Posted 363 days ago ago by Admin
Although January 1 starts the calendar new year, I feel like the vertical lift industry’s new year begins on the first day of HAI Heli-Expo, the world’s largest vertical lift industry trade show. 14,000-plus attendees as well as 600-plus companies representing manufacturers and services providers come together to share with our industry what’s new, as well as to connect with customers.
In 2022, we saw many new milestones across a variety of sectors.
Unmanned, Advanced Air Mobility and eVTOL aircraft, which seemed like a pipe dream for several years, moved the needle in a big way with many AAM and eVTOL aircraft flying for the first time, with some achieving certain levels of certification. There was a renewed call for the industry to embrace these new platforms when HAI President Jim Viola strongly said, “Let me be clear: AAM (advanced air mobility unmanned aircraft) and eVTOL (electric-powered vertical takeoff and landing aircraft) operations are complementary to conventional helicopters.” On the unmanned front, on Page 74 Rotor Pro spoke to OEMs and operators to learn who will service Unmanned, Advanced Air Mobility and eVTOL aircraft in our industry.
Also in 2022, helicopter simulation training technology officially advanced well beyond the traditional full flight simulator (FFS) and flight training device (FTD) and into the realm of virtual reality (VR). In our story on Page 46 titled “Helicopter Institute: Chasing the Win,” we learn first-hand how this U.S.-based training academy is effectively using the HELIMOD VR simulator as part of its pilot training programs.
Like most markets, the helicopter industry desires to do its part in reducing CO2 emissions. In 2022, the push for cleaner propulsion yielded several first flights of helicopters utilizing special aviation fuels (SAF) by helicopter and engine manufacturers who are developing cleaner, greener propulsion systems with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions.
On the military vertical lift front, perhaps one of the largest paradigm shifts in a half-century was Bell’s win of the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA), with its V-280 Valor tiltrotor to transform the U.S Army’s helicopter program that has been dominated by the UH-60 Blackhawk for 43 years.
Lastly, MD Helicopters, the iconic helicopter manufacturer started by Howard Hughes in 1947, came under new leadership in 2022. On Page 58, in an article titled: “MD Helicopters: A New Era,” the Rotor Pro team takes time to learn about the new leadership team and changes it will be making to build trust and to service its loyal operator base.
There’s so much going on in the vertical lift industry and the Rotor Pro team cannot wait to see what’s new at Heli-Expo 2023 in Atlanta. If by chance you’re there, come by Booth C3026 and say hello!
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