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

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

Jan 102014
 
helicopterlinks

Do you know helicopterlinks.com?

Helicopter Links’ homepage lists helicopter manufacturers worldwide, whose facilities are currently in-production, available for production, and includes several start-up and research companies.

Other information available on Helicopter Links include a section of helicopter trade shows, helicopter magazines, helicopter associations and organizations, helicopter museums, suppliers and services around the world. Continue reading »

Dec 302013
 

you will recognize:

http://www.blueskyrotor.com/performance/datasheet/Changhe__Aircraft/WZ_10-WZ_10-SAEC
http://www.blueskyrotor.com/performance/datasheet/Harbin__Aircraft/Haitun-Z_9-W
http://www.blueskyrotor.com/performance/datasheet/AviCopter/AC313-AC313

and some Mi-8/Mi-17

from http://sobchak.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/video-chinese-army-aviation-was-apocalypse-now-ha-fatto-scuola/

Dec 302013
 
NH90
Dec 032013
 
X3 cockpit, Eurocopter high speed prototype

This article refers to the great report by Ernie Stephens in Aviation Today

How to speed up when you’re in the X3? …easy: push the button!

X3 cockpit, Eurocopter high speed prototype

X3 cockpit, Eurocopter high speed prototype

Which one? On the picture above, there is only a thrust control lever. As Ernie explains:

In the X3, the TCL on the center console isn’t touched. Forward thrust is applied by thumbing a small, momentary-contact, hat switch mounted on the collective. Push it forward to increase the power, tap it backwards to decrease it. The TCL moves forward and back as the hat switch is actuated, but is only manipulated by hand as an emergency procedure if the hat switch fails.

The TCL, the handle located on the centre console, is actually not used during the flight. It is only here as a backup.

Thrust Control Lever, on the central control panel in the Eurocopter X3 cockpit

Thrust Control Lever, on the central control panel in the Eurocopter X3 cockpit

Now, look at the collective below and find the hat switch.

hat switch on the collective used to increase translational speed in the Eurocopter X3 prototype high speed helicopter

hat switch on the collective used to increase translational speed in the Eurocopter X3 prototype high speed helicopter

“Are you ready to go flying?” asked Jammayrac. “Yes, sir,” I replied. “All you have to do is push the throttle switch forward,” he instructed. “Don’t do anything else.” And that was when the X3 stopped being a helicopter and became a King Air!

Regardless of whether I “beeped” the throttle hat switch on the collective or held it forward, I could feel the power come in.

source:
http://www.aviationtoday.com/the-checklist/Pilot-Report-The-Exciting-Experimental-Exceptional&thinspX3_76928.html#.Up4dtsTuKT0

More photos:
http://www.blueskyrotor.com/performance/datasheet/Airbus__Helicopters/X3-X3