Apache AH-64D 30mm ammo feeder

Apache AH-64D grip

Apache AH-64D grip

Apache AH-64D ammunition feeder belt

Apache AH-64D ammunition feeder belt

Apache AH-64D ammunition loading, feeding the container

Apache AH-64D ammunition loading, feeding the container

Apache AH-64D ammunition loading, feeding the container

Apache AH-64D ammunition loading, feeding the container

Hellfire seeker head

Hellfire seeker head

Apache AH-64D, Hellfire missile loading

Apache AH-64D, Hellfire missile loading

Hydra 70 rocket loading

Hydra 70 rocket loading

Hydra 70 rocket loading

Hydra 70 rocket loading

from Youtube, Aiirsource

Apr 262016
 
HB-ZXB Marenco Swisshelicopter 2nd prototype SKYe SH09, side view

Marenco Swisshelicopter released a video of the first flight of their second prototype HB-ZXB piloted by Richard Trueman, Chief Test Pilot, and assisted by Peter Wittwer as Flight-Test Engineer. The flight was performed on February 26th 2016 at Mollis airport in Switzerland.

HB-ZXB Marenco Swisshelicopter 2nd prototype SKYe SH09, side view

HB-ZXB Marenco Swisshelicopter 2nd prototype SKYe SH09, side view

Considering the reduced size of the vertical tail fin, we can assume that the aircraft will not use aerodynamic forces at high speed to counter the torque from the main rotor. Using aerodynamic forces would help reducing the use of the tail rotor, thus providing more power to the main rotor. However, this would need a bigger, thus heavier tail fin.

The single-engine helicopter is tailored for heavy duty in the mountains, not for high speed records.

The cockpit provides a great visibility of the surroundings, including below the aircraft, thanks to the transparent floor.

HB-ZXB Marenco Swisshelicopter 2nd prototype SKYe SH09, cockpit view

HB-ZXB Marenco Swisshelicopter 2nd prototype SKYe SH09, cockpit view

The differences between the two prototypes are very subtle on the photos. The first noticeable change is on the landing skid, where a strut was added at the back. Other changes have been made on the roof, between the rotor mast and the engine. The fire protection has been removed or, at least, reduced in size. Additionally, the structure strut beside has received a nice fairing. Also, the rotor mast is now equipped differently.

Marenco SKYe SH09 HB-ZXA first flight

Marenco SKYe SH09 HB-ZXA first flight (source)

Marenco SKYe SH09 HB-ZXB first flight 2nd prototype

Marenco SKYe SH09 HB-ZXB first flight 2nd prototype (source)

HB-ZXB Marenco Swisshelicopter 2nd prototype SKYe SH09, front view

HB-ZXB Marenco Swisshelicopter 2nd prototype SKYe SH09, front view

Apr 072016
 
VC200 Volocopter first manned flight

E-Volo performed their first flight in Bruchsal, Germany, 30th March 2016 with a pilot on board of their prototype of the Volocopter VC200 (callsign D-MYVC, also named “White Lady”).

The multirotor helicopter maintained a height of 20 to 25 meters above ground.

VC200 Volocopter first manned flight, from the ground

VC200 Volocopter first manned flight, from the ground

 

VC200 Volocopter first manned flight, cockpit view

VC200 Volocopter first manned flight, cockpit view

 

VC200 Volocopter first manned flight

VC200 Volocopter first manned flight

Nov 112015
 
EC635-Ingwe

EC635 for the Iraqi Army is equipped with the Ingwe missile from the South African company Denel.

Ingwe is an anti-tank air-to-ground missile. Its guidance system works following the laser beam rider principle.

The missile automatically determines its own position in the laser beam and manoeuvres onto the line of sight. The missile follows the line of sight until the target is hit. The warhead ensures effective target neutralisation

from http://www.deneldynamics.co.za/products/missiles/anti-armour-missiles/ingwe-

Sep 092015
 
AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (1)

Harbin Aircraft Z-19 E, export version by AVIC

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (2)

The aircraft is displayed with a wide range of armament: KD-9 air-to-ground missiles, 57 mm rockets, TY-90 air-to-air missiles, and a 23 mm machine gun pod. 90 mm rockets are displayed on the side. However, considering the heavy rocket launcher, it may not be possible for the Z-19E to fly with both the 90 mm rockets and the anti-tank missile launcher.

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (3)

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (4)

The rotor head is highly inspired from the Eurocopter Star Flex design, as seen for example on the Ecureuil and Dauphin.

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (5)

The rocket launcher is equipped with a protection to deviate the blast from the rocket motors.

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (6)

The picture below displays the fenestron as inherited from the Dauphin of the former french company Aérospatiale, now Airbus Helicopters. This design doesn’t feature the stator seen on the EC135. Furthermore, the angle between the blades remains constant, unlike the method commonly in use to reduce the perceived noise level.

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (7)

Left-hand side of the fenestron inherited from the Dauphin

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (8)

Right-hand side of the fenestron inherited from the Dauphin. NATO 0.156 is the reference of a lubricant oil

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (9)

The twin air-to-air missile would be TY-90, and the machine gun pod a 23 mm calibre.

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (10)

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (11)

The missile are believed to be KD-9 laser guided anti tank missiles, in the same class as the Hellfire.

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (12)

The Z-19E is equipped with the same weapon fixture as ATE installed on the Mi-24 Mk 3 Super Hind (seen here with Denel Ingwe missiles), and already installed on the WZ-10.

ATE Super Hind Mk 3 weapon fixture

ATE Super Hind Mk 3 weapon fixture

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (13)

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (14)

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (15)

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (16)

 

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (17)

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (18)

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (19)

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (20)

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (21)

Infrared formation position light

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (22)

Strobe light

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (23)

The IFF antenna displayed below is similar to that of the Z-20 (look-alike of the american Black Hawk) as explained on chinese-military-aviation.blogspot.com.

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (24)

IFF antenna

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (25)

Electro Optical Sight

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (26)

AVIC_Harbin_Aircraft_Z-19E_export (27)

Source: mil.huanqiu.com via defence-blog.com and en.people.cn

Jul 252015
 
H225 front

Part 4: to Yangon, Bangkok, Hanoi, attempting Macau

After landing, you refuel. It will not only be easier to start early the next day, but it will also lower the condensation in the fuel tank.

Refueling in Yangon

Refueling in Yangon

ready for take-off

ready for take-off

The aircraft is manned with 3 crew members: a pilot, co-pilot, and a flight engineer. The flight engineer is usually not necessary, but regarding the duration of the journey, his presence is comforting.

EC225, view of the cockpit

EC225, view of the cockpit

Nice landscape

Nice landscape

Landing by night in Da Nang

Landing by night in Da Nang

Filing the flight plan to Macau

Filing the flight plan to Macau

Top of clouds

Top of clouds

Unfortunately, the visa was not ready to permit the entrance into the Chinese airspace. The aircraft then had to fly back and spend the night in Macau…

Part 5: from Da Nang (Vietnam) to Macau (China)

Da Nang to Macau

Da Nang to Macau

The last leg, from Da Nang to Macau

The last leg, from Da Nang to Macau

final landing in Macau

final landing in Macau

so much smoke for this trip!

so much smoke for this trip!

More smoke on all the rear fuselage

More smoke on all the rear fuselage

removing the internal auxiliary fuel tank

removing the internal auxiliary fuel tank

H225, rear door open

H225, rear door open

clean-up before delivery

clean-up before delivery

delivery to COHC after the 7510 NM journey

delivery to COHC after the 7510 NM journey

After a 15-day journey covering a distance of 13908 km (7510 nautical miles) in a total flight time of 66 hours, this EC225, the fourth in a series of seven ordered in 2011, was delivered on time to its Chinese customer.