TRADITIONALLY, WE TELL YOU WHAT we’ve placed on the monthly issue’s cover in a sentence or two on our Table of Contents page. That would have been a challenge this month, since our cover is made up of a selection of 49 covers that have appeared on Rotor & Wing since it went into business with the January 1967 issue.
Why not 40 covers for 40 years? That was the initial plan. But in reviewing our history of covers, we found some year’s developments warranted more than one place in the chronological line-up. Here is what that line-up includes, starting at the upper left of the cover and moving left to right, line by line, to the bottom right.
July 1967 — The first issue of R&W was January 1967, when the magazine was published in partnership with the Helicopter Assn. of America to coincide with its annual trade show (what would become Heli-Expo). By July, we had struck out on our own with this, our second "first" cover, featuring inventor Harry Holly’s Bell Helicopter JetRanger "Patty Wagon."
January 1968 — Aerial-application pioneer AgRotors’ Bell 47 sprays pesticide over a Pennsylvania farm.
February 1969 — R&W gets in the pilot report business by flying a 206 — a Cessna 206, that is, modified by Robertson Aviation for short takeoff and landing (STOL) operations. The promise of STOL is what the magazine the " & Wing" in its title.
October-November-December 1972 — Famed American criminal-defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey (obscured by our anniversary logo) got up to his elbows in the helicopter business when he became president of Enstrom Helicopter. He’s shown with his F-28A.
October-November 1973 — The Statue of Liberty welcomes West Germany’s latest contribution to the helicopter industry — the twin turbine BO105, manufactured by MBB and marketed in North America by Boeing Vertol Co.
January-February 1975 — We presented an exclusive pilot report on Vought Helicopter’s first Gazelle demonstrator, which had changed its colors and was being used for single-pilot IFR certification trials.
July-August 1976 — The experimental, five-bladed Hughes 500D used a T-tail for increased longitudinal stability and controllability. It was powered by an Allison Model 250-C20B.
August 1977 — Hunt Helicopter, owned by the famed Texas oil family of that name, offered the low-priced HS-180 Hunter light helicopter, the prototype of which is shown here in Mansfield, Texas. Photo by Don Toler
January 1978 — Sikorsky Aircraft’s S-76 prototype No. 4 goes through its paces. We did an evaluation flight of it this month.
January 1979 — This month we reviewed Aerospatiale’s AS350 Astar, which was "dripping with sophistication," after a half-year in the operators’ hands. Photo by Geoff Sutton
May 1980 — One of Pacific Wing & Rotor’s Robinson Helicopter’s R22s flies near the California coast. Photo by J.J. Barber
June 1981 — Bell’s 214ST was the subject of this month’s pilot evaluation. Photo by Bell Helicopter/Ben Cashion
September 1981 — A Boeing Vertol 234LR Commercial Chinook sporting British Airways’ colors passes the Statue of Liberty before heading across the Atlantic. Photo courtesy of Boeing Vertol
August 1982 — "Is a bright day dawning for the Westland 30?," we asked in evaluating that aircraft this month. Photo courtesy of Westland Helicopter Ltd.
June 6, 1983 — Sikorsky’s experimental XH-59A Advancing Blade Concept research aircraft conducts a flight test over the Housatonic River near Stratford, Conn. Photo by Fred Hartman
May 1984 — One of the newest aircraft in the inventory of the Soviet Union’s Aeroflot, the world’s largest civil helicopter operator, at this time was the Mil Mi-17.
June 1985 — R&WI (the "I" was for "International") editor David Green and NASA research pilot Dan Dugan fly the NASA/U.S. Army/Bell XV-15 tilt-rotor. Photo by David Jensen
October 1986 — Sikorsky’s Rotor Systems Research Aircraft prepares to flight test the X-wing rotor. Photo by Sikorsky/Rich Zellner
June 1987 — An airline-commuter service out of Paris using tilt-rotor aircraft? We thought it could happen, and it still may. Illustration by Ken Clubb
November 1988 — We flew Aerospatiale’s combat derivative of the Dauphin, the SA365M Panther
August 1989 — A specially equipped Boeing HH-46 flies search-and-rescue duty at MCAS Cherry Point, N.C.
February 1990 — An exclusive drawing revealed the latest design of McDonnell Douglas Helicopter’s new, tail-rotorless MDX.
November 1991 — China is one of the three countries participating in the development of the single-turbine P-120L, which led to Eurocopter’s EC120. Our cover rendering shows the aircraft flying over China’s Great Wall.
March 1992 — Flying past Southern California’s coastline, Robinson’s R44 shows off its capabilities during R&WI’s visit to evaluate the new helicopter. Photo by Guy Maher
April 1992 — A new era was dawning for South Africa’s Atlas Aircraft Corp., whose "potent attack helicopter," the Rooivalk we had just flown. We were the first trade magazine to do so. We found it to be "an agile craft with plenty of hardiness and lethality."
August 1992 — PZL Swidnik’s W-3 Falcon lifts off at the Redhill (England) Aerodrome during Helitech ’91. The W-3 was the first Polish-designed helicopter to enter series production. We evaluated the aircraft this month.
February 1993 — Hovering above a marsh is Schweizer Aircraft’s new Model 330, a candidate for the U.S. Army’s New Training Helicopter program. The FAA certificated was ready for its commercial debut, and we evaluated it this month.
June 1993 — At a Mil manufacturing facility in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, we had the opportunity to fly the giant Mi-26. Operating the world’s largest helicopter, and doing so in Russia, proved to be a rare treat.
January 1994 — The second flying prototype of McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems’ new Explorer flies among the ruddy-colored cliffs of Arizona’s desert. We offered you a first look at how the new bird flew.
February 1994 — The first prototype of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’.s Light Attack Helicopter hovers above the tarmac at the manufacturer’s Bangalore, India, plant. Built for India’s military, the helicopter — which would become the Dhruv — was the first Indian helicopter model.
August 1994 — A Mil Mi-8, operated by Hummingbird Helicopters Ltd., transports vacationers to and from the many islands that make up the Republic of Maldives. Photo by Roger Ritchie.
February 1995 — The veils of secrecy were lifted from the latest helicopter from McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems, the MD-630N. First flown in late November 1994, the helicopter is a stretched version of the MD 500 line offering horsepower.
November 1995 — One of Eurocopter’s Tiger prototypes, then in development, zips over the German countryside. The helicopter was one of many seeking customers worldwide that were covered in Giovanni de Briganti’s report on the world attack helicopter market.
February 1996 — Shown above the desert of the desert of the U.S. Southwest is Eurocopter’s EC135, bound for certification within months. We gave you a first-hand look at how she flew in a pilot report.
August 1996 — "Is the McDonnell Douglas Longbow Apache everything they say?," we asked and answered in an exclusive report from the front seat of the Army’s newest mean machine.
April 1997 — Two Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warriors from the Mississippi National Guard’s 1 Battalion, 185th Aviation train outside the unit’s Tupelo, Miss. base. We reported this month on the first Guard unit to fly the OH-58D and be combat-certified in it.
June 1997 — The first Bell 407 equipped with an autopilot performs some final flight-testing at HAS Corp.’s Mt. Pleasant, Pa., facility. The helicopter was to receive its certification this month as a joint effort of HAS and France’s SFIM.
August 1998 — "Does the Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche mark the dawn of a new era or the twilight of an ex-Cold War program?" We reported on the Comanche’s recent flight test at Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. and discussed what the future might hold for this next-generation armed reconnaissance helicopter.
February 1999 — We interviewed "the uncompromising" Carroll Suggs, Petroleum Helicopter Inc.’s chief, on the challenges of offshore support.
February 2000 — Robinson’s hydraulic control system, offered as an option on new-build R44 Clippers, had become so popular that Frank Robinson said it was only a matter of time until hydraulics became standard equipment.
November 2001 — A montage honors the helicopter heroes of Sept. 11, 2001 and that year’s winners of our Helicopter Heroism Award. It includes the U.S. Coast Guard/Sikorsky HH-60J Jayhawk that flew the award-winning rescue and AirCare 1, a Bell 412 operated by Air Methods for INOVA Fairfax, Va. Hospital, as it hovers over the burning Pentagon.
February 2001 — Sikorsky’s S-92A incorporated several important structural changes, including a cabin extension and optional sliding door.
September 2002 — Enstrom Helicopter expected many small improvements introduced into the 480B would add up to a bigger portion of the market in the entry-level turbine niche.
February 2003 — We flew Eurocopter’s EC120 over Dallas, site of this year’s Heli-Expo.
June 2003 — We offered an exclusive look at V-22 Aircraft No. 22 with new ‘lightweight’ paint that’s classified in the can, but not on the airframe. Photo courtesy of Bell.
April 2004 — We flew the U.K. Royal Air Force /AgustaWestland EH101 over Washington during the aircraft’s U.S. campaign to win the U.S. presidential helicopter contract.
August 2004 — Bell’s Eagle Eye UAV represents a shift in rotary-wing thinking.
April 2005 — Bell/Agusta’s new AB139 provided valuable lessons on avionics development. Photo by Shannon Bower.
March 2006 — One of thousands of families rescued from post-Katrina floodwaters by helicopters. Photo by David J. Phillip/AFP/Getty Images
March 2007 — West Chester, Pa.-based SkyflightCare’s MD902 is the first MD Helicopters has delivered to the U.S. EMS market in several years.