HAI Heli-Expo 2022

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PRESS RELEASE – Dallas, TX (March 9, 2022)

Safran Helicopter Engines and Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today a collaboration initiative to explore technical performance and economic impacts of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on the Arrius 2R-powered Bell 505.

A single, dedicated Bell 505 aircraft will conduct flights solely with the use of blended SAF. Both Bell and Safran Helicopter Engines will evaluate engine and aircraft performance data to better assess the collateral benefits associated with the incorporation of SAF, a significant tool being used to reach industry carbon reduction objectives.

Bruno Bellanger, executive vice president, Programs, Safran Helicopter Engines said: “We strongly believe in SAF, as it contributes to significantly reduce CO2 emissions. As all our helicopter engines, the Arrius 2R, is already certified to operate on up to 50% SAF, and we are fully ready to assist all Bell 505 operators worldwide in their transition from conventional fossil fuels to SAF”.

“Bell has championed the usage of SAF as one of our many critical efforts in achieving carbon emission reductions in our rotorcraft operations,” said Doug May, vice president of Customer Experience. “We look forward to working with Safran Helicopter Engines to gain a comprehensive understanding of SAF incorporation that will inform future aircraft technology and operations and ultimately support greener aviation practices.”

With all its engine range already certified to operate on up to 50% SAF, Safran objective is to certify in the coming years the use of 100% SAF, which can potentially result in carbon lifecycle emissions reductions by up to 80%. In 2021, Safran conducted ground test campaign for a Makila 2 running on 100% SAF, and followed this with successful flight tests.

Safran Helicopter Engines is strongly committed to reducing carbon emissions at its sites worldwide by incorporating SAF at all its test benches. Since last June, the manufacturer has been using it at every site in France, initially at a level of 10% of total aviation fuel usage, with a target of 50% by 2025. It has also recently deployed SAF to its UK facility at Fareham.

PRESS RELEASE – Dallas, 10 March 2022

The Swiss Air-Rescue Service Rega has ordered nine five-bladed Airbus H145s to replace its current four-bladed versions. Rega’s new H145s will come equipped with a state-of-the-art navigation system that will enhance the mission capabilities and the safety of operations.

“We are very grateful to open another chapter in the relationship between our two organisations with this order for our five-bladed H145,” says Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “We are always looking at ways to evolve our helicopters by taking into account the feedback of those who operate them each and every day.”

“The H145 has fully proven itself in our operations since entering into service in 2018,” says Ernst Kohler, CEO of Rega. “We look forward to operating the five-bladed version on our HEMS bases in Switzerland. The helicopters will allow us to further boost our mission capabilities and safety of our operations.”

The new integrated navigation system will use new capabilities of the Flight Management System GTN750 Xi by Garmin. It will integrate and control a multi-sensor system that provides highly accurate and reliable navigation capacities. Even in the event of GPS signal loss, the helicopter will navigate safely thanks to Thales’ inertial navigation system. This solution will further boost the navigation performance in low IFR conditions and allows the helicopter to be certified as navigation procedure RNP-AR 0.1, which is the most accurate navigation procedure in the helicopter environment. The configuration also includes a new hoist by Vincorion that is being certified on the five-bladed H145.

Rega operates 13 HEMS stations in Switzerland. In 2021, the helicopter crews carried out 14,330 missions, including transporting 471 COVID patients. Rega’s current fleet includes seven H145s and one H125 used for pilot training.

The new version of Airbus’ best-selling H145 light twin-engine helicopter adds a new, innovative five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission aircraft, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg. The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design also eases maintenance operations, further improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew. The new H145 introduces on-board connectivity to customers and operators through the integration of the next step of the wireless Airborne Communication System (wACS), allowing seamless and secure transmission of data generated by the helicopter.

In total, there are more than 1,500 H145 family helicopters in service, logging a total of more than six million flight hours. Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite. It includes a high performance 4-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class.

PRESS RELEASE – 09 March 2022

The companies will be pioners in providing this type of service in Latin America, known globally as a highly efficient prevention and maintenance method, becoming a milestone for both the electricity industry and the national aeronautical sector.

More than 18 years of experience in the aeronautical industry, a company that has the largest and most modern fleet of helicopters in the southern cone, add to the trajectory of bbosch, a company that has more than 60 years of excellence in the industry metalworking and development and electrical infrastructure, in order to launch in the region the air washing service of insulators by helicopter.
The development of this new system in Chile has been carried out a few years ago in Europe, Africa and North America, and it has the highest electrical and aeronautical safety standards in the market, achieving, moreover, making washing operations more efficient in time and resources.The Ecocopter-bbosch alliance seeks to positively impact the country in the electrical maintenance market with insulation washes that improve the sustainability and reliability of energy systems. The washing of insulators by helicopters allows access to high and medium voltage power transmission lines in all types of geographical areas, faster washing and the use of less water.

Regarding the washing procedure, once the system has been installed in the helicopter and the transfer to the work area has been carried out, the system tank is filled with demineralized water, to then take off and fly to the line according to planning. Once on site, the aircraft is positioned to one side of the tower and the washing of the chains begins from a turret that expels pressurized water, all controlled by an operator who is located next to the helicopter. In this way, it is possible to eliminate the dirt and waste generated by pollution, salinity and the passing of time in these conditions, which occur especially in the northern part of the country.

The characteristics of this advanced washing system allow you to work quickly and efficiently, since approximately 30 to 90 seconds are used for each washed chain (depending on the size). Added to this, given the characteristics of the equipment, significant savings in water management are
expected, since, compared to traditional land-based methods, the helicopter washing system uses 84% less demineralized water.

Definitely, it is estimated that, with this system, the insulation chain washing works are up to 500% more efficient compared to the traditional land method.

The objective of these works is to keep the insulation chains in an optimal state of cleanliness, in order to avoid possible cuts in the line that could affect citizens. The National Electric System (SEN) includes electricity generation, transmission and distribution facilities, which encompass range from the Arica Parinacota region to the Los Lagos region. This system is the largest nationwide, since it has 35,501 km of transmission lines in 3,100 km of territory, providing electricity to a large part of the country. An electrical system of this magnitude requires arobust maintenance in all its phases and areas “For us it is a great milestone to incorporate this technology in Chile. We acquired a washing system with international and exclusive certification to install them on any helicopter in our AS350 fleet, in addition to training our crews with experts from Europe. With this we aim to have a worldwide technical and human capacity, in order to carry out a job of excellence in terms of productivity, efficiency and prevention of occupational risks, responding to the needs of our clients safely and in the expected times”, says José Tomás Díaz, Business Development at Ecocopter. The alliance with Ecocopter reinforces our vision of innovation and exploration of new businesses in order to be more competent with our clients. We are specialists in the industry and we incorporate into our processes solutions that integrate quality, compliance and innovation to respond in a sustainable way to the needs of a connected, competitive and dynamic world. We will carry out the washing of high voltage line insulators with the highest electrical and aeronautical safety standards in the market”, highlights Pablo Bosch Kreis, Manager of Planning, Development and New Businesses at bbosch.
With regard to safety in this type of aeronautical activity, Ecocopter has International BARS Certification (International Operational Safety), FDM System (real-time tracking), safety management system (SMS), in addition to an intense training program for the crews.

PRESS RELEASE – Dallas, TX, March 8, 2022

MidTex Aviation, LLC (“MidTex”) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an asset purchase agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of The Enstrom Helicopter Corporation (“Enstrom”), and plans to reopen the factory in Menominee, MI. 

The asset purchase agreement was approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan as part of The Enstrom Helicopter Corporation’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy process.

Kevin Griffin, MidTex’s Principal, said, “We are extremely excited about acquiring these assets, restarting the former Enstrom facility, and expanding the scope of the business.  We already have a number of former Enstrom employees working with us on a contract basis.  After closing, we expect to make job offers to a substantial number of former Enstrom employees.”  

MidTex expects to operate through a new entity, to be named Enstrom Aerospace Industries.  The new business will providee parts and support to existing owners, as well as new helicopters.  In addition, the new company plans to expand into providing engineering services and component manufacturing for other OEM’s.  Upon closing, MidTex will acquire all of the former Enstrom parts, owned aircraft, tooling, materials, drawings, intellectual property, factory buildings and airport lease.

“This was just too good of an opportunity to pass up,” said Michael Dixon, Aviation Manager for MidTex.  “Not only will we get a turn-key helicopter manufacturer with a great brand and an established customer base, we will also get an excellent springboard to launch an aerostructures and component manufacturing business.  Most people don’t realize that Enstrom was vertically integrated, building nearly 90% of the helicopters under one roof.  They had the facilities to build almost anything.”  Dixon is also excited about the company’s engineering capabilities. “Enstrom had a great relationship with the FAA, and a proven track record of getting certifications quickly and efficiently.  Likewise, we look forward to working with the FAA to expand to other aerospace projects, including eVTOL’s, fixed wing, military equipment, and other advanced air mobility products,” said Dixon.

According to Matt Francour, former President of Enstrom, “The former employees and management team couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to work for a new company operating the facility.  This was the best possible outcome.  There are a lot of Enstrom helicopter owners out there who have been holding their breath, and now they can breathe a sigh of relief.”  Francour’s sentiments were echoed by Dennis Martin, former Director of Sales and Marketing for Enstrom.  Martin said, “Not only will MidTex bring financial backing to operate the facilities and expand the business, it has a real vision for the future that goes beyond just building helicopters.  MidTex plans to invest and grow the company in a meaningful way.  It’s incredibly exciting.”

With the expected new ownership structure after closing the sale, the question for many customers shifts to when they can order parts and new aircraft.  “Soon,” says Francour.  “It’s going to take a little time to close the sale transaction, get the employees back, and get production ramped up.  But, MidTex understands that the immediate priority is restoring support to the fleet.”

Kevin Griffin of MidTex said, “This is a unique opportunity to acquire unique assets and put capable people back to work in an exciting industry.  After closing, we look forward to working with customers, suppliers, and other parties to make this business a success.”

PRESS RELEASE – Dallas, March 8, 2022

STAT MedEvac, an Airbus customer for nearly 40 years, has committed to ordering 10 new H135 helicopters as part of a fleet renewal initiative for its air medical operations.

STAT’s total Airbus fleet, a mix of H135 and H145 family aircraft, operates out of 18 bases.

“We’ve been flying Airbus products since we began our operations, and couldn’t imagine it any other way,” said Jim Houser, CEO of STAT Medevac.  “Going back to the first North American EC135, we’ve been a key operator of the H135 throughout its upgrades and evolutions, and the H135 has continuously met our mission requirements, helping us provide high-quality care in the safest and most efficient way possible. We look forward to renewing our fleet with these 10 new aircraft and we thank Airbus for being such a supportive and fantastic partner all these years.”

STAT MedEvac has flown Airbus helicopters since commencing operations in 1985 and has a longstanding history with the H135 family – it was the first air ambulance program in North America to operate the EC135 in 1997, the first single-pilot IFR program with an EC135 in U.S. Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS), the launch customer of the latest H135 variant in North America and the launch customer of the Helionix-equipped version in 2019.  The Pennsylvania-based critical care transport provider is the clinical arm for the Center for Emergency Medicine of Western Pennsylvania, and is also the largest single branded, non-profit medical transport system in the Eastern United States.

“STAT MedEvac has become a key part of the H135’s success in the air medical market, and Airbus is extremely proud to support the life-saving missions they carry out every single day,” said Romain Trapp, President of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. and Head of the North American region. “With the latest evolution of this proven platform, Airbus aims to continue to meet our EMS customers’ evolving needs to use their helicopters as flying hospitals, and to be able to do so with the latest technologies that reduce pilot workload and increase safety all around. Thank you to the entire team at STAT for your trust in Airbus, and for the incredible work that you do.”

The H135 is the market leader in emergency medical services (EMS) worldwide and can be fitted with a wide range of EMS configurations, providing direct access and ample room for patient care. With the lowest operating and maintenance costs of any twin-engine, the proven H135 family of aircraft include Airbus’ Helionix avionics suite and has recently received an alternate gross weight increase for an additional 265lbs of useful load.  

Airbus Helicopters is the leading provider of helicopters to the air medical transport industry, providing some 55% of the 2,600 EMS helicopters flying in the world today and more than half of all new air medical helicopters sold in the last decade in the U.S.

PRESS RELEASE – DALLAS, TX., March 7, 2022

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company [NYSE: LMT] together with GE Aviation and Milestone Aviation, announce the S-92® helicopter arrived at HAI HELIEXPO 2022 using a blend of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

The helicopter utilized a combination of biofuel, as well as traditional jet fuel in the 1500 mile
cross country flight. “As a Corporation, we are committed to sustainability and I am proud that our S-92 helicopter is playing a role in a more sustainable future,” said Jason Lambert, Sikorsky’s vice president of Global Commercial and Military Systems. “The aircraft is known for its unmatched advantages and the use of biofuel is one more attribute on that list.” Sikorsky continues to look for opportunities across its fleet to utilize Sustainable Aviation Fuel and take steps to meet environmental challenges.

“GE is committed decarbonization efforts in the aviation industry,” said Harry Nahatis, vice president and general manager for GE turboshaft engine programs. “The increased adoption of SAF is one pathway toward decarbonization, and we’re proud to not only support our customers at Sikorsky and Milestone Aviation for this SAF flight, but also to be actively involved in assessing and qualifying SAF for widespread use in the industry.”

GE has performed extensive testing, including the industry’s first commercial biofuel demonstration flight in 2008, and the first 100 percent SAF commercial airliner flight in 2018. All GE and GE partnership engines in service today — and in the future — can operate with approved SAF.

Pat Sheedy, President & CEO, Milestone Aviation, said, “We are very pleased to be part of this important initiative with our long-time partners at Sikorsky and GE Aviation, and to support them in meeting their commitment to sustainability. This is the first SAF-powered flight for Milestone Aviation and we are delighted to collaborate with them to bring this to fruition.”

Heli-Expo 2022 is about to open in Dallas, Texas.

Stay tuned for NEWS MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS, images from the Exibition Floor and all related informations.

dgualdo.it will publish regularly new articles, press releases and images.

PRESS RELEASE – Alexandria, Va. (Jan. 20, 2021)

Responding to an increasing number of voices from across the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) industry, Helicopter Association International (HAI) has made the difficult decision to cancel HAI HELI-EXPO 2021.

HAI will not reschedule this year’s event. Instead, the association will redirect its efforts to producing HAI HELI-EXPO 2022, which will be held on March 7–10 in Dallas, Texas, a city that has traditionally been a hub of rotorcraft operations. HAI HELI-EXPO® has long served as a venue where the international VTOL industry annually gathers—to connect, learn, and conduct $2 billion in business.

“Please understand that we did not make this decision lightly,” says James Viola, president and CEO of HAI. “HAI is here to support our members and customers. Leading up to mid-January, the majority of industry voices who contacted us supported holding Expo as long as health and safety protocols were in place. We took extraordinary steps, working with our partners in New Orleans, to be able to conduct a safe event.”

As a mid-January deadline for exhibitors approached, the world also saw a spike in COVID-19 cases. “Pandemic conditions have changed, and the majority of our stakeholders have recently expressed discomfort with the logistics involved in business travel at this time,” Viola says. “In response, we concluded that we had to cancel HAI HELI-EXPO 2021. We’re grateful for the honest feedback that we received from our members, exhibitors, attendees, and other stakeholders.

“Like many others during this past year, we have had to adjust course in response to changing conditions,” says Viola. “HAI firmly believes that the flexibility that our industry has demonstrated throughout this pandemic will help our businesses and individuals persevere and strengthen.”

HAI is beginning to reach out to exhibitors, attendees, vendors, and other HAI HELI-EXPO 2021 stakeholders. Exhibitors have multiple options for their booth payments, including pushing participation and payment to the 2022 show in Dallas, repurposing dollars to other HAI advertising or sponsorship opportunities to support their business objectives in 2021, or issue of a full refund. More information on those options can be found at heliexpo.com/faq.

Registered attendees will receive a full refund, as will those who registered for HAI Professional Education courses. Our housing vendor, OnPeak, will cancel all hotel reservations booked within the HAI block. Registered attendees, HAI Professional Education course registrants, and those with hotel reservations within the HAI block will receive additional communication from HAI within the next 5–7 business days; more information is available at heliexpo.com/faq.