Australia Picks NH90 for AIR 9000 program

Australia has ordered 12 NH90 helicopters for the Australian Army as part of its AIR 9000 program, increasing the total order book to 357. The helicopters have been designated the NH 90 and will be marinized to operate from the Royal Australian Navy's amphibious ships. The new MRH 90 "is purpose built for amphibious operations and includes extra corrosion protection, folding rotor blades and other enhancements to allow shipboard operations," said Senator Robert Hill, Australian Minister for Defence. "This will give the Army an enhanced ability to move more soldiers further and faster from our amphibious lift ships, HMAS Kanimbla and Manoora, and their replacements."

The first MRH 90 is scheduled for delivery in 2007, with all 12 delivered by 2008. The aircraft will form a new troop lift helicopter squadron that "will allow the relocation of a squadron of Black Hawk helicopters to the Sydney area to support the ADFs Special Forces, further strengthening the (Prime Minister John) Howard Government's commitment to fighting terrorism," he said.


The Australian order follows an order for 20 NH90s by the Sultante of Oman, which continues taking the aircraft out of the European theater for the first time. Oman has ordered 20 NH90 TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter) from NHIndustries, with an entry into service date by 2008 (Rotor & Wing, September 2004, page 10). The Omani order, placed last July, is the first for a non-European military force and brought the total number of firm orders for the multi-role helicopter to 345, plus 86 options (see "Euro Jigsaw Puzzle," August 2004, page 42).

Sikorsky Offers UH-60M To Australia Project Air 9000

Sikorsky Aircraft has offered 48 UH-60M Black Hawk aircraft to the Australian Defense Forces' planned Project Air 9000 Helicopter Master Program. Twelve of the 48 aircraft will be new built UH-60Ms, while the remaining 36 will be remanufactured from the Australian Army's current fleet of S-70A-9 Black Hawks.

The UH-60M flight test program has now exceeded 325 hr. and is on track for a Milestone C decision next year, the company said. Aircraft number one and two have met all the required objectives of the flight test development schedule and overall performance, structural, handling quality and propulsion testing was 95 percent completed as of the first of August. Aircraft number one, a rebuilt UH-60A, is the test vehicle for airframe issues such as performance and handling, while testing on aircraft number two, a rebuilt UH-60L, included structural, performance and avionics. Sikorsky said that the flight tests are focused on glass cockpit displays, the embedded GPS inertial navigation system and qualifying the 701D engine and the Improved Hover Infra-Red Suppression System for compatibility with the UH-60M airframe. Also being qualified is the Automatic Flight Control System and four-axis fully coupled autopilot improvements.

Goal of the program is a "full spectrum dominance," according to Paul Martin, senior vice president, government and advanced development programs. "The UH-60M will be the most powerful, maneuverable and survivable Black Hawk ever built."

Full development of the -60M could lead to an upgrade of some 1,200 existing UH-60A and UH-60L models, plus 300 new production aircraft over the next 25 years, he said.

Northrop Grumman-EADS Team for New NH90 PRV

Northrop Grumman Corp. and EADS North America have teamed up to develop a next-generation personnel recovery vehicle for the U.S. Air Force. The new helicopter will replace the current HH-60G Pave Hawks used for combat search and rescue. Northrop Grumman will provide systems integration, to include their combat proven battle management system while EADS will provide a variant of the NH90 as the basic platform. Also competing for the PRV program is Bell Boeing with the V22, Sikorsky with its S-92 and Lockheed Martin-Agusta/Westland with the EH101.

New Factory for Shanghai Sikorsky Aircraft Co.

Shanghai Sikorsky Aircraft Co. has begun construction of a new helicopter factory in Gaodong, Pudong New District, with plans to produce the first helicopter by the end of this year. The company is a joint venture between Sikorsky and Shanghai Little Eagle Science and Technology Co. Ltd. The new helicopter company was established in March of last year and has since established sales, service, engineering and manufacturing capabilities of its own, as well as being exclusive manufacturer and sales agent for Schweizer Helicopters. Goal of the company is to develop a series of light helicopters that are economical, safe and reliable, and that meet the needs of the Chinese domestic market, the company said.

The factory is being built next to the Gaodong Heliport, which supports the Ministry of Communications helicopter search-and-rescue operations in the Shanghai area. The Ministry's S&R operations involved the use of two Sikorsky S-76s. The heliport also supports operations for Guangdong General Aviation Co. and CITIC Ocean Helicopter Co., which provide harbor pilot delivery services for the port of Shanghai.

Korean Helicopter Program `Not Commercially Viable'

Korea's proposed multi-billion dollar program to build a local helicopter industry may not be viable, according to the Board of Audit and Inspection, Korea's top auditing agency. The Asia Intelligence Wire Service reported that the Board pointed out several defects in the Korea Multi-role Helicopter project to include that the helicopters planned for export may not be "economically successful" and that the costs for the project were not properly calculated.

The Korean government is planning a next-generation helicopter that would be a combined utility/attack aircraft designed to replace the Korean military's roughly 700 aging helicopters with 477 new aircraft by 2012 (Pac Rim, May 2004, page 62). The government also wants "another several hundred helicopters to be simultaneously for export purposes," the wire service report said.

When the auditing board's report came out, it was classified as "third degree confidential," keeping the full contents secret. What was reported to the press was that the BAI asked the ministry to reexamine the project's market potential, saying that the prospect of exporting these vehicles is dim considering the low demand worldwide, and market penetration has become more difficult now due to merges between prominent helicopter manufacturers. It also expressed concern that the project may have been preceding without an exact figure for the price of production. According to the BAI, the ministry said it would cost 15 trillion won ($13 billion), but Korea Development Institute expected it to be 30 trillion won ($26 billion).

Also, the BAI and the ministry believe that future procurement of other aircraft may be suspended in order to complete the helicopter project. In response, the Defense Ministry said the project is still a work in progress and not set in stone. First, the ministry must select a foreign manufacturing partner by September. Then the ministry will submit a final plan to the National Assembly for approval in October.

After the announcement of the BAI findings, the Defense Ministry said it will ask the Korea Institute for Industrial and Trade to diagnose the project's feasibility again. Brig. Gen. Jung Won-mo, chief planner of the project in the ministry, said at a news conference that the ministry is expected to spend about $1.7 billion won on designing and testing prototypes, but the total costs of the project, including manufacturing, remain to be seen. He said the cost is subject to changes according to standards. The Korea Development Institute's estimate of $26 billion is based on the conditions that the ministry builds 477 copters during the next 15 to 20 years and maintains the aircraft for the 30 years. Jung also said the global demand for helicopters often moves up and down, which means in 20 to 30 years Korea will have a better chance to make inroads into the global markets.

Between 2005 and 2009, some 15 fleets of older generation helicopters will be retired based on the ministry's combat standard. Though by 2012, about 200 fleets will be over their operational expectancy of 30 to 40 years. In early July, the ministry picked the three final contenders for the project, the AgustaWestland, Eurocopter and Bell.

The selection process is to end late next month and by mid-September the ministry will choose a winner. But the project falls on default if parliament rejects the plan, and the foreign bidders are aware of this possibility, the report said.

Georgia Budgets $2 Million for Mi-14 Repairs

The new Georgian government has redistributed its 2004 budget to allow more than $2 million in repair work for Mi-14 Haze combat helicopters in the Ukraine, according to reports from the Russian news agency Interfax-AVN. First Deputy Defence Minister Paata Gaprindashvili said during an interview with the military newspaper Samkhedro that the Georgian defense industry has obtained 24.6 million Georgian laris ($13.5 million) as a result of the budget redistribution. Of that, $2 million will go toward repair of the helicopters. The helicopters have been in the Ukraine for the past four years, with the previous government wanting to sell them. However, Gaprindashvili said that the situation has changed and "Georgia's new leaders have a different attitude towards the army and the repaired helicopters will definitely be delivered to T'bilisi (capital of Georgia)," he said.

Keystone Gets Flurry of STCs

Keytech, the engineering division of Keystone Helicopter Corp. has issued two new STCs for attachments to the Sikorsky S-76 plus one STC for the BK117. The two new STCs for the S-76A/B/C model helicopters include a forward litter rack assembly which restrains two litters in a stacked configuration, allowing the transportation of three patients and two attendants plus the two pilots. The second STC is for the installation of an Artex C406-1HM emergency locating transmitter providing three frequency transmissions on 121.5, 243.0 and 406.026 MHz. The STC for the BK 117 was done in conjunction with Boston Med Flight and is for the installation of an SX-5E Nightsun, a lightweight, small xenon searchlight designed and certified for use as a search and landing light. Authorization to issue STCs comes from Keystone's position as an FAA-Designated Alteration Station.

U.S. Navy Awards $56.5 Million to VXX Program Competitors

Sikorsky Aircraft and Lockheed Martin have each been awarded a $56.5 risk reduction contract from the U.S. Navy to fund program management, engineering and logistics support for the presidential helicopter program (VXX) competition through November. The contract is designed to further reduce potential technical risks associated with the program before the final contract to build a presidential helicopter is awarded in December. The competition is between Team US101, primarily consisting of Lockheed Martin, AgustaWestland and Bell, and the VH-92 program headed by Sikorsky. Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Owego is lead contractor for the Team US101 program.

Helijet Signs Exclusive Engine Agreement With Rolls-Royce

Helijet International, a Richmond, Canada-based air travel and excursion company, has signed an exclusive agreement with Rolls-Royce for full engine support of its Rolls-Royce 250 powered helicopters. Helijet operates a fleet of five 250-powered Sikorsky s-76As and a Bell 206B, as well as a Turbomeca Arriel 2C-powered Eurocopter AS335. Stuart Mullan, president of helicopters for Rolls-Royce, said that they will work to "minimize Helijet's direct operating costs," as well as provide the company with the 250 Full-service Integrated Rolls-Royce Support Team (FIRST) network of repair and overhaul providers.

Helijet provides commuter services between Vancouver Harbor and Victoria Harbor, and reports that it is the largest scheduled helicopter airline in North America, carrying over 130,000 passengers per year. It also operates a dedicated aero-medical service.

First Flight of Condor II System

BAE Systems has reported the first flight of a day/night, all-weather visibility system being developed under the U.K. Ministry of Defense's CONDOR II helicopter technology demonstrator program. The flight trials are being undertaken on an Army Air Corps Lynx operated by 667 (D&T) Squadron AAC at Middle Wallop, Hampshire. The equipment under trial includes BAE Systems' latest-generation LCD helmet-mounted display and a wide-field-of-view array of uncooled infrared and low-light sensors that are stitched and fused to project images of the outside world on the helmet's visor.

The system uses BAE Systems' TERPROM ground-collision and obstacle-avoidance software. TERPROM generates cues and warnings, overlaid onto the fused image on the visor, to warn the pilot of terrain threats and obstacles such as pylons and overhead cables.

"This first flight represents a significant milestone in the CONDOR II program," said Mike Austill, managing director of Avionic Systems for BAE Systems Platform Solutions. "Achieving first flight in just over a year from contract award is a credit to both the MoD and the industry team. We expect to learn a great deal from these trials that, coupled with work we are undertaking in the United States, will give our military helicopter pilots a significant capability enhancement."

BAE Systems Platform Solutions is prime contractor for CONDOR II. The contract, awarded in June 2003, calls for the company to demonstrate solutions that enable helicopters to be operated in conditions that are currently outside of flying regulations. The BAE Systems team, which includes QinetiQ, expects to fly performance evaluation trials later in the year with an emphasis on making a rapid transition from research to the front lines.

First Royal Thai Navy Super Lynx Flies

The first Super Lynx 300 helicopter for the Royal Thai Navy has made its maiden flight from AgustaWestland's Yeovil plant in the United Kingdom. The Thai navy ordered new generation Super Lynx 300 naval helicopters in late 2001 and they will be operated from their frigates performing anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, SAR and maritime surveillance roles. The Super Lynx 300 helicopters will initially remain at the AgustaWestland plant in Yeovil, while pilots and maintainers are trained. The aircraft will then be delivered to Thailand in late 2004 and enter service with the Royal Thai Navy in early 2005. The Royal Thai Navy will become the second operator of the Super Lynx 300 in Asia and the third customer to start operations. Super Lynx 300s are already in service with the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Air Force of Oman. The South African National Defence Force has also ordered Super Lynx 300 helicopters to operate from their Valour Class frigates.

Alan Johnston, chief operating officer in the UK, said the maiden flight marked a further chapter in the Lynx success story. "With the Super Lynx 300 already in service with the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Air Force of Oman, we are delighted that Thailand will be the next customer to receive the best aircraft in its class. We developed the Super Lynx 300 to meet customers' changing requirements, providing greatly increased performance, new cockpit display system and an all new avionics suite, to maintain Super Lynx as the leader in its market."

STATCARE Beefs Up Indiana Service

Louisville, Ky.-based STATCARE has retasked its AS355 Twinstar to increase aero-medical coverage in the Seymour, Ind. region, taking it from purely standby status to 12-hour service. The STATCARE service is provided by CJ Systems Aviation Group, which added two more pilots and one mechanic to its on-site contingent with STATCARE when the additional service went online on August 2. CJ Systems also provides an AS365N2 Dauphin and a BK117C helicopter for STATCARE, both single-pilot IFR rated.

"This move will provide STATCARE with greater flexibility and an enhanced regional response," said David Franc, CJ Systems vice president business development. CJ Systems provides aero-medical service at over 60 base sites in the United States and has been providing helicopter service to STATCARE since 1997. It became STATCARE's exclusive helicopter operator in 2002. STATCARE flies out of Bowman Field in Louisville and from Glasgow Municipal Airport in Glasgow, Ky. Addition of the AS335 to the fleet will increase the company's operational radius by about six to eight counties with an added radius of about 50 miles, according to STATCARE Program Director John Blumenstock. The AS335 will be used to provide service to the Seymour, Ind. area, located roughly 50 miles due north of Louisville. "Now STATCARE is able to more immediately service the Seymour, Ind. area, making them the `go-to' air medical program for their entire region," Franc said. Blumenstock also noted that additional expansion could be expected in the future.

Franc also said that CJ Systems has finalized negotiations with the Shands HealthCare system of northeastern Florida to renew its aircraft operations and maintenance contracts with three air medical services programs. The three services include ShandsCair of Gainesville, TraumaOne in Jacksonville and TraumaOne in Lake City. CJ Systems is also in discussions with Shands toward the purchase of a new Agusta 109 Power helicopter to be based at the ShandsCair site in Gainesville. ShandsCair, along with the Jacksonville TraumaOne operation, covers a service area of 150 miles within northeast Florida and southern Georgia.

Kaman Weighs Reopening K-Max Line

Kaman Aerospace has sold out its inventory of the medium- to heavy-lift K-MAX helicopter and is evaluating reopening the line when a sufficient number of orders are placed for the K-MAX. The company is continuing development of a firefighting belly tank, which is planned to be available by early next year, Roger Wassmuth, director, K-MAX marketing and business development, said. He added that marketing efforts will be specifically directed at countries requiring the unique capabilities of the aircraft to provide heavy lift at high and hot altitudes. Kaman has been working with the Indian air force, for instance, on evaluation of the K-MAX for resupply of its Himalayan bases.

El Salvador Police Pick R44

Robinson Helicopter has sold its first R44 in El Salvador to the National Police of El Salvador, delivering the aircraft on June 25. The delivery was through Helica, S.A. de C.V., Robinsons authorized dealer in El Salvador. In making the delivery, Helica President Rogelio Pena said that the National Police currently own three turbine helicopters but can only afford to fly them two hours a week. "Now, with the cost of operating the R44, they will be able to fly two hours a night and the turbines will remain on call," he said. Pena noted that the El Salvadorian National Police Director had been flown to Torrance, Calif. to meet with Robinson executives and fly in a night patrol in the El Monte Police Department's R44 police helicopter. "The (El Salvadorian) pilots did not want a piston because they were all from the Air Force where they flew turbines," Pena said. "When the director saw the R44's price, cost of operation and how well it worked for night patrol, he went back and convinced the National Police that an R44 was the right aircraft." The new aircraft has been equipped with the FSI 445G-MKII infrared camera system, Spectrolab SX-5E searchlight and a complete FM radio package with a NAT AMS 42 Dual Audio Controller allowing the observer to communicate independently on up to three FM radios. It will be used for night police patrols, surveillance and as a crime deterrent in San Salvador, Pena said.

U.S. Army R22s???

Robinson R22s in U.S. Army colors are now flying around the eastern United States, although not necessarily with official Army approval. The aircraft are from a batch of 12 sold by Robinson to the Turkish military back in 1992 for training. Eight of these aircraft were put into storage around 1998, with the remaining four being damaged or destroyed. Two of the eight were subsequently given to a museum in Turkey and six sold to GlobeAero Ltd., a Lakeland, Fla.-based aircraft delivery service. Phil Waldman, president of GlobeAero, said that three of these have now been sold-one to a customer in Alabama, one in Mexico and one to Bill Richards, a retired commander in the Prince Georges (Md.) County police department who oversaw the PG Country Police Aviation Section.

The aircraft were delivered to Turkey in OD Green with mesh seats and the red and white "bulls-eye" insignia of the Turkish Air Force. After the Turkish Air Force retired the eight aircraft, two were briefly loaned out to some Turkish Air Force pilots who painted them in a red, white and blue color scheme. When Waldman bought the six R22s, four were in OD colors with Turkish roundels and two had red, white and blue colors. Waldman brought the aircraft up to FAA specifications and covered the Turkish logos with U.S. Army insignia. Richards, who bought one of the U.S. Army painted R22s to fly around his retirement home in Mount Holly, Va., said that the aircraft has drawn so much good attention that he has no intention of changing it.

British Minister Challenges GKN Sale

The British government has begun an investigation into GKN's sale of its 50 percent of AgustaWestland to Finmeccanica, the Italian company which owns the remaining 50 percent. The sale was challenged based on national security, according to reports from the United Kingdom. The investigation was instigated by Jacqui Smith, U.K. minister of trade and industry, who has asked the Office of Fair Trading to investigate the sale and report back by October 4. At that time the members of Parliament will vote on whether or not to approve the sale, the report said. Finmeccanica is offering roughly $1.9 billion for the British share of AgustaWestland. Ron Jones, business group director for the Westland part of AgustaWestland, said that the challenge should not impact on the sale and that GKN "is still very confident" that the sale will go through. He also noted that the sale will not impact on the production of helicopters at either company's facilities.

HITRON Unit Wins ALEA Award

A three-man U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) team flying an AgustaWestland MH-68A Stingray was awarded the Airborne Law Enforcement Association's 2004 Captain "Gus" Crawford Memorial Air Crew of the Year Award. The award was based on the crew's nighttime interdiction of a "go-fast" boat carrying over three tons of cocaine, flying in low visibility and heavy rain. Estimated value of the 6,083 lb. of illegal drugs was some $194.6 million. The crew consisted of Lieutenants Craig Neubecker and Shawn Koch, and Avionics Electronics Technician First Class William Greer. The capture of the high-speed ocean going boat was the first nighttime interdiction by a HITRON crew. The capture occurred after the HITRON crew had ordered the boat to stop, then fired warning shots across its bow, then finally disabling its engines with fire from a .50-caliber precision rifle (see "Running `em Down," July 2004, page 20). The HITRON crew was operating off the U.S. Coast Guard cutter "Diligence" when they interdicted the drug carrying boat. Neubecker, Koch and Greer received the award during the ALEA's annual conference in Charlotte, N.C. last July.

BAe Systems and Kaman Aerospace Join Forces on Maritime Helicopter

BAe Systems Avionics Group and Kaman Aerospace Corp. have joined together to produce a low-cost, high capability intermediate maritime helicopter based on Kaman's SH-2G Super Seasprite. BAe Systems said that it will provide the mission system and sensor suite, aimed at NATO interoperable communications and navigation systems, autonomous self-protection suites, sensor and target acquisition packages designed to increase situational awareness. The system will also include anti-submarine and anti-surface weapons.

Team US101 Picks GE Engine for PRV Competition

Team US101, headed by Lockheed Martin Systems Integration - Owego, has selected General Electric Co. (GE) as its preferred engine supplier for its entry in the U.S. Air Force competition for a personnel recovery vehicle, or combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopter. Team US101 announced at the annual Air Force Association conference in Washington last month that the GE CT7/T700 will be used to power the three-engine US101 for the competition. The US101 is the U.S. version of the Agusta/Westland EH101, which is certified for either the GET700-T6A1, with a maximum continuous rating of 18,70 shp or the Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca RTM322 rated at 1,866 shp.

"We are proud to select GE for the US101 personnel recovery vehicle," said Stephen D. Ramsey, US101 vice president and general manager at Lockheed Martin. "GE's exceptional engine safety record, and the US101 helicopter's three-engine configuration provide the Air Force Special Operations Command with optimal reliability and low risk."

"GE has proactively invested in substantial technology for our CT7/T700 helicopter engine family," said Russell F. Sparks, president and CEO of Military Systems Operation at GE. "The result is an engine with extraordinary field experience combined with the latest low risk performance enhancements. We are pleased with the Lockheed Martin vote of confidence in our engine."

Team US101 consists of Lockheed Martin (prime contractor and systems integration), AgustaWestland (aircraft design) and Bell Helicopter (aircraft production).

Ireland Puts Out Bid for Six Helicopters

The Irish Ministry for Defence has announced a competition for six helicopters for the Irish Air Corps. Minister of Defence Michael Smith stated the competition will be for four twin-engine utility helicopters and two twin-engine light utility helicopters.

Three manufacturers-AgustaWestland, Eurocopter and Sikorsky-have submitted tenders for the competition. The two light utility military helicopters will be used primarily in the pilot/aircraft training role, along with additional general-purpose roles. The four utility military helicopters must have the capability of carrying eight fully equipped soldiers plus two crew, and will be used as a general purpose operational and training aircraft. Smith said that an evaluation team made up of military and civilian personnel has been examining the tenders from the three competitors and expects to complete its work by the end of this month (October). A contract will then be awarded by the end of the year.

Northrop Grumman Reaches Milestones for Unmanned Rotorcraft Program

Northrop Grumman has successfully tested the "brain" of its unmanned combat armed rotorcraft, evaluating hardware and software that will allow the aircraft to operate autonomously but in cooperation with manned and unmanned teams. The testing is part of Northrop Grumman's competition for Phase III of the program, funded jointly by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Army. Phase III will include fabrication and testing of two UCAR demonstrator systems. Northrop Grumman said that it used a company-owned Yamaha R-MAX unmanned helicopter as a surrogate aircraft for the testing, conducted at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego.

"The vehicle management system used by UCAR was originally developed to support future updates to the U.S. Air Force's RQ-4 Global Hawk aerial reconnaissance system, which as been successfully deployed in theater to support the war on terrorism," said Greg Zwernemann, Northrop Grumman's UCAR program director. "We've used that successful architecture experience to develop and refine the vehicle management system for both the UCAR and the X-47B Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems."

As envisioned by DARPA and the U.S. Army, UCAR will use a large internal payload of Hellfire missiles, common missiles or advanced precision-kill weapon-system rockets to fire at targets at maximum standoff ranges. It will use an advanced 25 mm. gun for closer ranger operations. Its integrated avionics and communication suite also allows it to connect to a networked environment planned for the military's emerging joint operational architecture. The company said it will use three Yamaha R-MAX rotorcraft as it continues the flight-testing program.

Helinet Donates S76B Use to Children's Hospital

Children's Medical Center Dallas, home to one of the busiest pediatric patient transport services in the country, has received the use of a specially equipped twin-engine Sikorsky S76B helicopter from Los Angeles-based Helinet Aviation Services. The $2.3 million helicopter will be used to transport children who need urgent pediatric medical care because of severe trauma or disease.

A major assistance came from The Children's Trust, an organization of young professionals and parents who donated more than $45,000 to fund the purchase of helicopter medical equipment, to include a defibrillator, a portable ventilator and a blood analyzer.

Children's is the second pediatric hospital with which Helinet has established a relationship to provide helicopter services to children who need urgent specialty care. In the spring of 2000, Helinet provided a helicopter to Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Through both children's hospital ventures with Helinet, patient transport costs are expected to be covered by a patient's health insurance. However, Helinet absorbs the cost if a patient's family is not able to pay for the service or is ineligible for alternative healthcare coverage.

The Children's transport teams complete more than 3,000 patient transfers each year. The nationally recognized transport team is often contracted by other hospitals to fly pediatric patients between facilities. It does not provide accident site service. The team frequently flies to Mexico and South America and has made trips to Europe and the Middle East. Most recently, the Children's transport service was privately contracted by a wealthy family to fly a child home to Saudi Arabia.


The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has announced the resignation of Robert P. Blouin, senior vice president, operations. The resignation was effective August 31. Jay Evans, NBAA director, operations, will serve as acting vice president, operations. NBAA also has announced the resignation of Pete West as senior vice president, government and public affairs, effective November 1. West has been with NBAA for the past 17 years.

Rolls-Royce has appointed Scott Crislip as president, Rolls-Royce Helicopters to replace Stuart Mullan. Crislip will report directly to James M. Guyette, president and CEO, Rolls-Royce North America, Inc. Crislip joined Rolls-Royce in 2002 as vice president, mission ready management solutions. He then served as interim president of the company's defense business in North America. Prior to joining Rolls-Royce, Crislip held senior positions with GE. He is currently also a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

William H. Wallace, FAA's National Resource Specialist for Rotorcraft Operations, has retired from the FAA effective September 3. Wallace served as the Senior Technical Advisor on Rotorcraft and Tiltrotor. He is currently a member of NASA's AeroSpace Technology Advisory Committee Rotorcraft Sub-Committee. Wallace serves as Chairman of the FAA Rotorcraft Task Force, is a member of the National Rotorcraft Center of Excellence Management Advisory Board, and is a member of the Rotorcraft Industry Technology Association's Technical Advisory Committee. In reporting on his retirement, HAI noted that Wallace has been the "go to" person at the FAA for all helicopter related matters for as long as anyone can remember, "working diligently to increase safety awareness and promote regulations that reflect the unique nature of helicopter operations.

Aerospace Industries Association has appointed Bruce Mahone to be assistant vice president of technical operations. Mahone had previously served as AIA's director of space policy. In his new position Mahone will be responsible for coordinating the activities of the Technical operations Council; which, in turn, is responsible for technical program management, operations and industrial base issues that affect the development and production of aerospace systems, AIA said.

Julie Goodridge has been promoted to Assistant Manager at FlightSafety International's West Palm Beach Learning Center. She will hold that post while the Assistant Manager Rick Bedard is on military duty overseas. For the past three years she has been the Product Marketing Manager at the Wilmington center in Delaware. Goodridge was previously Alumni Director at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and holds two Bachelors Degrees and a Master of Aeronautical Science, with specializations in both Operations and Safety, from Embry-Riddle.

Textron Systems has named Ian Walsh as vice president and general manager of Lycoming Engines, reporting to Richard Millman, president, Textron Systems. Walsh had previously served as director of pricing strategies for all Textron businesses as part of Textron's Customer Leadership organization. He had also served as in several management and executive roles in marketing and business development at Bell helicopter. He was a Cobra helicopter pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1989 to 1996.

Richard "Dick" Carlson, an acknowledged leader in the development of aviation technology for 50 years, died 12 July 2004. Carlson was involved in aerospace in all three areas of industry, government and academia, greatly advancing the field of rotorcraft technology, particularly in the field of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL). Carlson initially worked as a fixed-wing engineer with Convair and Douglas Aircraft, then joined Hiller Aircraft Corp. in 1950.

He was instrumental in providing technology and design contributions to a generation of helicopters, particularly in the early application of composite structures, and in developing unique aircraft configurations (tilting thrusters). In 1964, he joined Lockheed-California Company in Burbank where he served as Advanced Design Division Engineer, responsible for aerodynamics, dynamics, structures, and weights development analyses for the AH-56 Compound Helicopter.

In 1972 he went to work for the US Army at NASA Ames Research Center, in 1972. Beginning as Chief, Advanced Systems Research Office, he rose to the position of Director, US Army Air Mobility Research and Development Laboratories in 1976, managing all rotorcraft research activities for the Army.


Oct. 5-7-International Heli Trade & Heli MRO, Geneva, Switzerland. Contact: Moira Edwards, 44-(0)1295 670 049; e-mail:; website:

Oct. 12-14-National Business Aviation Association 57th Annual Meeting & Convention, Las Vegas, Nev. Contact NBAA Conventions & Seminars Dept., 202-783-9283; fax 202-331-8364; web site:

Oct. 15-17-Eastern Region Helicopter Council Annual General Membership meeting, Malvern, Pa. Desmond Hotel and Conference Center. Contact Cliff Whiting. 516-987-0739; e-mail:; web site:

Oct. 18-21-HELMOT XI (Helicopter Military Operations), Williamsburg, Virginia. Contact Jerry Irvine, U.S. Army AATD, Fort Eustis, Virginia, 757-878-3272; fax 757-878-1323; e-mail Website:

Oct. 25-27-AUSA Annual Meeting, Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C. Contact: AUSA 703-841-4300 or 800-336-4570; e-mail:; web site:

Oct. 25-27-Air Medical Transport Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati Convention Center. Convention Hotel: Hilton Netherlands Plaza. Contact: Natasha Ross, 703-836-8732; e-mail: Website:

Dec. 6-9-Dubai Helishow 2004, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Contact Julia Cuthbert, 44-(0)1293 823779; e-mail:


Feb. 6-8-HELI-EXPO 2005, Anaheim, Calif. Contact Marilyn McKinnis, the Helicopter Association International, Alexandria, Virginia, 703-683-4646; fax 703-683-4745; web; e-mail

June 12-14-46th International Salon of the Paris Air Show (2005), Le Bourget Airport, France. Contact Salons Internationaux de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace, Paris, France, +33-(1)-53-23-33-33; fax +33-(1) 47-20-00-86; web; e-mail or

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