HELI-EXPO 2014 – A Heli of a Show

HELI-EXPO 2014 conveyed a clear message:
Helicopter Aviation is Strong

by Justin Landis & G.Roginson

The World’s largest helicopter exposition, HELI-EXPO 2014, is on the books and it was a big show for many of the majorHAI HELI-EXPO 2014 companies in attendance. The Helicopter Association International holds the annual show and HAI HELI-EXPO 2014, this year in Anaheim California. From big awards to new aircraft, the show made headlines for those interested in helicopter flight training.

A positive Matt Zuccaro, president of HAI, gave a welcoming speech on the eve of HELI-EXPO 2014 that was optimistic concerning the helicopter industry. “Air tours are doing well, corporate operations have re-established themselves and offshore oil and gas work is very busy right now, so it’s a pretty positive picture.” While addressing the industries potential pilot and mechanic shortages, Matt stated, “The younger generation has so many options, we’re starting a sales and marketing campaign to show them being a pilot or mechanic is a good career path.”

We’ve certainly addressed the ongoing news concerning pilot shortages here at AviationSchoolsOnline.com and it seems the industry is continuing to recognize the need for young people to take up the cause and move into a career in aviation. We look forward to reporting on this marking campaign in the future.

Bell’s New 505 Jet Ranger X

Bell Helicopter took the prime opportunity of day one to unveil three versions of the new Bell 505 Jet Ranger X. The 505 is Bell’s response to the increasing global demand for a short light single (SLS) helicopter and the success of the Robinson R66 light turbine’s success. Robinson delivered 191 R66s last year and is on track to deliver over 200 this year. “We recognize that the customer base for light singles is spread across the globe, and our focus has been around costs and useful load. With that in mind we have come up with a design that will allow us to be competitive in the important value parameters our customers are looking for,” Bell SLS program management chief Paul Watts reports.

The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X has been designed to hold one pilot and 4 occupants but with two cyclics to be installed, the 505 could become a competitive option to the R66 in initial turbine training. Bell’s president and CEO John Garrison states that the 505 “targets a very price sensitive market and the price point for the new helicopter is around $1 million,” that’s slightly above the price point of the Robinson R66 at approximately $830,000. The first flight is slated for later 2014.

Watch the unveiling of the Bell 505 here

Helicopter Flight Simulation Emerges at HELI-EXPO 2014

X-Copter helicopter flight simulator

X-Copter flight simulator

Helicopter flight simulation was another big topic at HELI-EXPO, as reported in the AIN Online article  and Vertical Magazine Article.  Most noteworthy was the launch of the newest helicopter flight simulator on the market, the “X-Copter”.

The X-Copter helicopter flight simulator is an eighth generation flight simulator that has been in development since 2006 and the core component of the nationally recognized “Flight Cost Reduction Training” program at Guidance Aviation. Engineered for the primary flight training market, the X-Copter simulates the Robinson R22 and R44 models.

X-Copter’s full-scale cockpit includes two high resolution touch screen monitors displaying instrumentation, realistic controls with tactile vibration cues, and an outside view delivered by three 60″ high definition screens providing incredibly crisp visuals.

The touch screen technology in the cockpit delivers advanced avionics simulations for Glass Cockpit applications with accurate representations of Garmin G500H, Garmin GNS 530/430 WAAS, and Aspen EFD1000H using SimAVIO2 from FTS. X-Copter is fully integrated to enable seamless integration with ForeFlight Mobile providing geo-referencing data via Wifi.  The X-Copter website is currently in development and will soon be viewable at www.x-copter.aero .

HELI-EXPO 2014 ran Tuesday, Feb 25th – Thurs, Feb 27th, 2014 and will no doubt continue to bring news headlines to the helicopter industry. As we continue to keep abreast of  the industry and aviation, we’ll be sure to stay on top of any news that will support your decisions toward a career in aviation.

For Fun

For fun, check out “Transforming the Halls for Helicopter: HELI-EXPO 2014”: http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/galleries/hai-convention-news/2014/transforming-halls-helicopters-heli-expo-2014

Are You Ready to Become A Helicopter Pilot?


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