Apr 252014
 
EC145 T2 cockpit

Airbus Helicopters certified its EC145 T2 recently. The new aircraft is based on the famous EC145 aka BK117 C2.

Both designations EC145 T2 and BK117 D2 refer to the same aircraft.

Enhancements incorporated in the T2 version of the 4-metric-ton category EC145 include new 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.

EC145 T2 cockpit

EC145 T2 cockpit with Helionix avionics system

EC145 T2 D-HADW during demo tour in Asia

EC145 T2 D-HADW during demo tour in Asia

More photos available at airbushelicopters.com

 

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

Dec 302013
 
NH90
Nov 232013
 
ZS-TDT, Ecureuil AS350

End of September 2013, beginning of spring time.

The day was rather grey, not providing much hope for a VFR weather. Shortly before my arrival at the airport, I was surprised to follow two trucks carrying wrecks. 2 Bo-105, easy to recognize, but not to identify. No clear markings were displayed, only the distinctive olive colour would let you imagine a previous life in the air force.

No clue where they came from, or what happened. Continue reading »

Oct 302013
 
Alouette II landing

Once every month, the South African Air Force museum in Zwartkop, Gauteng, flies its helicopters. This small air show is opened to the public, but only few people actually come. Unlike major crowded meetings, this makes the event very nice to attend.

What would you see there?

Helicopters, of course, and other aircraft, such as the Harvard. The helicopters are military, with the corresponding colour and markings. Consequently, it is not so easy to distinguish them from the landscape. Photographers would complain that the subject does not really stand out.

Alouette II landing on parking

Alouette II landing on parking in front of the South African Air Force museum, Swartkop, Gauteng

Alouette III after flight inspection with a pilot getting pretty

Alouette III after flight inspection with a pilot getting pretty

Alouette III in approach

Alouette III in approach

Alouette III in flight

Alouette III in flight

Alouette III on ground

Alouette III on ground

Alouette III landing

Alouette III landing

Alouette III landing on taxiway

Alouette III landing on taxiway

Alouette III landing

Alouette III landing

Alouette III landing on taxi

Alouette III landing on taxi

Alouette III parking

Alouette III parking

Alouette III parking

Alouette III parking

Alouette III parking and taxi

Alouette III parking and taxi

Red Alouette III passing by

Red Alouette III passing by

Red Alouette III approaching

Red Alouette III approaching

Alouette III parked on the shadow

Alouette III parked on the shadow

Alouette III showing off

Alouette III showing off

Atlas C4M Kudu ZU-CWZ

Atlas C4M Kudu ZU-CWZ

Harvard on low pass

Harvard on low pass

2 Harvard in formation

2 Harvard in formation

3 Harvard in formation

3 Harvard in formation

Harvard formation approach

Harvard formation approach

Harvard on parking

Harvard on parking

Harvard taxiing

Harvard taxiing

Harvard tour

Harvard tour

Sunglasses reflection

Sunglasses reflection

Zwartkop South African Air Force Base, Alouette II and Alouette III

Zwartkop South African Air Force Base, Alouette II and Alouette III

Sep 222013
 
EC130 mercy helicopter at FAGC airport, Gauteng province, South Africa

Today was a cold spring day at Grand Central airport, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Strong crosswinds let only a few helicopters take-off.

 

Bell 407 and R44 at FAGC airport, Gauteng province, South Africa

Bell 407 and R44 at FAGC airport, Gauteng province, South Africa

Bell 407 at FAGC airport, Gauteng province, South Africa

Bell 407 at FAGC airport, Gauteng province, South Africa

EC130 mercy helicopter at FAGC airport, Gauteng province, South Africa

EC130 mercy helicopter at FAGC airport, Gauteng province, South Africa

EC130 mercy helicopter at FAGC airport, Gauteng province, South Africa

EC130 mercy helicopter at FAGC airport, Gauteng province, South Africa

R44 at FAGC airport, Gauteng province, South Africa

R44 at FAGC airport, Gauteng province, South Africa

R44 at FAGC airport, Gauteng province, South Africa

R44 at FAGC airport, Gauteng province, South Africa

Bell 407 and R44 at FAGC airport, Gauteng province, South Africa

Bell 407 and R44 at FAGC airport, Gauteng province, South Africa

Jun 262013
 
Project Zero in flight, by AgustaWestland

AgustaWestland released a picture of the Project Zero prototype. Only unmanned hover flight has been tested yet, with the rotors in horizontal position.

Source: http://ow.ly/i/2saia

Project Zero in flight, by AgustaWestland

Project Zero in hover, (C) AgustaWestland

It is so easy to ask! AgustaWestland was kind enough to answer.