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 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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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! 😉