Commercial, Personal/Corporate, Products

Helitech International Means Business: 2013 Show Preview

By Staff Writer | September 1, 2013

Attendees take in the static lineup at Helitech 2011 in
Duxford. This year’s Helitech International 2013 is being
held in London.

With less than two months to go (through late July), booked stand space at Helitech International 2013 was already 25 percent larger compared to the 2011 show, with exhibiting companies from 25 countries such as Australia, Canada, Finland, Panama, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. Reed Exhibitions, the organizers of Helitech International, are staging this year’s event at ExCeL in London from September 24-26. Reflecting its international status, the annual event will move to mainland Europe for the 2014 edition.

Helitech International is being staged in association with the European Helicopter Association and is supported by the British Helicopter Association as well as leading industry primes such as AgustaWestland, Bell Helicopter, Eurocopter, Russian Helicopters, MD Helicopters, Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky and Turbomeca.


According to John Hyde, event director, Helitech International has “continued to witness a growing interest from visitors and exhibitors from around the world, which correlates with the decision to expand the international component at Helitech International. The exhibition will attract visitors from across the industry, and the topical and wide-ranging conference program will bring together experts from the international rotary wing industry who will debate some of the critical issues impacting future global business.”

New Exhibitors

As the only European show focused 100 percent on civil helicopters, Helitech International is the must-attend event for key buyers and manufacturers in the rotary market.

In addition to new exhibitors such as Able Engineering & Component Services and Aerosonic Corporation (U.S.), Air Ambulance Technology (Austria), Airpro (Panama), Alpine Air Support (Switzerland), Flight Operations in Control (Netherlands), Heli Aviation (Germany) and Jet Support Services, Inc., or JSSI (U.S.), the exhibition will feature more than 200 international suppliers and manufacturers, representing the entire rotary wing supply chain to include small to medium-sized companies, as well as a tier ladder of manufacturers and specialists. The static displays of aircraft within the exhibition hall and just outside the venue will give visitors the chance to sit in a helicopter and discuss technical capabilities first-hand.

Exhibitor Highlights

East Anglian Air Ambulance

As well as participating in the conference, the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) will also be exhibiting and promoting its service as the first in the UK to be granted permission to fly helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) missions at night, which was confirmed in May 2013.

L-3 Wescam booth at Helitech 2011.

Following 18 months of hard work from EAAA and its aircraft operator, Bond Air Services, the charity is now flying to incidents which occur during the hours of darkness using night vision imaging systems (NVIS) and believes that it will be able to cover around 30 percent more missions, helping an estimated 300 more patients a year now that it is able to operate during dark as well as daylight hours.

In order to operate at night, the aircraft is specified with an instrumentation system and external lighting compatible with night vision goggles (NVGs). The first step of this process was to install various items of special equipment (including moving maps, engine usage monitoring system and a powerline detection system) on the aircraft, and to modify standard items of equipment to make them NVIS compatible.

Once specified, the aircraft, its systems and the operating procedures required full certification from EASA and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) before the aircraft could commence night HEMS missions. Bond also undertook extensive training for both the pilots and the HEMS crew that would conduct missions using NVGs.

Sloane Helicopters

At Helitech International 2013, Sloane Helicopters will be displaying Robinson’s first-ever turbine helicopter – the Robinson R66. The R66 has enhanced features, compared to other models in the Robinson range, including improved performance, a larger cabin, a fifth seat in the rear and a large baggage compartment.

Safran booth at Helitech 2011.

Sloane will also be exhibiting its high-standard range of engineering services, including maintenance, component overhaul and avionics. The company’s expertise allows it to provide a specialized service for all aspects of helicopter engineering.

The Sloane Flying School will also be promoted during Helitech International. The Flying School has facilities to provide flight training for pilots from an ab initio entry level to those with professional pilot qualifications. The courses on offer include: private pilot license (H), commercial pilot license (H), instrument rating (H), flight instructor (H), type rating (H) and night qualification (H). Information about its Flight Navigation Procedures Trainer II simulator will also be available together with professional advice on flying, courses, pricing and all relevant information.


SkyTrac’s display of flight following and satellite communication solutions include the portable data-only DSAT-300, a fully installed ISAT-200R that is voice and data capable, and the new ISAT-200A, which incorporates flight data monitoring capabilities, such as a built-in accelerometer. The ISAT-200A is the company’s latest solution for Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA), which provides increased connectivity to various on-board systems that can be monitored and configured for exceedance detection and reporting. This information can be viewed in SkyWeb, SkyTrac’s web-based asset management, mapping and reporting program or downloaded to a USB memory stick.


Making its debut at Helitech International is Aerobache, a French company based in Corsica specializing in the provision of protective covers for aircraft, protecting both airframe and canopies. Their manufactured fabrics are not only treated to counter ultraviolet (UV) light but also act as a genuine barrier to UV penetration and damage to Perspex canopies as well as protecting aircraft upholstery, whether made from leather or other materials. The range of helicopter examples includes Bell 206, EC120, EC130, EC145, and Robinson R22 & R44.

Lineup at Helitech 2011 in Duxford.

Helicentre Aviation

As the largest Cabri G2 operator in the UK, Helicentre Aviation will have one of its Cabri G2s on display in partnership with Cotswold Helicopter Centre, the UK Cabri distributor. Helicentre Aviation will also exhibit all operational aspects including its training academy and utility services. The company has five rated Cabri G2 instructors, three flight examiners, and more than 20 student pilots and hour builders who are currently training or have qualified on the Cabri since September 2012.

“The Cabri G2 has proven to be an excellent and reliable platform for both private and professional training,” said Chairman Capt. Chris Line. “We intend to place an order for our fourth Cabri at Helitech International this September, and our intention is to have six Cabri G2s in the training academy fleet by 2015.”


Also organized by Reed, the Helitech International Conference has been expanded to enhance its appeal to international audiences, aiming to create an unrivalled educational forum for the helicopter industry. The program will cover industry trends and address current and future challenges for the rotorcraft industry.

The conference will open on the afternoon of September 24 with a welcome from Vittorio Morassi, chairman of the European Helicopter Association. A keynote address will follow with Dr. Norbert Lohl, certification director at EASA, who will outline a vision for the future of the rotorcraft sector, the opportunities and the challenges, against the backdrop of ongoing European-wide initiatives and the regulatory environment.

The afternoon sessions will center on the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) when Carlo M. Borghini, deputy executive director of SESAR Joint Undertaking, will outline current initiatives and milestones concerning the progressive adoption of enabling technology to 2020 and beyond.

This will be followed by a presentation from Sigmund Lockert, deputy manager of Flight Operations at CHC Helicopter. With more than 300 projects within SESAR’s program – which aims to increase flight safety and reduce costs – the review will highlight some of the areas that will affect future operations.

On September 25, Tim Paige, chief executive of EAAA, will outline how the organization became the first such service in the UK to receive permission for flying night-time missions. This session will be an opportunity to learn from the EAAA experience. Echoing this theme, Capt. Carlos de la Cruz from Inaer will then talk about nighttime operations in Spain, which will be followed by an overview of the new operations and flight crew licensing rules relevant for helicopter operations, featuring Willy Sigl, rulemaking officer at EASA Flight Standards.

Business challenges and opportunities will be the theme on September 26. For business leaders among the manufacturers, the supply chain and the helicopter operators alike, the opening session will track the critical market trends, identifying the challenges as well as the opportunities that appear ready to shape the rotorcraft sector over the next few years.

This will be followed by an interactive panel discussion giving operator chief financial officers and supplier sales directors the opportunity to question some of the industry’s top financing experts and gain a good understanding of the money supply issues that will impact the rotor sector going forward.

Since its launch, Helitech International has attracted a wide range of companies and visitor interest from around the world has been high, which will provide a networking platform in London for key associations, stakeholders and communities within the rotary sector. As the largest dedicated helicopter exhibition outside the U.S., representing every tier of the supply chain, Helitech International 2013 is a must-attend event for anyone involved in the rotary wing industry.

In addition to the conference, for the first time there will a free-to-attend Safety Workshop. The European Helicopter Safety Team and International Helicopter Safety Team will host the workshop in conjunction with the Global Helicopter Flight Data Monitoring Steering Group.

Networking Opportunities

Between 5:00-7:00 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 24, Helitech International will host a networking reception on the exhibition floor for visitors and exhibitors. The reception will provide an excellent opportunity to talk with other industry professionals in a relaxed environment while enjoying complimentary drinks and canapés.

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