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Editor's Letter - Exceptionalism Abound In the Vertical Lift Industry

Posted 2 years 16 days ago ago by Admin

Frank Sonnenberg, the author of the book, Listen to Your Conscience: That's Why You Have One wrote, “Exceptional people don't shun tests of their strength and determination -- they relish them.”

It almost seems there’s a cultural movement in some parts of society who want to diminish the idea of exceptionalism. Personally, I hope the movement is not successful because in our industry, we are blessed with many exceptional people and companies that keep driving us all collectively to new heights with respect to safety, technology, and performance.

Without the existence of these exceptional people and companies, we would be relegated to hand flying underpowered helicopters in only VFR conditions using only basic instrumentation . . . and training in them too! Instead, we are seeing exponential technological advancements in vertical lift aircraft that will relegate many old platforms to obsolescence. It’s both a scary and interesting time for those of us living it.

As you will see on page 67, in our piece titled, The Push for Cleaner Propulsion, the OEMs are full steam ahead on developing cleaner, greener propulsion systems for helicopters in an effort to do our part in reducing CO2 emissions. In fact, much of the technology they are moving towards is not fully developed. They are however taking the long-view and using some current technologies as a “bridge” to the end goal.

On the military vertical lift front, perhaps one of the largest attempts at a paradigm shift in a half-century is being pursued aggressively by Bell Flight. On page 58 we in an article titled, “Bell Attempts U.S. Military Paradigm Shift with V-280 Valor,” we explore Bell’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft  (FLRAA) bid to transform the U.S. Army’s helicopter program, which has been dominated by the UH-60 Blackhawk for 43 years, with its V-280 tiltrotor.

Finally, being that this is the APSCON issue which focuses on law enforcement operations, we were very honored to spend a couple days with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Aviation Unit, a group full of exceptional people. On page 46, we explore this very busy aviation unit which uses Airbus H145 and MD500F helicopters and a bunch of high-tech equipment, to not only patrol and reduce crime, but also to rescue those in need in an area larger than the state of New Jersey.

For those people and organizations in our industry who are exceptional and keep us safe and progressing forward, Rotorcraft Pro salutes you. Perhaps we can meet at APSCON 2022, please come visit us in Booth 108.




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