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

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

Jul 082015
 
Bluecopter, preparing the flight

Bluecopter_19

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.intwikipedia.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…

The blades are already known from the H160 and the Bluecopter Dauphin. They result from a research programs in cooperation with the french ONERA and the german DLR. The tail rotor blades are shaped as waves and result in a barely noticeable noise in flight. Only the Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 PLUS turbine is left with what seems to be a normal installation. Now, the noise emission of the engines feels very loud compared to the dramatic improvement of the blades!

During cruise flight, Airbus claims to shut off one engine, reducing the consumption and the carbon dioxyde emissions. Of course, safety measures may ensure rapid power-up in case of need, if not urgency.

With this display, Airbus Helicopters sets a new standard of low noise emissions for the helicopter industry.

Bluecopter between the green grass and the blue sky

Bluecopter between the green grass and the blue sky

The green and blue paint has obviously been inspired by the Bavarian country. While awaiting for the flight show, blue skies and green grass were present. With QNH 1013 and more than 30°C at 1300 ft terrain altitude, ISA+15°C was easily demonstrated.

The aircraft is actually not brand new. The structure is the first prototype (S001) of the EC135 T, which first flew in 1994. The fuselage can be noticed on this early photo.

die grüne Hexe, the green witch

die grüne Hexe, the green witch

Maybe you will have noticed the small drawing on the pilot door: what is this cartoon? The green witch, die grüne Hexe in German, was probably inspired by the callsign D-HEEX. Does it go further and compare to the Greenwich meridian? Does she want to set a new reference?

Looking carefully at the vertical tail fin, you will notice a rudder. Is it the same tail fin rudder as the H160?

Bluecopter, preparing the flight

Bluecopter, preparing the flight

The particular shape of the clam shell doors are designed to reduced drag

The particular shape of the clam shell doors, designed to reduced drag

the tip of a blade

the tip of a blade

Air intake of the Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 PLUS

Air intake of the Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 PLUS

The T-shaped tail of the Blucopter by Airbus Helicopters

The T-tail horizontal stabilizer of the Bluecopter, made by Airbus Helicopters

Bluecopter from behind the Fenestron

Bluecopter from behind the Fenestron

Preparing the show

Preparing the show

Bluecopter_4

Bluecopter_3

Preparing the flight

Preparing the flight

Bluecopter, preparing the flight

Bluecopter, preparing the flight

Enroute

Enroute

Bluecopter_20

Bluecopter fenestron

Bluecopter fenestron

Bluecopter_16

Bluecopter_19

Landing

Landing

Bavarian green sky and blue grass

Bavarian green sky and blue grass

Presentation video by Airbus Helicopters:

Dec 222014
 
EC145 T2 ADAC rescue helicopters in flight, in the cabin

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.

EC145 T2 is a major evolution from the EC145. The EC145 belongs to the BK117 family. The other technical designation is BK117 D2.

Enhancements incorporated in the T2 version of the 4-metric-ton category EC145 include new dual-FADEC Arriel 2E engines and the company’s signature Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor, along with upgraded main and new tail rotor gear boxes, and an advanced cockpit that uses Airbus Helicopter’s innovative Helionix® digital avionics suite with 4-axis autopilot.

The first EC145 T2 was delivered to another German rescue company, DRF Luftrettung, in July 2014.

More photos are available on airbushelicopters.com

EC145 T2 ADAC loading rescue crew on the hill

EC145 T2 ADAC loading rescue crew on the hill

EC145 T2 rescue winch, seen from the hook

EC145 T2 rescue winch, seen from the hook

EC145 T2 ADAC loading rescue crew members (D-HYAC)

EC145 T2 ADAC loading rescue crew members (D-HYAC)

EC145 T2 ADAC rescue helicopters in flight, in the cabin

EC145 T2 ADAC rescue helicopters in flight, in the cabin

EC145 T2 ADAC loading rescue crew on the hill

EC145 T2 ADAC loading rescue crew on the hill

EC145 T2 ADAC loading rescue crew on the hill

EC145 T2 ADAC loading rescue crew on the hill

EC145 T2 delivery to ADAC (Germany)

EC145 T2 delivery to ADAC (Germany)

Apr 142014
 

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

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.

e-volo VC200

e-volo VC200

e-volo VC200

e-volo VC200

GUIMBAL

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.

GUIMBAL Cabri with 220kg hoist

GUIMBAL Cabri with 220kg hoist

GUIMBAL Cabri cockpit

GUIMBAL Cabri cockpit

SAGITA Helicopters

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.

SAGITA helicopter mock up

SAGITA helicopter mock up 

SAGITA helicopter mock up from behind

SAGITA helicopter mock up from behind

Ljungström turbine from Wikipedia

Ljungström turbine from Wikipedia

DYNALI Helicopter Company

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.

DYNALI H3 with an open canopy

DYNALI H3 with an open canopy

ITALIAN ROTORS Industries

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.

IRI T-Line

IRI T-Line

IRI T-Line from behind

IRI T-Line from behind

IRI T-Line, cockpit interior

IRI T-Line, cockpit interior

IRI T-Line dashboard

IRI T-Line dashboard

ALPI AVIATION

Yet another Italian helicopter manufacturer! Unfortunately, they were already packing and there was nobody to discuss with.

Syton AH130

Syton AH130

Syton AH130 dashboard

Syton AH130 dashboard

Syton AH130, detail of the tail rotor

Syton AH130, detail of the tail rotor

KONNER Helicopters

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.

KONNER K1

KONNER K1

KONNER K1 cockpit

KONNER K1 cockpit

Konner K1, detail of the joystick

Konner K1, detail of the joystick

KONNER K1, detail of the tail rotor

KONNER K1, detail of the tail rotor

KONNER K1

KONNER K1

HELIPARK GmbH

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.

HELIPARK HPC450

HELIPARK HPC450

HELIPARK HPC450 engine

HELIPARK HPC450 engine

HELIPARK HPC450, detail of the tail rotor

HELIPARK HPC450, detail of the tail rotor

HELIPARK HPC450, detail of the flight controls

HELIPARK HPC450, detail of the flight controls

HELIPARK HPC450 from behind

HELIPARK HPC450 from behind

 

AIRBORNE Technologies

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 🙂

Airborne Technologies Bo105 Mockup

Airborne Technologies Bo105 Mockup

Airborne Technologies Bo105 Mockup, operator console

Airborne Technologies Bo105 Mockup, operator console

Apr 262013
 
X3 seen from behind, optimised for high speed

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.

EC145 OPV Istres, France, Eurocopter

EC145 OPV F-ZWAM, Istres, France, Eurocopter

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.

X3 seen from behind, optimised for high speed

X3 seen from behind, optimised for high speed

 

X3 seen from behind, Paris Air Show 2011

X3 seen from behind, Paris Air Show 2011

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.

X3 and EC145 OPV on ground -"the best is yet to come"

X3 and EC145 OPV on ground -“the best is yet to come”

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.

Aerospatiale Dauphin DGV, speed record breaker in 1991

Aerospatiale Dauphin DGV, speed record breaker in 1991

Now, for the pleasure of your eyes, enjoy these pictures from the movie.

EC145 OPV during accuracy freight landing

EC145 OPV during accuracy freight landing

EC145 cockpit, Optionnally Piloted Vehicle

EC145 cockpit, Optionnally Piloted Vehicle

EC145 OPV during freight flight

EC145 OPV during freight flight

EC145 OPV and X3 in Istres

EC145 OPV and X3 in Istres