"We really hand over the heavy lifting of the edit duties this month to our writers who work directly with industry vendors to create this unique section."
By now you may have noticed that there is an all new photo up on the front pages of this magazine to go along with the monthly note there from the editor-in-chief. Our previous editor has neither entered the witness protection program nor taken an extended vacation on some sun-soaked beach that has left him visibly more tanned — Ernie Stephens took the helm of the magazine officially back in the closing days of September, but what you are looking at on these pages is the first real issue that bears his full mark and influence. Well, sort-of. Being our Annual Reports Issue, we really hand over the heavy lifting of the edit duties this month to our writers who work directly with industry vendors to create this unique section. It is unique, because it is the one issue every year where we guarantee industry vendors a set amount of space and then we assign one of our own editors to work with each of the companies to create these company profiles and get the 2009 outlook from their top executives. The aim is to provide you an annual update of what these companies accomplished last year, what they have planned for next year or whatever else they think you might find interesting or valuable to know. If participation in this Annual Reports issue is any precursor to the coming year, it is indeed a very good sign — What you see before you on these pages represents a record year for the number of companies taking part in this exercise, and taking advantage of the opportunity to let you know what they see on the horizon. And having read though each of these reports as they were coming in, I can tell you that there truly is a great deal to be excited about in terms of new products and services that will be entering our market in the coming months! Read on to see for yourself!
As we embark on a new year filled with promise and uncertainty, we asked: "What important trends do you see on the horizon that might significantly impact the helicopter market in 2009?"
"As a company, ARG/US is committed to supporting safe operations for both aircraft operators and aircraft users. In the year ahead, I believe that we will see a greater emphasis on safety and a greater demand for those products and services that help companies run a more efficient and safe operation. Moving forward, I believe the helicopter community needs to take greater control of improving their safety record, which will in-turn improve the safety perception of the industry. The FAA, NTSB and insurance industry should not be sitting at the core of this issue; it should be the operating community. Parallels can be found in this challenge from the auto racing industry. The early years of NASCAR were dominated by drivers who felt it was more important to be tough and brave than safe. Safety progress was slow at best. It wasn’t until Dale Earnhardt’s accident in 2001 that NASCAR was prompted to bring safety to the forefront and embed it into the culture of the sport. The unwavering commitment by NASCAR’s leadership to approach safety from a comprehensive perspective that is focused around the whole environment including the track, the car, and the driver led to an industry-wide safety culture change. It is time for the helicopter community to make this kind of game-changing commitment."
President, ARG/US Inc., Marketing & Business Development
As our industry faces economic challenges, businesses will combine strengths and develop strong partnerships to survive tough times. To ensure success, Aerospace Filtration Systems (AFS) has developed long-term partnerships with the major helicopter manufacturers for first fit and aftermarket kits. Our focus is to provide a comprehensive range of military and commercial products that help operators reduce costs and increase safety. The majority of AFS products are available from the manufacturers’ factories on new helicopters, or through our aftermarket channels for retrofit installations. AFS provides first fit commercial inlet barrier filters for the AgustaWestland AW119, Eurocopter AS350, EC130, Bell 407, 206L-4 and 429, MD500 and 900. Military solutions are available for Sikorsky Black Hawk, Boeing Apache, Little Bird and Bell Huey II. Geographic expansion will be a key AFS focus this coming year, especially with new products available for the AgustaWestland line of commercial helicopters (AW119, AW109, and AW139). Our Bell 205/UH-1H filter is also becoming the inlet solution of choice for this venerable workhorse. AFS’s outlook is bright, with a strong network of OEM partners, distributors and affiliated Donaldson Company subsidiaries. AFS is positioned for long-term success.