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.
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, variable pitch
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.
October 2nd, 2014: the SKYe SH09 took off for the first time.
Marenco SwissHelicopter then released another video on their Facebook feed, providing additional views of their aircraft. They obviously did the best to improve the outside visibility of the piloting crew.
Transparent floor of the SKYe SH09
Left side of HB-ZXA, engine compartment open, of the Marenco SwissHelicopter SKYe SH09
Rear side of HB-ZXA, engine compartment open, of the Marenco SwissHelicopter SKYe SH09
Marenco SwissHelicopter SKYe SH09 in the swiss Alps
Airbus Helicopters, Bell Helicopters, Turkish Aerospace, Russian Helicopters… The 2015 edition of the Paris Air Show was far from being dedicated to the sole helicopters, but several manufacturers were there on the display.
Don’t get the wrong idea, Paris Air Show is mostly for planes
The French Army is proud of the NH90 TTH, used in operation in Africa and middle east.
All pictures are extract from the movies, copyright Airbus Helicopters
Part 1: From Marignane to Greece and Crete
Marignane-Iraklion, EC225 Airbus Helicopters
They took off November 6th in the early morning, LFML (Marseille, France), good weather. Cruise ground speed: 166 kt, slightly more than 300 km/h.
In this part, you will enjoy views of the Mediterranean coast, how you prepare the mooring of the aircraft for the night, and what internal auxiliary fuel tanks look like.
When you buy a helicopter, you can generally have 3 possibilities to get it delivered:
by plane, usually an Antonov 124, which is quick and the helicopter arrives almost ready to fly, but expensive
by ship, much cheaper than by plane, but very long
by conveying, where the helicopter flies from the manufacturing plant in Marignane to the location of the customer
Part 2: From Crete to Oman
Landing in Riyadh, EC225 by night
After-flight inspection by night, EC225
Via Egypt and Saudi Arabia, you will discover the maritime arabian oil fields, how to park in a tight spot, and the importance of the last inspection of the aircraft at the end of the day.
Part 3: From Oman to India
When your aircraft spends the night alone without any surveillance, you want to make sure that nobody entered your aircraft.
With the weather radar in search mode, you will see not only the coast, but also ships and other obstacles.
Muscat to Ahmedabad
radar in search mode, EC225
Ahmedabad to Kolkata
EC225 after 7 hours flight
After the flight, you need to refuel, organize the electric power generator for the night, check in at the customs, find your hotel!
here comes the power generator – India is exotic! 😉
After delivery in September this year, the German rescue company ADAC proceeded with their first rescue winch operations training on the EC145 T2. The training took place in the Alps, southern Bavaria. Several teams enjoyed the large cabin suitable for 10 crew members with their full rescue gear. The aircraft is equipped with a folding rescue winch over the cabin side door.
All ADAC helicopters come with a yellow livery and the callsign “Christoph”. They are famous throughout all Germany, and air traffic controllers do their best to provide them with the fastest and safest flight routes.Continue reading »
The museum actually covers only the italian side of the company, founded by Giovanni Agusta and directed by the Agusta family since the beginning of the 20th century. While visiting the museum, you would discover that the Agusta family did not build only aircraft, but also motorbikes. Nevertheless, most of the museum displays real helicopters, models and various parts (vertical stabilizer of an AB609, main gear box of an AW101…). Agusta built original helicopters as well as types under license, mostly from Bell.
If you have the opportunity, go and have a look, it is worth your time.
Helicopter Links’ homepage lists helicopter manufacturers worldwide, whose facilities are currently in-production, available for production, and includes several start-up and research companies.
Other information available on Helicopter Links include a section of helicopter trade shows, helicopter magazines, helicopter associations and organizations, helicopter museums, suppliers and services around the world.Continue reading »