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

Jan 022017
 
LCITS SuperCobra AH-1W

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.

switch to power-on the LCITS fire control system

switch to power-on the LCITS fire control system

Dear pilot, if you want to light up your target, don’t blaze it!

canard fins deploying after the rocket exits the launcher tube

canard fins deploying after the rocket exits the launcher tube

simple wiring connection in the helicopter

simple wiring connection in the helicopter

flight and guidance phases

flight and guidance phases

LCITS rocket configuration

LCITS rocket configuration

LCITS rocket integration schematics

via alert5.com

Apr 262016
 
HB-ZXB Marenco Swisshelicopter 2nd prototype SKYe SH09, side view

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

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.

HB-ZXB Marenco Swisshelicopter 2nd prototype SKYe SH09, cockpit view

HB-ZXB Marenco Swisshelicopter 2nd prototype SKYe SH09, cockpit view

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.

Marenco SKYe SH09 HB-ZXA first flight

Marenco SKYe SH09 HB-ZXA first flight (source)

Marenco SKYe SH09 HB-ZXB first flight 2nd prototype

Marenco SKYe SH09 HB-ZXB first flight 2nd prototype (source)

HB-ZXB Marenco Swisshelicopter 2nd prototype SKYe SH09, front view

HB-ZXB Marenco Swisshelicopter 2nd prototype SKYe SH09, front view

Nov 112015
 
EC635-Ingwe

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

from http://www.deneldynamics.co.za/products/missiles/anti-armour-missiles/ingwe-

Jun 282015
 
Marenco SwissHelicopter SKYe SH09 in the swiss Alps

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

Transparent floor of the SKYe SH09

Left side of HB-ZXA, engine compartment open, of the Marenco SwissHelicopter 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

Rear side of HB-ZXA, engine compartment open, of the Marenco SwissHelicopter SKYe SH09

Marenco SwissHelicopter SKYe SH09 in the  swiss Alps

Marenco SwissHelicopter SKYe SH09 in the swiss Alps

And a first video of the first flight:

Apr 242015
 
Taking off for the long journey

End of 2013, Airbus Helicopters delivered a H225 (formerly EC225) to the Chinese company COHC. The following movies tell the adventure.

Temporarily designated F-WWOA, later B-7151, the french helicopter was conveyed to China by Jean-Charles (pilot), Gérard (pilot) and Marc (mechanic) via Greece, Oman and India.

Spoiler: the flight ends well. At 11:00 a.m. on November 20, an EC225 LP helicopter of China’s CITIC Offshore Helicopter Company (COHC), registration number B-7151, arrived at Shenzhen Nantou Helicopter Airport from Macau, which is the 3rd EC225 introduced by COHC this year.

All pictures are extract from the movies, copyright Airbus Helicopters

Part 1: From Marignane to Greece and Crete

Marignane-Iraklion-EC225-Airbus

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

Landing in Riyadh, EC225 by night

After-flight inspection by night, EC225

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

Muscat to Ahmedabad

radar in search mode, EC225

radar in search mode, EC225

Ahmedabad to Kolkata

Ahmedabad to Kolkata

EC225 after 7 hours flight

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 is the power generator - India is exotic! ;)

here comes the power generator – India is exotic! 😉

preparing for take-off in Kolkata

preparing for take-off in Kolkata

Next in Burma!

May 032014
 

Italy is definitely a welcoming environment for helicopters: beside AgustaWestland, many small companies emerged lately: Alpi Aviation, Italian Rotors Industries, Konner, Fama…
Today, we discover SKT Helicopters, located in Switzerland, close to the Italian border in Milano.

Small flights

SKT Skyrider 06 in workshop

SKT Skyrider 06 in workshop

welcome at SKT Helicopters, Switzerland

welcome!

SKT Skyrider 06 cockpit

SKT Skyrider 06 cockpit

SKT Skyrider 06 hovering

SKT Skyrider 06 hovering

SKT Skyrider 06

SKT Skyrider 06

Thanks to Mr Dinelli (SKT Helicopters) for the photos

For fun: on a truck

Little bit higher

First steps

Production facility

SKT Helicopters, Skyrider 06

SKT Helicopters, Skyrider 06

May 012014
 
MD530G

MD530G is based on the MD530F platform with few modifications in order to convert it into a gunship.

High capacity landing gear allowing an additional 400 lbs of the 3750 lbs maximun take off gross weight

Integration of the ER2W (Extended Range Weapons Wing) with 4 weapon stations for:

The cocpkit is equipped with the Garmin 500H and a multi function display

Behind the seats is installed the MOOG store management system for both inner and outer weapon stations, composed of 3 separate components, providing the weapons situation and the situational awareness to the crew:

    • store management computer
    • rocket interface unit
    • stores interface unit

The L3 Wescam MX10 provides EO (Electro Optics) and IR (Infra Red) sensors to the multi function display in the cockpit, and the laser guidance for the guided rockets.

 

MD530G

MD530G