Helicopters - July 2017

On The Fly

2017-07-09 23:31:58

Airbus Helicopters Racing to the Future Airbus Helicopters grabbed headlines at the 2017 Paris Air Show when it unveiled a sleek new, aerodynamic configuration of the high speed demonstrator it is developing as part of its Clean Sky 2 European research program. The new helicopter, codenamed the Racer (which stands for rapid and cost-effective rotorcraft), will have a top cruise speed of more than 400 km/h, making it ideal for a number of missions where speed is of the essence – a costeffective, efficient option for operators in a variety of markets including business aviation, commercial air transport, public services, search and rescue (SAR), and medevac. The final assembly of the Racer is expected to start in 2019 with a first flight in 2020. “Today we unveil a bold vision for the future of highspeed rotorcraft,” noted Guillaume Faury, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “This new project, pulling together the skill and know-how of dozens of European partners through the Clean Sky initiative, aims to bring increased speed and range at the right cost, thanks to a simple, safe and proven aerodynamic formula. It will pave the way for new timesensitive services for 2030 and beyond, setting new benchmarks for high-speed helicopter transportation.” Airbus design engineers are equipping the Racer with a special “box-wing” design that will provide lift in cruise mode while isolating passengers during ground operations from the “pusher” lateral rotors designed to generate thrust in forward flight. The Racer will be powered by RTM322 engines. It will also sport a hybrid metalliccomposite airframe combining low weight with cost efficiency. The conceptual design of the Racer is patterned after Airbus’ sleek X3 helicopter, which achieved a speed of 255 knots (472 km/h) on June 7, 2013. The Racer’s design includes a combination of a traditional main rotor and innovative lateral rotors to give it an efficient, aerodynamic signature. GRIFFON REPLACEMENT NOT IN THE CARDS A number of helicopter OEMs descended upon CANSEC 2017 May- 31-June 2 with the hopes of getting some good news about the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CH-146 Griffon program. The versatile, aging Griffon is still chugging along, and according to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, it will be a while before a replacement for the Griffon program is announced. Instead, the Liberals are embarking on a “life extension” program for the aircraft, which will see it get some much-needed upgrades. (For more, see “Heads of the Class,” pg. 25.) Both Airbus Helicopters with its H145M and Leonardo Helicopters with its AW family of helicopters have a variety of hardware that could replace the Griffon, but it remains to be seen when and if the RCAF will commence a procurement to replace the Griffon. Canadians Get New 505 Jet Ranger Xs Bell Helicopter had quite the week in mid-June as three undisclosed Canadian customers picked up their new 505 Jet Ranger Xs. The 505 short-light single is built at the Bell facility in Mirabel, Que. and is one of the key jewels in the Bell Helicopter family. The fiveseat short light single has a useful payload of 1,500 pounds and a cruise speed of 125 knots. “It has been a particularly significant week for Bell Helicopter as three Bell 505 built in Canada take flight with these first Canadian customers,” Cynthia Garneau, president, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd said. “The Bell 505 symbolizes our return to the short-light-single market, a segment that Bell Helicopter defined 50 years ago. For Bell Helicopter, our employees and our customer base, there’s a lot to be excited about with this aircraft.” The 505 deliveries follow the type certification from Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) in December and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification in June. Helijet’s Sitnam Honoured at CAHF dinner Vancouver International Airport (YVR) hosted the 44th annual Canada’s Aviation Hall Of Fame Dinner June 15 and it was a veritable who’s who of the Canadian aviation and aerospace industry. Some 500 people filled the area between Gates 260 and 298 for the opportunity to meet and applaud this year’s inductees into Canada’s Aviation Hall Of Fame – Errol Boyd, Robert Deluce, Danny Sitnam, and Rogers Smith. The Belt of Orion Award for Excellence was also accepted by Lt. Col (ret) Fern Villeneuve on behalf of the RCAF Golden Hawks aerobatic team. Just after dinner, a special video tribute highlighted some of the many accomplishments of this year’s award nominees: • Daniel Sitnam, founder of Helijet Airways and Pacific Heliport Services. In 1986 Daniel established Helijet with one helicopter and 14 employees. Today, Helijet is the world’s largest scheduled helicopter airline, serving southwestern B.C. and Vancouver Island and has flown more than 2.2 million passengers. • James Erroll Boyd James went overseas with the Canadian Army in the First World War, but was able to transfer to the Royal Naval Air Service. He was initially tasked with intercepting Zepplins over southeast England, he was eventually posted to France. Shot down, he landed in neutral Holland where he was interred for the duration of the war. After the war, he pursued several non-flying paths, before becoming the first Canadian to fly the Atlantic in 1930. He flew for Pan American during the 1930s and then after war broke out in Europe, he recruited American pilots to come to Canada before America entered the war. • Porter Airlines president and CEO Robert Deluce. An active pilot, he has held management positions at a number of airlines White River Air Service, norOntair, Austin Airways, Air Creebec, Air Manitoba, Canada 3000 and currently, Porter Airlines which has grown since its inception in 2006 to become a major commercial carrier in Central and Eastern Canada and down into the U.S. Robert joins his father Stanley Deluce who was inducted into the CAHG in 2007. • Rogers Eben Smith first flew with the RCAF before moving to the National Research Council as a test pilot. From there, he moved to NASA where he flew many aircraft, including the SR-71 Blackbird, while concurrently flying F-16s with the US Air National Guard. • The Belt Of Orion Award for Excellence was awarded to the RCAF Golden Hawks, the team that set the bar for all those who have followed.

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