The latest combat aircraft from Airbus Helicopters flies in the german skies.
Following the version for special forces, the heavily armed helicopter is a proud little brother of the Tiger.
08th April 2017, Friedrichshafen
Friedrichshafen is home of the Zeppelin, on the side of the Constance lake. Every year, the AERO attracts its lot of light aircraft manufacturers and aviation passionates.
While many gliders, small airplanes, drones, and ultra lights were on display, we focused on the helicopters.
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.
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.
July 07th, 2015. Airbus Helicopters presents its brand new prototype of a modified H135, featuring extremely low noise in flight. A reduction of no less than 10 EPNdB (perceived noise), corresponding to a reduction by 90 percent of the noise of a standard H135 helicopter. (More information on icao.int, wikipedia.org/EPNdB, or wikipedia.org/Loudness. To refresh your logarithmic knowledge on the dB, check this.)
The aircraft displays an unusual shape to those familiar with the product family: T-tail horizontal stabilizer, new rotor blades…
November 2014 –
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.
Every year and a few steps away from the lake of Constance, southern Germany, the airport of Friedrichshafen hosts the AERO trade fair, gathering many manufacturers from the light general aviation.
Ultra Lights and gliders, small and light aircraft, gyrocopters and helicopters, navigation systems and digital maps, everybody had something to keep himself busy.
Of course, I headed for the helicopters. The exhibition is mostly European. Robinson was not present, as well as bigger manufacturers like AgustaWestland or Airbus Helicopters.
e-volo is a young German company aiming for an electric “multicopter”. The Volocopter is a dream to every young engineer: the elegant concept featuring 18 electric motors (55 to 90 kW) proved its feasibility with an indoor unmanned flight last year (November 2013), and outdoor “real” flights are expected with excitement.
The aircraft will be certified as Ultra Light with a gross weight of 450 kg and 2 persons side by side.
Cruise speed would be at least 100 km/h, longer than 1 hour and higher than 6500 ft.
The two-seater is worldwide famous, but not yet big enough to seriously compete against the almighty Robinson. The Cabri is now fitted with a cargo hoist up to 220 kg and models produced after S/N 008 can be easily retrofitted.
SAGITA Helicopters is a Belgian company created in 2008, working on a new helicopter design based on a Ljungström turbine. The bulky hull covers a centrifugal turbine, that powers both of the rotor plates. The 2 pairs of blades are contra-rotating coaxial rotors. According to the brochure, the transmission system requires no lubrication or cooling!
The air intake is located at the rear of the fuselage and the exhaust is a thin gap between the hemispheres of the rotor head.
Despite succesful flight tests of a 1/5 scale model and wind tunnel experiments, the full scale prototype is expected to make its maiden flight only next year.
DYNALI is another Belgian helicopter manufacturer. The first model, the H2, was under powered and got replaced by the H2S, powered by a Subaru engine. The H3 was on display.
The H3 is available as a kit for 100 000 EUR or ready to fly for 110 000 EUR. The H2S is more performing and comes with a slightly higher price of 125 000 EUR ready for flight.
With a gross weight of 450 kg, the H3 qualifies as a Class 6 ULM in France.
Unfortunately, the staff was not available to talk about the aircraft. Nevertheless, the brochure is very detailed and plenty of information.
The two-seater is powered either with a Thunderbird 130 shp or with a Lycoming O-320 B2C (four cylinders and 160 shp) and qualifies as a French ULM with a gross weight of 450 kg.
Yet another Italian helicopter manufacturer! Unfortunately, they were already packing and there was nobody to discuss with.
Konner is an Italian helicopter manufacturer producing its own Diesel turbo engines. The TK250 produces 250 shp at 2300 rpm.
The warm welcome with big slices of prosciutto was noteworthy.
The aircraft seems to come in any colour you could imagine, inside as well as outside. It can be powered with aviation fuel (kerozene, JP-4…) as well as diesel. Example was taken from a customer in Micronesia using the helicopter as help for fishing. The aircraft is provided with the same fuel as the ship: diesel.
This German company started the development of the HPC450, a small helicopter. The model has never flown yet, but the display looked promising and we could expect a maiden flight soon.
Beside the manufacturers, another company displayed its airborne sensors. The Bo105 fuselage might have been there for demonstration purpose only; I wouldn’t know where the pilot would seat otherwise 🙂
Should we call it X3e, like all the current new models at Eurocopter? Or X3i? Or X3+? Or X3²?
Yesterday, Eurocopter presented a new concept, a helicopter where the pilot is only an option. The EC145 c/n 9001 is the usual research aircraft of the company, known recently for the “Blue Pulse” program, intended to reduce the rotor noise.
However, not only the new drone was presented. A small surprise was displayed at the end of the movie. You thought the X3 was there only by chance? Of course not!
The Istres Air Base is the most suitable flight testing area in France. All previous test flights of X3 were made there and even the main runway was adapted to land the American space shuttles.
A closer look onto the prototype makes it clear: the rotor head and the top of the airframe have been modified.
Yes, the aircraft is being prepared for very high speeds. Eurocopter’s X3 is becoming a fierce competitor to Sikorsky’s X2. Mr Bertling is preparing to leave his seat as a CEO to Mr Faury next week and this challenge is indeed a great gift: the company displays its innovative skills.
Do you remember the DGV, Dauphin Grande Vitesse, which became once the fastest helicopter with 372 km/h in 1991? The aircraft never forgot its appetite for the records. In fact, some parts of the Dauphin DGV were removed and the helicopter was modified to build the X3.
Now, for the pleasure of your eyes, enjoy these pictures from the movie.