The latest combat aircraft from Airbus Helicopters flies in the german skies.
Following the version for special forces, the heavily armed helicopter is a proud little brother of the Tiger.
08th April 2017, Friedrichshafen
Friedrichshafen is home of the Zeppelin, on the side of the Constance lake. Every year, the AERO attracts its lot of light aircraft manufacturers and aviation passionates.
While many gliders, small airplanes, drones, and ultra lights were on display, we focused on the helicopters.
Helicopters have always be designed and built for a mission. Bell Helicopters made it their motto (“One Bell. On a Mission”). The reason is obvious: their cost to buy and maintain have always limited purchases for recreational use. However, new designs such as the Ehang 184 or the Volocopter start changing the market into a more affordable pricing.
The most important change, though, might be one of the least noticed these days: Airbus Helicopters is being rebranded and will be called Airbus, just Airbus. Airbus Helicopters, formerly Eurocopter, is famous and acknowledged as the first civilian helicopter manufacturer in the world, designing and manufacturing reliable aircraft. Why, then, take the risk of losing the benefit of the history?
With the gigantic new market of autonomous drones, the technologies are becoming mature for new aircraft.
Airbus is taking the path of new airborne vehicles with rotary wings, and helicopters as we know them will only be a small part of it. It is all a matter of definition: while a helicopter has one main rotor and a tail rotor, or several main rotors, the use of push propellers or tilt rotors draws the designs closer to the limits of the definition. Furthermore, the use of fixed pitch propellers, in order to produce lift instead of propulsive thrust, confuses the difference between airplanes and helicopters.
The diversity of missions that can be fulfilled by aircraft is overwhelming. Many companies around the entire world come with new ideas and answer problems that are not even existing yet: E-Volo, Zee.Aero, Joby Aviation, Ehang, Airbus Vahana, City Airbus…
All these new design will make the word “helicopter” obsolete. While the current “Sikorsky” configuration (main rotor and a tail rotor) will still be the best design for many missions, alternative solutions will emerge. Separable fuselage to load the cargo, modular engine pods, optionally piloted vehicles, variable number of engines, all these designs will only be limited by the imagination of engineers, for a safer, cleaner, and efficient future.
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.
The aircraft is displayed with a wide range of armament: KD-9 air-to-ground missiles, 57 mm rockets, TY-90 air-to-air missiles, and a 23 mm machine gun pod. 90 mm rockets are displayed on the side. However, considering the heavy rocket launcher, it may not be possible for the Z-19E to fly with both the 90 mm rockets and the anti-tank missile launcher.
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.
The French Army is proud of the NH90 TTH, used in operation in Africa and middle east.
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.
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.
Thanks to Mr Dinelli (SKT Helicopters) for the photos
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:
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.
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.
More photos available at airbushelicopters.com