Helicopter companies, pilots and enthusiasts all descended on Dallas last month for the annual Heli-Expo event. The show, which ran from March 7-9 this year, attracted over 14,000 delegates from around the world. The Helitech International team was there in force and we had a successful, action-packed couple of days meeting and greeting old and new faces, while identifying trends and patterns across the industry.
As ever, the show was a hive of activity and it was great to see so many positive indicators highlighting the underlying message that there is renewed confidence in the rotorcraft industry. As the industry continues to experience signs of small growth, a quiet optimism is building for the year ahead.
The exhibition floor was packed with the latest innovations, while leading industry figures took to the stage to discuss these new concepts in more depth. With so much going on, we’ve pulled together our own personal highlights from the show:
Bell unveils its vision for the future of rotorcraft – the ‘FCX 001’
This is Bell’s new concept demonstrator platform from which to test and experiment the company’s new technology. It currently presents a 3D roadmap for taking safer, smarter and more efficient flights. The helicopter concept features morphing rotor blades that can change to suit different flight conditions, an airframe crafted from sustainable materials, a hybrid power system, plus an artificial intelligence co-pilot.
Leonardo emphasised the importance of keeping customers close
Daniele Romiti, MD, Leonardo Helicopters, addressed visitors at the event and informed them of the company’s commitment to focus on options that will ultimately lower costs for consumers:
“It’s important that we constantly find new ways to keep up with this apparent ‘innovation sprint’ within the industry. Our virtual reality experience of getting hoisted up to a rescue helicopter is certainly a start, however I think we can all admit we need to do more when it comes to making sure our clients are receiving the best products and services possible.”
CEO, Guillaume Faury promoted the H160 helicopter and highlighted the successful results from the cold weather trials it had recently completed in Canada.
He informed crowds that the H160 opens a new chapter in the history of Airbus Helicopters. The entire design was based on one overriding goal: to create added value for customers in terms of performance, economic competitiveness, safety and comfort. Both cleaner and quieter, the H160 takes a step forward in respect for the environment. Configurations being developed include offshore transportation, business and private aviation, public services, and commercial passenger transport. The H160 was unveiled at the Heli-Expo trade show in March 2015.
MD Helicopters Unveils MD 6XX Concept
The MD 6XX is the new addition from MD. Looking like a MD 600 with a tail rotor, and with a Genesys Aerosystems Flight Deck, Lynn Tilton hopes it will be flying in later 2017.
It’s exciting to see so much innovation already coming through in the early months of 2017. As we continue to progress into 2017, it’s evident this will be an important year for businesses to continue to introduce new products and services to the marketplace. We’re looking forward to seeing the developments come into fruition in the next couple of months and of course displaying them at Helitech International.
As we countdown the months to our event in London, 3-5 October, make sure to keep up to date with all show information by visiting the website and checking out our social media channels…