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… Continue reading »

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:

Jun 192015
 

Airbus Helicopters, Bell Helicopters, Turkish Aerospace, Russian Helicopters… The 2015 edition of the Paris Air Show was far from being dedicated to the sole helicopters, but several manufacturers were there on the display.

Paris Air Show: mostly planes

Don’t get the wrong idea, Paris Air Show is mostly for planes

The French Army is proud of the NH90 TTH, used in operation in Africa and middle east.

NH90 TTH, French Army (ALAT)

NH90 TTH, French Army (ALAT)

Continue reading »

Jun 172015
 
Maiden flight of the Airbus Helicopters H160 (copyright Max Moutoussamy)
Maiden flight of the Airbus Helicopters H160 (copyright Max Moutoussamy)

Maiden flight of the Airbus Helicopters H160, copyright 2015 M. Moutoussamy

Stable, extremely easy, barely any vibrations, smooth like a flying carpet. The first words of the pilot after the landing are very optimistic and encouraging.

The model H160 by Airbus Helicopters, previously called prototype X4, made its maiden flight on Saturday 13th, June, at the main plant in Marignane, southern France. With 24°C and 5 kt of wind, the weather was rather nice.

With the introduction of many new technologies, everyone tries to hunt for the hints, and we will give it a try as well.

First, unusual control surfaces appeared, such as a rudder on the tail fin. The rudder can be seen on the photo in forward flight below:

H160 PT1 in forward flight, copyright T. Rostang for Airbus Helicopters, 2015

H160 PT1 in forward flight, copyright T. Rostang for Airbus Helicopters, 2015

However, what appears to be a separate piece on the lower part of the horizontal stabilator is fixed (B. Fujarski in “4 Rotors”, issue of Summer 2015). We can assume that it allows to use more power for the main rotor in fast forward flight, while the anti-torque is ensured by the huge tail fin instead of the fenestron.

With 6 metric tons MTOW, the H160 is slightly heavier than the H155 (4,5 t) and completes the product range, closing the gap under the H175.

The helicopter is powered with 2 Arrano 1A, newly developped by the company Turbomeca. However, it seems that the gear box stays the same as for the H155. The rotor blades are, of course, brand new. They were introduced by Eurocopter with the programme “Blue Edge” during the year 2010.

These rotor blades were later observed on a modified H135 in Germany.

D-HEEX, H135 silent prototype

D-HEEX, H135 silent prototype (copyright Marc Ulm)

Another curious feature is located on the top of the tail, in front of the strobe light.

H160, sensor on the top of the tail fin

H160, sensor on the top of the tail fin, copyright Airbus Helicopters

Finally, the canted fenestron will provide better support for a correct weight and balance, compensating the heavy tail that might be pushing the center of gravity to the rear.

The video below displays the second test flight, where the speed of 130 kt was reached.

Let’s wait now for more flights and even greater speeds!

H160 PT1 in front of Aix-en-Provence and the Sainte Victoire mountain, copyright  T. Rostang for Airbus Helicopters

H160 PT1 in front of Aix-en-Provence and the Sainte Victoire mountain, copyright T. Rostang for Airbus Helicopters

H160 PT1 on parking, copyright Airbus Helicopters

H160 PT1 power on, copyright Airbus Helicopters

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!

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. Continue reading »

Sep 182014
 

AgustaWestland has a museum accessible to the public in Cascina Costa close to Milan, Italy. The facility is only one of the numerous Italian locations as in Naples, Rome or Brindisi.

The museum actually covers only the italian side of the company, founded by Giovanni Agusta and directed by the Agusta family since the beginning of the 20th century. While visiting the museum, you would discover that the Agusta family did not build only aircraft, but also motorbikes. Nevertheless, most of the museum displays real helicopters, models and various parts (vertical stabilizer of an AB609, main gear box of an AW101…). Agusta built original helicopters as well as types under license, mostly from Bell.

If you have the opportunity, go and have a look, it is worth your time.

More information: www.museoagusta.it

A103

Agusta A103, powered by an Agusta MV-GA70 piston engine of 85 shp

Continue reading »