Products, Services

Heli-Expo Expectations

By Staff Writer | February 1, 2011
Send Feedback

If you’re a helicopter pilot, operator, technician or just a lover of all things that can hover, then there’s no better place to be this March 5th through 8th than the Orlando Orange County Convention Center—home of HAI’s Heli-Expo 2011. In case you haven’t attended in the past few years, Heli-Expo has grown to the world’s largest helicopter event. This year’s Expo will be the biggest ever. According to HAI, the 2011 tradeshow will take up more than one million square feet of floor space and feature upwards of 600 exhibitors, 65 helicopters and thousands of attendees. To top it all off, there are hundreds of hours of meetings and educational courses.

With all that floor space and exhibitors to cover—not to mention navigating through the estimated 17,000-plus attendees—trying to take it all in three-days can be just a bit overwhelming. To help you make the most of your floor time, Rotor & Wing has assembled a short list of not-to-be-missed exhibitors. So before taking that first step onto the Heli-Expo 2011 floor, let your fingers do the walking through our list. Your feet will thank you.

Aspen Avionics


Booth Number: 2255

Contact: Anson Grey, manager of helicopter programs, or Mike McKinney, helicopter sales manager

Not to miss: Demonstration of Aspen’s EFD1000H Pro primary flight display for helicopters. The “big things in little packages” experts from Aspen Avionics will use Heli-Expo to exhibit the EFD1000H Pro PFD. Like the fixed-wing versions of Aspen’s versatile products, the EFD1000H gives operators an amazing amount of display capabilities, versatility and reliability if a unit that is a direct drop-in replacement for traditional analog instruments. With a list price of under $15,000, the EFD1000H is the lowest cost glass panel upgrade available for helicopters, according to the company.

Aspen says that the EFD1000H is especially attractive to helicopter operators because it uses a unique solid-state AHRS system, which is resistant to vibration-induced problems that contribute to the high failure rates of analog instruments.

Aero Dynamix, Inc.

Booth Number: 1337

Contact: Mike Guinn, manager of sales and marketing

Not to miss: ESPN commentator Andy Petree’s night vision imaging system (NVIS)-equipped Bell 206. The night vision cockpit lighting specialists at Aero Dynamix will showcase the NVIS-compatible lighting system modification recently completed in ESPN NASCAR commentator Andy Petree’s Bell 206B. The new system features a complete Garmin avionics suite, including a GNS 530W, 430W, GMA 347, GTX 327 and GDU 620.

The installation also features new Aero Dynamix NVIS-compatible edge lit panels (ELPs) for the switch panel, overhead switch panel, and air conditioning panel, as well as a custom overlay for the entire instrument panel.

Becker Avionics, Inc.

Booth Number: 1652

Contact: Markus Schmitz, president/general manager

Not to miss: DVCS 6100 Digital Airborne Voice Communications/Intercom System. Becker Avionics will be showcasing its latest communications, navigation, surveillance and SAR equipment for airborne and ground applications. Highlights will include the new DVCS 6100, which according to the company is the first airborne digital audio selector and intercom system to achieve FAA technical standard order (TSO) approval in both the U.S. and Europe. The DVCS is specifically designed for emergency and tactical operators. It delivers crystal-clear voice quality for both ATC and cabin intercom communications.

Becker will also display its new MR 510 personal locator beacon (PLB). This new ruggedized, multi-platform PLB features COSPAS-SARSAT compliance, automatic water activation, VHF/UHF voice communication and a 12-channel GPS system based on the latest technology to provide detection and accurate location positioning anywhere in the world.


Booth Number: 1349

Contact: Alberto Costa, vice president, helicopter training systems

Not to miss: Video of CAE’s new 3000 Series mission simulator. Along with its usual array of training offerings, one highlight of this year’s Heli-Expo will be a video of CAE’s new 3000 Series helicopter mission simulator, which was recently qualified for training by the FAA. The simulator delivers a 220-degree horizontal and an 80-degree vertical field of view to create an immersive, mission-focused experience. The view, combined with new-generation computer graphics, provides unprecedented realism for helicopter-specific training scenarios, including offshore, emergency medical services (EMS), law enforcement, long line, high-altitude, corporate and other specialized operations.

CAE will also be using the Heli-Expo stage to celebrate other announcements, including FAA’s recent approval of its new e-Learning for “no classroom” initial and recurrent helicopter ground schools and the company’s recent acquisition of CHC Helicopter’s training operations.


Booth Number: 4028

Contact: Rob Creighton, marketing manager

Not to miss: Cockpit simulator equipped with Cobham synthetic vision. The main attraction of the Cobham booth will be the opportunity to “fly” Cobham’s new simulator featuring the company’s PFD with highway-in-the-sky (HITS) synthetic vision. According to the company, the simulator’s system is similar to the EFIS displays that were recently chosen by both the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department.

While the new simulator is reason enough to visit their booth, the company comes to Heli-Expo with a host of products from many of its other divisions, including HeliSAS (helicopter autopilot and stability augmentation system); a new HD video surveillance system; new NAV/COM radios; ELTs; and aircrew restraint systems.

DART Helicopter Services

Booth Number: 4628

Contact: Mike O’Reilly or Steve Joseph

Not to miss: A total of 22 helicopter products and service providers in one booth. Along with developing more than 450 aftermarket helicopter STCs, DART Helicopter Services is the sales and marketing representative for everything rotorcraft—from a 200-amp starter generator for a Eurocopter AS350 to the Ample Pod luggage carrier for a Robinson R44 and anything in between. DART represents a growing list of helicopter accessory, parts, products and services providers. Companies that will have a presence in DART’s Heli-Expo booth will include:

Absolute Fire Solutions

Airworthy Products, Inc.

AKV, Inc.

Apical Industries

Aviatech Technical Services

Bristow Technical Services Ltd.

Cargo Net Innovations

DART Aerospace

Donaldson Aerospace and Defense

Eagle Copters

Flight Management Systems

Geneva Aviation


Heli-Enterprise, Inc.


RSG Products, Inc.

Offshore Helicopter Support Services

Red Barn Machine, Inc.

Red Box International

Spectrolab, Inc.

Tyler Technologies

Wysong Enterprises, Inc.

Enstrom Helicopter Corp.

Booth Number: 3321

Contact: Dennis Martin, international sales/program manager

Not to miss: Cobham (Chelton) EFIS-equipped Enstrom 480B light turbine helicopter. Enstrom comes to Heli-Expo celebrating recent fleet orders for the 480B helicopter. The Royal Thai Army has ordered 16 480Bs and the Japanese Self Defense Force has purchased 30. Both orders are to modernize training fleets. Enstrom is also announcing that the 480B has recently earned certification in China. Powered by a Rolls Royce 250 series engine, the 480B is currently in service in 18 countries worldwide.

The company is also announcing a number of recent upgrades to the 480B, including the Isolar Ag-Spray system and the Safeflight powerline detection system. Along with the Cobham 3D HITS-equipped 480B, Enstrom will also have a new 280FX—the only turbocharged piston engine helicopter in production today—on display.

Goodrich Corp.

Booth Number: 2142

Contact: Sherry Bergstrom, director of marketing and communications

Not to miss: Vigor HUMS for Sikorsky S-76D. Goodrich Corp. is showcasing its broad range of helicopter technology, including the Vigor health and usage management system (HUMS). Vigor, currently used on the S-76D, is a new family of full functionality HUMS optimized for mid‑size helicopters. According to the company, Vigor alerts the user to take corrective actions to prevent future costly maintenance and advises of unavoidable future maintenance tasks so the user can minimize operational impact.

Goodrich’s booth will also be home to a host of other products, including rescue hoist systems; engine control and FADEC systems; actuation, air data and power systems; interior and seating systems; and customized aftermarket support solutions.

MD Helicopters

Booth Number: 1618

Contact: Debbie Jones, sales and marketing

Not to miss: MD902 Explorer with new VIP SPIFR interior. MD Helicopters is planning to have a variety of models gracing their Heli-Expo booth, including an MD530F, MD500E and a factory new MD902 Explorer—all with new avionics offerings. Along with its new panel, the Explorer will sport the company’s new high-end VIP interior, which features a long list of comfort and convenience enhancements, including a five-place interior with leather upholstered Fischer energy attenuating business seats, leather side panels and ceiling, additional acoustic sound insulation, cabin/cockpit privacy window, aft-facing credenza with video monitor and DVD/CD player, cabin ICS with Bose Series X headsets, LED reading lights, upgraded wool carpeting, and more.

Night Flight Concepts

Booth Number: 3428

Contact: Adam Aldous, president

Not to miss: NVIO night vision goggle (NVG) computer-based training solution. If you’re among the growing number of NVG users, then you need to stop by the Night Flight Concepts booth to demo its new FAA-approved NVIO NVG computer-based training program. The NVIO CBT is an Internet-based, blended training solution that combines self-paced courseware and practices covering a broad range of NVG-specific procedures and operational scenarios. The interactive CBT program combines 3D graphics with advanced synthetic environments and the latest online training methodologies to achieve the highest degree of learning effectiveness and comprehension, while reducing overall training costs. Complementing the NVIO online CBT is the company’s recently introduced NVG website: This is a new resource website created to help flight departments with night vision systems (NVIS) program management and to promote safe, effective NVG use.

NORTH Flight Data Systems

Booth Number: 4437

Contact: Jeff Warner, president

Not to miss: CVR/FDR with integrated Iridium satellite modem. NORTH Flight Data Systems, LLC will use Heli-Expo to introduce its new flight data system—a multifunction data acquisition unit (MFDAU) with a built-in Iridium satellite modem. The Iridium modem combined with the MFDAU’s self-contained 3D movement sensors, engine and airframe data inputs will provide operators with precise, real-time aircraft tracking capability without the need to purchase and install a stand-alone Iridium satellite transmitter and antenna.

NORTH Flight will also be displaying its popular cockpit voice and video recorders, quick access recorder (QAR) and new high-resolution color cockpit camera. To ensure that customers realize the true benefit of flight data recording, NORTH Flight will be offering a complete FOQA analysis and animation service utilizing Part 121 caliber software.

Receive the latest rotorcraft news right to your inbox